From a commentary on the psalms by Saint Augustine

From a commentary on the psalms by Saint Augustine, bishop
The passion of the whole body of Christ

Lord, I have cried to you, hear me. This is a prayer we can all say. This is not my prayer, but that of the whole Christ. Rather, it is said in the name of his body. When Christ was on earth he prayed in his human nature, and prayed to the Father in the name of his body, and when he prayed drops of blood flowed from his whole body. So it is written in the Gospel: Jesus prayed with earnest prayer, and sweated blood. What is this blood streaming from his whole body but the martyrdom of the whole Church?

Lord, I have cried to you, hear me; listen to the sound of my prayer, when I call upon you. Did you imagine that crying was over when you said: I have cried to you?You have cried out, but do not as yet feel free from care. If anguish is at an end, crying is at an end; but if the Church, the body of Christ, must suffer anguish until the end of time, it must not say only: I have cried to you, hear me; it must also say: Listen to the sound of my prayer, when I call upon you.

Let my prayer rise like incense in your sight; let the raising of my hands be an evening sacrifice.

This is generally understood of Christ, the head, as every Christian acknowledges. When day was fading into evening, the Lord laid down his life on the cross, to take it up again; he did not lose his life against his will. Here, too, we are symbolized. What part of him hung on the cross if not the part he had received from us? How could God the Father ever cast off and abandon his only Son, who is indeed one God with him? Yet Christ, nailing our weakness to the cross (where, as the Apostle says: Our old nature was nailed to the cross with him), cried out with the very voice of humanity: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

The evening sacrifice is then the passion of the Lord, the cross of the Lord, the oblation of the victim that brings salvation, the holocaust acceptable to God. In his resurrection he made this evening sacrifice a morning sacrifice. Prayer offered in holiness from a faithful heart rises like incense from a holy altar. Nothing is more fragrant than the fragrance of the Lord. May all who believe share in this fragrance.

Therefore, our old nature, in the words of the Apostle, was nailed to the cross with him, in order, as he says, to destroy our sinful body, so that we may be slaves to sin no longer.

Via divineoffice.org

Onesimus

Lord make this useless beggar useful.
Like the returning Prodigal
Nothing recommends me,
And everyone but You
Condemns me,
For my rags declare my misery.

You see me
But You do not turn away.
You rush to my side,
And embrace the little one
Who wanders from Your side.

I am to You
The lost and longed for
Child of Your Heart.
My provident possibility
Is all but destiny
Awaiting my “Amen”.

You draw the bath Yourself.
You allow Your angels the joy
Of tending to my wounds.
They touch me in consolation
As they once ministered strength
To You in the garden,
For they beheld me then in Your Holy Agony.

I am the child of Your sorrow
And Your glory.
Wash me and lovingly dress me
In Your robes of holiness and light.
You are creating me even now
While You gaze on me
For I am all “Yes”.

Your kindness and Your gentleness
Convince me beyond doubt.
I yield to You my sinfulness.
Every moment in Your Presence is gracefilled.
I have but to stretch out my hand
That You might place Your ring on my finger,
Put forth my feet to see them shod for
The journey to Your house.

I walk now in Your Kingdom,
For Your Presence makes light my steps
And sure the Way.
In Your embrace I find that I can dance merrily,
For the mysterious steps
Seem to come quite naturally
As long as I follow Your gentle persuasions.

Dance on my Father,
My Friend, my King, my All.
In Your arms I have found myself.
I have become Onesimus.

Joann Nelander