The Sunday Within The Octave Of The Ascension GOSPEL St. John 15:26-27 & 16:1-4 The Wednesday Meditation: A Plaine Path-Way To Heaven By Fr.Thomas Hill 1634
St. John 15:26-27 and 16:1-4
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: When the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceed eth from the Father, He shall give testimony of Me: and you shall give testimony, because you are with Me from the beginning. These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doth a service to God. And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father, nor Me. But these things I have told you, that, when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you of them.
As when a Prince or great person maketh a feast in a mans house, as sometime it happeneth, he doth not only feast the poor man, but leaveth behind him wherewithall to feast his friends: So almighty God making a feast in poor Religious mens souls doth not only feast them in their heavenly contemplation and familiar conversation with God and his Saints,for themselves, but leaveth them also wherewithall to feast others by their good example & instruction, giving testimony of Christ to worldly people, God having planted them for that purpose in all parts of the world: how good and pleasing a thing it is to him, if they also abandon the vain delights & pleasures of the world, as much as their estate and condition will afford, and give themselves to the Service of God; & though they cannot do it nothing so fully and perfectly as religious persons,who have dedicated themselves thereunto: yet let them remember that David, though he was a king, and therefore full of wordly affairs, & all manner of worldly pleasures & delights at his command, nay rather persuaded, enticed and inveighed thereunto, and ready provided and put upon him by his flattering, and man-pleasing parasites, his Courtiers, as the misery of kings is; yet thrice a day, he sayeth, he served God at his prayers, at morning, evening, and noon,and sometimes seven times a day, as his business gave him leave.
And therefore in example of him a president of that pious Exercise, hath ordained an Office of prayer,and praising God, called the Office of our Blessed Lady, distinguished into seven hours,or several times of prayer, in imitation of the Prophet David, and of the Office which religious persons & Clergy - men bind themselves unto, that lay people may be able to say likewise unto God with the Prophet David, and them: Seven times a day have I yielded praise unto to thee, that is to say, I use to say the Office of our Blessed Lady, consisting of seven several hours, to wit: Mattins with Laudes, Prime, Third, Sixt, Ninth, Evensong, Compline, if not at their several hours or times, yet at two times of the day at least, that is to say Morning and Evening; and if not that Office, yet the beades or some other prayers or lesser Office.
Or at least seven Pater nosters, with seven Ave Maries,and a Creed after all, instead thereof. The first Pater noster, and Ave Marie, in remembrance that Christ was taken in the garden at midnight,the second, that he was brought to judgment; the third, that he was condemned; the fourth, crucified; the fifth, died; the sixt, taken down from the cross, the seventh, buried. For the better help of having these hours by heart, I have composed them in these verses following:
At Midnight, Christ they take and bind,
At Six a clock, they scourge & crown with thorne,
At Nine, as guilty as death they find
At Twelve,they crucify all rent and torn:
At Three a clock, he doth expire,
At Six, they take his body from the Cross,
At Nine into his grave he doth retire,
His Mother mouring for her woeful loss.
This let Secular and worldly people persaude themselves, if they come not to serve God in prayer and meditation when they are called, that is to say, at times appointed by the Church or taken up by common custom, when their affairs will give them leave, they refuse to come to a Feast, as those ungrateful people in the gospel did, with whom the Master of the Feast was much displeased.