2nd Corinthians 12:7-10
Brothers and sisters:
That I, Paul, might not become too elated,
because of the abundance of the revelations,
a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
From the first apology in defense of the Christians by Saint Justin, martyr – 2nd century
The celebration of the eucharist:
No one may share the eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ.
We do not consume the eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Savior became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, so also the food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus by the power of his own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving.
On Sunday we have a common assembly of all our members, whether they live in the city or the outlying districts. The recollections of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as there is time. When the reader has finished, the president of the assembly speaks to us; he urges everyone to imitate the examples of virtue we have heard in the readings. Then we all stand up together and pray.
On the conclusion of our prayer, bread and wine and water are brought forward. The president offers prayers and gives thanks to the best of his ability, and the people give assent by saying, “Amen.” The eucharist is distributed, everyone present communicates, and the deacons take it to those who are absent.
The wealthy, if they wish, may make a contribution, and they themselves decide the amount. The collection is placed in the custody of the president, who uses it to help the orphans and widows and all who for any reason are in distress, whether because they are sick, in prison, or away from home. In a word, he takes care of all who are in need.
1) Holy Spirit, Lord divine,
come, from heights of heav’n and shine,
come with blessed radiance bright!
2) Come, O Father of the poor come,
whose treasured gifts ensure,
come, our heart’s unfailing light!
3) Of consolers, wisest, best,
and our soul’s most welcome guest,
sweet refreshment, sweet repose.
4) In our labour rest most sweet,
pleasant coolness in the heat,
consolation in our woes.
5) Light most blessed, shine with grace
in our heart’s most secret place,
fill your faithful through and through.
6) Left without your presence here,
life itself would disappear,
nothing thrives apart from you!
7) Cleanse our soiled hearts of sin,
arid souls refresh within,
wounded lives to health restore.
8) Bend the stubborn heart and will,
melt the frozen, warm the chill,
guide the wayward home once more!
9) On the faithful who are true
and profess their faith in you,
in your sev’nfold gift descend!
10) Give us virtue’s sure reward,
give us your salvation, Lord,
give us joys that never end.