Day 1: Partnership with God

 
Partnership with God
 
Hymn
 
O Lord, as You have made the earth,
To man and beast have given birth,
Have given sun and rain that thence
The soil might give them sustenance:
 
We beg You make us willing to 
Perform the law we get from You 
That work of ours and grace of Yours 
May bring the increase that endures.
 
Through Jesus Christ let this be done,
Who lives and reigns, our Lord, Your son, 
Whom with the Spirit we adore 
One God with You forevermore.
 
Antiphon
 
P. How manifold are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you have wrought them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
 
(Psalm 8)
 
All: O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is your name over all the earth! You have exalted your name above the heavens.
 
Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings you have fashioned praise because of your foes, to silence the hostile and the vengeful.
 
When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you set in place:
 
What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him?
 
You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor.
 
You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet:
 
All sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field.
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
 
O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is your name over all the earth!
 
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
 
Antiphon
 
All: How manifold are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you have wrought them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
 
P. (Chapter–Genesis 1:25 and 2:15) God made all kinds of wild beasts, every kind of cattle, and every kind of creature crawling on the ground. And God saw that it was good. The Lord God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden, to till it and to keep it.
 
R. Thanks be to God.
V. You raise grass for the cattle and vegetation for men’s use.
R. Producing bread from the earth, and wine to gladden men’s hearts.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.
 
Let us pray.
 
P. Grant, we beg of You, O Merciful Lord, that through the intercession of blessed Isidore, farmer and confessor, we may forego the pride of worldly wisdom, and that, through his merits and exemplary life, we may, with all humility, ever perform works pleasing to You, through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and is King and God with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever.
R. Amen. 
V. St. Isidore. 
R. Pray for us.
 
Prayer in Honor of Saint Isidore
 
All: O God, who taught Adam the simple art of tilling the soil, and who through Jesus Christ, the true vine, revealed Yourself the husbandman of our souls, deign, we pray, through the merits of blessed Isidore, to instill into our hearts a horror of sin and a love of prayer, so that, working the soil in the sweat of our brow, we may enjoy eternal happiness in heaven, through the same Christ our Lord.
 
R. Amen. 
V. The Lord be with you. 
R. And with your spirit. 
V. Let us bless the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.
R. Amen.
 
REFLECTION*
 
The farmer’s is a sacred calling because he is a collaborator with God in the work of His creation. In partnership with God he becomes to men a provider of the food, fiber, and shelter they need. Let the farmer, then, no longer belittle himself in his own eyes. The farmer’s calling is among the noblest in all the world. The Lord considered it so, and the farmer must think of it in the same terms.
 
With God he lives and works in the vast realms of His bountiful and beautiful nature. He is not one of the millions who in thick formations swarm through factory gates. He is a free man as he strides through his fields guiding a plow, sowing the seed, or harvesting the crop.
 
The farmer’s calling is one that must command great respect. Much knowledge and skill are required to manage well the farmstead with its land and fences, barns and granaries, tools and machinery. Farming is among the greatest of human arts. The farmer must be an artisan and a craftsman, a capitalist, financier, manager, worker; a producer and a seller. He must know soil and seed, poultry and cattle; he must know when to till the soil, cultivate his fields, and harvest his crops.
 
In the presence of his Lord the farmer should recall all this, not in a spirit of vainglory or pride, but in grateful appreciation of the calling that God gave him as a tiller of the soil. Praise and thanksgiving should rise in his heart as he reflects on the high regard the Lord has showered upon him and his work.
 
* From “Partnership with God,” by the Most Reverend Aloysius J. Muench.
 
Recite the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be (etc.), three times, followed by a prayer of your choice for special needs.