Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Prayer of the Day

For the Crusade of the Family Rosary

O Queen of the most holy Rosary: with hearts full of confidence we earnestly beseech you to bless the Crusade of the Family Rosary. From you came the grace to begin it. From you must come the grace to win souls to it. We beg you to bless this Crusade so that from every home the incense of this prayer will daily rise before you, O admirable Mother.

O Queen of Homes: by the power of the Rosary we beseech you to embrace all the members of our family in the love of your Immaculate Heart. May you abide with us and we with you, praying to you while your pray for us. May you preside in our homes as once you did at Nazareth with Jesus and Joseph, filling them with the holiness of your presence and inspiration.

O Queen of Peace: it is you who have placed the Rosary in our hands. It is you who bid us to recite it daily. By the power of the Family Rosary we beseech you to obtain peace for us--peace within our hears, our homes, our country, and throughout the world. Through the daily recitation of the Family rosary we beg you to keep sin from our souls, enmities from our hearts, and war from our shores. By the graces received from the devotion of the Family Rosary we pray to be made helpful to one another in following the paths of virtue so that we may be found worthy to be called children of your family, children of your home.


Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
Rom 2:1-11

You, O man, are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment.
For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself,
since you, the judge, do the very same things.
We know that the judgment of God on those who do such things is true.
Do you suppose, then, you who judge those who engage in such things
and yet do them yourself,
that you will escape the judgment of God?
Or do you hold his priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience
in low esteem, unaware that the kindness of God
would lead you to repentance?
By your stubbornness and impenitent heart,
you are storing up wrath for yourself
for the day of wrath and revelation
of the just judgment of God,
who will repay everyone according to his works,
eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality
through perseverance in good works,
but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth
and obey wickedness.
Yes, affliction and distress will come upon everyone
who does evil, Jew first and then Greek.
But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone
who does good, Jew first and then Greek.
There is no partiality with God.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 62:2-3, 6-7, 9

R. Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.

Only in God is my soul at rest;
from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all.

R. Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.

Only in God be at rest, my soul,
for from him comes my hope.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed.

R. Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.

Trust in him at all times, O my people!
Pour out your hearts before him;
God is our refuge!

R. Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.

Lk 11:42-46

The Lord said:
“Woe to you Pharisees!
You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb,
but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God.
These you should have done, without overlooking the others.
Woe to you Pharisees!
You love the seat of honor in synagogues
and greetings in marketplaces.
Woe to you!
You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”

Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply,
“Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.”
And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law!
You impose on people burdens hard to carry,
but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.”

Saint of the Day

October 14

St. Callistus I (d. 223?)

The most reliable information about this saint comes from his enemy St. Hippolytus, an early antipope, later a martyr for the Church. A negative principle is used: If some worse things had happened, Hippolytus would surely have mentioned them.
Callistus was a slave in the imperial Roman household. Put in charge of the bank by his master, he lost the money deposited, fled and was caught. After serving time for a while, he was released to make some attempt to recover the money. Apparently he carried his zeal too far, being arrested for brawling in a Jewish synagogue. This time he was condemned to work in the mines of Sardinia. He was released through the influence of the emperor's mistress and lived at Anzio (site of a famous World War II beachhead).

After winning his freedom, Callistus was made superintendent of the public Christian burial ground in Rome (still called the cemetery of St. Callistus), probably the first land owned by the Church. The pope ordained him a deacon and made him his friend and adviser.

He was elected pope by a majority vote of the clergy and laity of Rome, and thereafter was bitterly attacked by the losing candidate, St. Hippolytus, who let himself be set up as the first antipope in the history of the Church. The schism lasted about 18 years.

Hippolytus is venerated as a saint. He was banished during the persecution of 235 and was reconciled to the Church. He died from his sufferings in Sardinia. He attacked Callistus on two fronts—doctrine and discipline. Hippolytus seems to have exaggerated the distinction between Father and Son (almost making two gods) possibly because theological language had not yet been refined. He also accused Callistus of being too lenient, for reasons we may find surprising: (1) Callistus admitted to Holy Communion those who had already done public penance for murder, adultery, fornication; (2) he held marriages between free women and slaves to be valid—contrary to Roman law; (3) he authorized the ordination of men who had been married two or three times; (4) he held that mortal sin was not a sufficient reason to depose a bishop; (5) he held to a policy of leniency toward those who had temporarily denied their faith during persecution.

Callistus was martyred during a local disturbance in Trastevere, Rome, and is the first pope (except for Peter) to be commemorated as a martyr in the earliest martyrology of the Church.

Office of Readings

O Lord, open my lips.
– And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Antiphon: Rejoice in God, all the earth: serve the Lord with gladness.

(repeat antiphon*)

Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.

(repeat antiphon*)

Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
– his people, the sheep of his flock.

(repeat antiphon*)

Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts for ever,
his faithfulness through all the ages.

(repeat antiphon*)

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.


(repeat antiphon*)

Praise of the compassionate Lord
Psalm 102 (103)

My soul, bless the Lord. Never forget all he has done for you.
My soul, bless the Lord!
All that is in me, bless his holy name.
My soul, bless the Lord!
Never forget all he has done for you.
The Lord, who forgives your wrongdoing,
who heals all your weaknesses.
The Lord, who redeems your life from destruction,
who crowns you with kindness and compassion.
The Lord, who fills your age with good things,
who renews your youth like an eagle’s.
The Lord, who gives fair judgements,
who gives judgement in favour of the oppressed.

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.


My soul, bless the Lord. Never forget all he has done for you.
Psalm 102 (103)

As a father cares for his children, so the Lord cares for those who fear him.
The Lord is compassion and kindness,
full of patience, full of mercy.
He will not fight against you for ever:
he will not always be angry.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve;
he does not pay us back for our wrongdoing.
As high as the sky above the earth,
so great is his kindness to those who fear him.
As far as east is from west,
so far he has put our wrongdoing from us.
As a father cares for his children,
so the Lord cares for those who fear him.
For he knows how we are made,
he remembers we are nothing but dust.
Man – his life is like grass,
he blossoms and withers like flowers of the field.
The wind blows and carries him away:
no trace of him remains.

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.


As a father cares for his children, so the Lord cares for those who fear him.
Psalm 102 (103)

Bless the Lord, all he has created.
The Lord has been kind from the beginning;
to those who fear him his kindness lasts for ever.
His justice is for their children’s children,
for those who keep his covenant,
for those who remember his commandments
and try to perform them.
The Lord’s throne is high in the heavens
and his rule shall extend over all.
Bless the Lord, all his angels,
strong in your strength, doers of his command,
bless him as you hear his words.
Bless the Lord, all his powers,
his servants who do his will.
Bless the Lord, all he has created,
in every place that he rules.
My soul, bless the Lord!

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.


Bless the Lord, all he has created.
Teach me the way of your precepts, O Lord,
– and I will reflect on the wonders you have wrought.

Reading Zechariah 3:1-4:14

He showed me Joshua the high priest, standing before the angel of the Lord, with Satan standing on his right to accuse him. The angel of the Lord said to Satan, ‘May the Lord rebuke you, Satan, may the Lord rebuke you, he who has made Jerusalem his very own. Is not this man a brand snatched from the fire?’ Now Joshua was dressed in dirty clothes as he stood before the angel of the Lord. The angel said these words to those who stood before him, Take off his dirty clothes and clothe him in splendid robes of state, and put a clean turban on his head.’ They clothed him in splendid robes of state and put a clean turban on his head. The angel of the Lord was standing there and said to him, ‘Look, I have taken away your iniquity from you.’ The angel of the Lord then proclaimed to Joshua: ‘The Lord of Hosts says this, “If you walk in my ways and keep my ordinances, you shall govern my house, you shall watch over my courts, and I will give you free access among those who stand here. For this is the stone which I am placing before Joshua; on this single stone there are seven eyes; and I myself intend to cut the inscription on it – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks.

“Now listen, High Priest Joshua, you and the friends who sit before you – for you are men of good omen. I now mean to raise my servant Branch, and I intend to put aside the iniquity of this land in a single day. On that day – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks – you will entertain each other under your vine and fig tree.”’

The angel who was talking to me came back and roused me as a man is roused from his sleep. And he asked me, ‘What can you see?’ I answered, ‘As I look, this is what I see: there is a lamp-stand entirely of gold with a bowl at the top of it; seven lamps are on the lamp-stand, and seven lips for the lamps on it. By it are two olive trees, one to the right of it and one to the left.’ Speaking again, I said to the angel who was talking to me, ‘What do those things mean, my lord?’ The angel who was talking to me replied, ‘Do you not know what these things mean?’ I said, ‘No, my lord.’ He then gave me this answer, ‘These seven are the eyes of the Lord; they cover the whole world.’ In reply to this I asked him, ‘What is the meaning of these two olive trees, to the right and to the left of the lamp-stand?’ (Speaking again, I asked him, ‘What is the meaning of the two olive branches pouring the oil through the two golden pipes?’) He replied, ‘Do you not know what these things mean?’ I said, ‘No, my lord.’ He said, ‘These are the two anointed ones who stand before the Lord of the whole world.

‘This is the word of the Lord with regard to Zerubbabel, “Not by might and not by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.

“What are you, you great mountain? Before Zerubbabel, be a plain! He will pull out the keystone to shouts of: Blessings on it, blessings on it!”’

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this Temple; his hands will finish it. (And you will learn that the Lord of Hosts has sent me to you.) A day for little things, no doubt, but who would dare despise it? People will rejoice when they see the chosen stone in the hands of Zerubbabel.’

Reading A treatise by St Cyprian
In times of peace the testimony of a good conscience wins the crown

The sufferings of this present time are not to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us. Who would not strive wholeheartedly to attain to such glory, to become a friend of God and straightway rejoice with Christ, receiving heavenly rewards after earth’s torment and suffering? Soldiers of this world take pride in returning to their home country in triumph after they have defeated the enemy. How much greater is the glory in returning triumphantly to heaven after conquering the devil. The bold deceiver is laid low, the trophies of victory are restored to the place from which Adam was cast out for his sin. We offer to the Lord a most acceptable gift, our incorrupt faith, the unshaken courage of our spirit and the glorious pride of our dedication. We accompany him when he comes to take vengeance on his enemies; sitting at his side at the judgement seat, sharing in Christ’s inheritance, we are on an equal footing with the angels and enjoy the possession of a heavenly kingdom together with the patriarchs, apostles and prophets. What persecution can defeat such thoughts, what torture overwhelm them?

The spirit of a strong and stable character strengthened by meditation endures; this unshaken spirit, which is strengthened by a certain and solid faith in the future will be enlivened against all the terrors of the devil and threats of this world. During persecution the earth is closed off from us, but heaven lies open; the Antichrist threatens, but Christ protects us; death is brought on, but eternal life follows. What an honour, what happiness to depart joyfully from this world, to go forth in glory from the anguish and pain, in one moment to close the eyes that looked on the world of men and in the next to open them at once to look on God and Christ! The speed of this joyous departure! You are suddenly withdrawn from earth to find yourself in the kingdom of heaven.

These are the thoughts you must grasp with your heart and mind and reflect on day and night. If persecution should overtake such a soldier of God, it will not overcome one so virtuously prepared for battle. Even if our summons should come sooner, our faith which was prepared for the witness of martyrdom will not go unrewarded. For we would immediately receive our reward by God’s judgement. In time of persecution the battle wins the crown, but in peace it is the testimony of good conscience.

Concluding Prayer

Lord, may your grace go always before us and behind us:
may it make us constantly eager to do good works.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.