Monday, October 26, 2009

Prayer of the Day

Prayer of Saint Augustine to the Blessed Virgin

O blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay thee thy just dues of praise and thanksgiving, thou who by the wondrous assent of thy will didst rescue a fallen world? What songs of praise can our weak human nature recite in thy honor, since it is by thy intervention alone that it has found the way to restoration. Accept, then, such poor thanks as we have here to offer, though they be unequal to thy merits; and receiving our vows, obtain by thy prayers the remission of our offenses. Carry thou our prayers within the sanctuary of the heavenly audience, and bring forth from it the antidote of our reconciliation. May the sins we bring before Almighty God through thee, become pardonable through thee; may what we ask for with sure confidence, through thee be granted. Take our offering, grant us our requests, obtain pardon for what we fear, for thou art the sole hope of sinners. Through thee we hope for the remission of our sins, and in thee, O blessed Lady, is our hope of reward. Holy Mary, succour the miserable, help the fainthearted, comfort the sorrowful, pray for thy people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God; may all who keep thy holy commemoration feel now thy help and protection. Be thou ever ready to assist us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it thy continual care to pray for the people of God, thou who, blessed by God, didst merit to bear the Redeemer of the world, who liveth and reigneth, world without end.


Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
Rom 8:12-17

Brothers and sisters,
we are not debtors to the flesh,
to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die,
but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body,
you will live.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
but you received a spirit of adoption,
through which we cry, “Abba, Father!”
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit
that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs,
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
if only we suffer with him
so that we may also be glorified with him.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 68:2 and 4, 6-7ab, 20-21

R. Our God is the God of salvation.

God arises; his enemies are scattered,
and those who hate him flee before him.
But the just rejoice and exult before God;
they are glad and rejoice.

R. Our God is the God of salvation.

The father of orphans and the defender of widows
is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.

R. Our God is the God of salvation.

Blessed day by day be the Lord,
who bears our burdens; God, who is our salvation.
God is a saving God for us;
the LORD, my Lord, controls the passageways of death.

R. Our God is the God of salvation.

Lk 13:10-17

Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.
And a woman was there who for eighteen years
had been crippled by a spirit;
she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.
When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said,
“Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”
He laid his hands on her,
and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
But the leader of the synagogue,
indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath,
said to the crowd in reply,
“There are six days when work should be done.
Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.”
The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites!
Does not each one of you on the sabbath
untie his ox or his ass from the manger
and lead it out for watering?
This daughter of Abraham,
whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now,
ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day
from this bondage?”
When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated;
and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.

Saint of the Day

Blessed Contardo Ferrini (1859-1902)

Contardo Ferrini was the son of a teacher who went on to become a learned man himself, one acquainted with some dozen languages. Today he is known as the patron of universities.

Born in Milan, he received a doctorate in law in Italy and then earned a scholarship that enabled him to study Roman-Byzantine law in Berlin. As a renowned legal expert, he taught in various schools of higher education until he joined the faculty of the University of Pavia, where he was considered an outstanding authority on Roman law.

Contardo was learned about the faith he lived and loved. "Our life," he said, "must reach out toward the Infinite, and from that source we must draw whatever we can expect of merit and dignity." As a scholar he studied the ancient biblical languages and read the Scriptures in them. His speeches and papers show his understanding of the relationship of faith and science. He attended daily Mass and became a lay Franciscan, faithfully observing the Third Order rule of life. He also served through membership in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

His death in 1902 at the age of 43 occasioned letters from his fellow professors that praised him as a saint; the people of Suna where he lived insisted that he be declared a saint. Pope Pius XII beatified Contardo in 1947.

Office of Readings

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

Antiphon: Let us rejoice in the Lord and extol him with songs.

(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*)

Trustful prayer in time of adversity
Psalm 30 (31)

Turn your ear to me, Lord, and rescue me.
In you, Lord, I put my trust: may I never be put to shame.
In your justice, set me free,
Turn your ear to me,
make haste to rescue me.
Be my rampart, my fortification;
keep me safe.
For you are my strength and my refuge:
you will lead me out to the pastures,
for your own name’s sake.
You will lead me out of the trap that they laid for me –
for you are my strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit:
you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.
You hate those who run after vain nothings;
but I put my trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad in your kindness,
for you have looked on me, lowly as I am.
You saw when my soul was in need:
you did not leave me locked in the grip of the enemy,
but set my feet on free and open ground.

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.


Turn your ear to me, Lord, and rescue me.
Psalm 30 (31)

Let your face shine upon your servant, O Lord.
Take pity on me, Lord, for I am troubled:
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
the very centre of my being is disturbed.
For my life is worn out with distress,
my years with groaning;
my strength becomes weakness,
my bones melt away.
I am a scandal and a disgrace,
so many are my enemies;
to my friends and neighbours,
I am a thing to fear.
When they see me in the street,
they run from me.
I have vanished from their minds as though I were dead,
or like a pot that is broken.
I know this – for I have heard the scolding of the crowd.
There is terror all around,
for when they come together against me
it is my life they are resolved to take.
But I put my trust in you, Lord;
I say: “You are my God,
my fate is in your hands.”
Tear me from the grip of my enemies,
from those who hound me;
let your face shine upon your servant,
in your kindness, save me.

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.


Let your face shine upon your servant, O Lord.
Psalm 30 (31)

Blessed be the Lord, for he has shown me his wonderful kindness.
How very many are the pleasures, Lord,
that you have stored up for those who fear you.
You have made these things ready for those who trust in you,
to give them in the sight of all men.
Far away from the plottings of men
you hide them in your secret place.
You keep them safe in your dwelling-place
far from lying tongues.
Blessed be the Lord,
for he has shown me his wonderful kindness
within the fortified city.
In my terror, I said
“I am cut off from your sight”;
but you heard the voice of my prayer
when I called to you.
Love the Lord, all his chosen ones.
The Lord keeps his faithful ones safe,
heaps rich revenge on the arrogant.
Be brave, let your hearts be strong,
all who trust in 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.


Blessed be the Lord, for he has shown me his wonderful kindness.
Guide me in your truth, Lord, and teach me;
– for you are my God and my salvation.

Reading Wisdom 1:16,2:10-24

The godless call with deed and word for Death,
counting him friend, they wear themselves out for him,
with him they make a pact,
and are fit to be his partners.
‘As for the virtuous man who is poor, let us oppress him;
let us not spare the widow,
nor respect old age, white-haired with many years.
Let our strength be the yardstick of virtue,
since weakness argues its own futility.
Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man, since he annoys us
and opposes our way of life,
reproaches us for our breaches of the law
and accuses us of playing false to our upbringing.
He claims to have knowledge of God,
and calls himself a son of the Lord.
Before us he stands, a reproof to our way of thinking,
the very sight of him weighs our spirits down;
his way of life is not like other men’s,
the paths he treads are unfamiliar.
In his opinion we are counterfeit;
he holds aloof from our doings as though from filth;
he proclaims the final end of the virtuous as happy
and boasts of having God for his father.
Let us see if what he says is true,
let us observe what kind of end he himself will have.
If the virtuous man is God’s son, God will take his part
and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies.
Let us test him with cruelty and with torture,
and thus explore this gentleness of his
and put his endurance to the proof.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death
since he will be looked after – we have his word for it.’
This is the way they reason, but they are misled,
their malice makes them blind.
They do not know the hidden things of God,
they have no hope that holiness will be rewarded,
they can see no reward for blameless souls.
Yet God did make man imperishable,
he made him in the image of his own nature;
it was the devil’s envy that brought death into the world,
as those who are his partners will discover.

Reading St Clement's letter to the Corinthians
Let us not be fugitives from the will of God

My dear friends, take care to do good and virtuous deeds in unity before him, and be citizens worthy of him; or his many good works towards us may become a judgement on us all. For, as he says somewhere, The spirit of the Lord is a lamp searching the inward parts.

Let us observe how near he is, and that nothing escapes him: not the thoughts we think, not the arguments we construct. It is right, therefore, that we should not be deserters from his will. Let us offend foolish and thoughtless men, men who puff themselves up and boast in the pride of their words, rather than offending God.

Let us reverence the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was given for us. Let us respect those who rule us; let us honour the aged; let us instruct the young in the fear of God.

Let us lead our wives to what is good: let them exhibit the lovely habit of purity, let them show forth the innocent will of meekness, let them make the gentleness of their tongue manifest by their silence, let them give their affection without favouritism but in holiness equally to all who fear God.

Let our children share in the instruction which is in Christ, let them learn the strength of humility before God, the power of pure love before God, how beautiful and great is his fear and how it gives salvation to all who live holily in it with a pure mind. For he is a searcher of thoughts and desires; his breath is in us, and he chooses when to take it away from us.

Now the faith which is in Christ confirms all these things, for he himself through his Holy Spirit calls us: Come, Children, hearken to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man that desires life, that loves to see good days? Make your tongue cease from evil, make your lips speak no guile. Depart from evil, and do good. Seek peace, and pursue it.

The all-merciful and beneficent Father has compassion on those that fear him, and kindly and lovingly bestows his favours on those that draw near to him with a sincere intention. So let us not be in two minds, and let us have no doubts about his excellent and glorious gifts.

Concluding Prayer

Almighty and ever-living God, give us more faith, more hope, and more love.
Make us love what you have taught,
so that we are worthy to receive what you have promised.
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.