Friday, November 13, 2009

Prayer of the Day

Eternal Memory

Eternal memory.
Eternal memory.
Grant to your servant(s), O Lord, blessed repose and eternal memory.

Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin

Reading 1
Wis 13:1-9

All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God,
and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is,
and from studying the works did not discern the artisan;
But either fire, or wind, or the swift air,
or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water,
or the luminaries of heaven, the governors of the world, they considered gods.
Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods,
let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these;
for the original source of beauty fashioned them.
Or if they were struck by their might and energy,
let them from these things realize how much more powerful is he who made them.
For from the greatness and the beauty of created things
their original author, by analogy, is seen.
But yet, for these the blame is less;
For they indeed have gone astray perhaps,
though they seek God and wish to find him.
For they search busily among his works,
but are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair.
But again, not even these are pardonable.
For if they so far succeeded in knowledge
that they could speculate about the world,
how did they not more quickly find its Lord?

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 19:2-3, 4-5ab

R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.

R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.

R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

Lk 17:26-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage up to the day
that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:
they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom,
fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, someone who is on the housetop
and whose belongings are in the house
must not go down to get them,
and likewise one in the field
must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together;
one will be taken, the other left.”
They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?”
He said to them, “Where the body is,
there also the vultures will gather.”

Saint of the Day

November 13

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917)

Frances Xavier Cabrini was the first United States citizen to be canonized. Her deep trust in the loving care of her God gave her the strength to be a valiant woman doing the work of Christ.

Refused admission to the religious order which had educated her to be a teacher, she began charitable work at the House of Providence Orphanage in Cadogno, Italy. In September 1877, she made her vows there and took the religious habit.

When the bishop closed the orphanage in 1880, he named Frances prioress of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Seven young women from the orphanage joined with her.

Since her early childhood in Italy, Frances had wanted to be a missionary in China but, at the urging of Pope Leo XIII, Frances went west instead of east. She traveled with six sisters to New York City to work with the thousands of Italian immigrants living there.

She found disappointment and difficulties with every step. When she arrived in New York City, the house intended to be her first orphanage in the United States was not available. The archbishop advised her to return to Italy. But Frances, truly a valiant woman, departed from the archbishop’s residence all the more determined to establish that orphanage. And she did.

In 35 years Frances Xavier Cabrini founded 67 institutions dedicated to caring for the poor, the abandoned, the uneducated and the sick. Seeing great need among Italian immigrants who were losing their faith, she organized schools and adult education classes.

As a child, she was always frightened of water, unable to overcome her fear of drowning. Yet, despite this fear, she traveled across the Atlantic Ocean more than 30 times. She died of malaria in her own Columbus Hospital in Chicago.

Office of Readings

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

Antiphon: The Lord is our delight: come, bless his name.

(repeat antiphon*)

O God, take pity on us and bless us,
and let your face shine upon us,
so that your ways may be known across the world,
and all nations learn of your salvation.

(repeat antiphon*)

Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and rejoice,
for you judge the peoples with fairness
and you guide the nations of the earth.

(repeat antiphon*)

Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has produced its harvest:
may God, our God, bless us.
May God bless us,
may the whole world revere him.

(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*)

Against a faithless friend
Psalm 54 (55)

My God, do not despise my prayer against the oppression of the wicked.
Open your ears, O God, to my prayer,
and do not hide when I call on you:
turn to me and answer me.
My thoughts are distracted and I am disturbed
by the voice of my enemy and the oppression of the wicked.
They let loose their wickedness on me,
they persecute me in their anger.
My heart is tied in a knot
and the terrors of death lie upon me;
fear and trembling cover me;
terror holds me tight.
I said, “Will no-one give me wings like a dove?
I shall fly away and rest.
I shall flee far away
and remain all alone.
I shall wait for him who will save me
from the stormy wind and the tempest.”

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 God, do not despise my prayer against the oppression of the wicked.
Psalm 54 (55)

The Lord will free us from the power of the enemies who lie in wait for us.
Scatter them, Lord, and separate their tongues,
for I see violence and conflict in the city.
By day and by night they circle it
high on its battlements.
Within it are oppression and trouble;
scheming and fraud fill its squares.
For if my enemy had slandered me,
I think I could have borne it.
And if the one who hated me had trampled me,
perhaps I could have hidden.
But you – a man just like me,
my companion and my friend!
We had happy times together,
we walked together in the house of God.

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.


The Lord will free us from the power of the enemies who lie in wait for us.
Psalm 54 (55)

Throw all your cares on the Lord and he will give you sustenance.
Let death break in upon them!
Let them go down alive to the underworld,
for wickedness shares their home.
As for me, I will call upon God,
and the Lord will rescue me.
Evening, morning, noon – I shall watch and groan,
and he will hear my voice.
He will redeem my soul
and give it peace from those who attack me –
for very many are my enemies.
God will hear and will bring them low,
God, the eternal.
They will never reform:
they do not fear God.
That man – he stretched out his hand against his allies:
he corrupted his own covenant.
His face was smoother than butter,
but his heart was at war;
his words were softer than oil,
but they were sharp as drawn swords.
Throw all your cares on the Lord
and he will give you sustenance.
He will not let the just be buffeted for ever.
No – but you, Lord, will lead the wicked
to the gaping mouth of destruction.
The men of blood and guile
will not live half their days.
But I, Lord, will put my trust in you.

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.


Throw all your cares on the Lord and he will give you sustenance.
My son, attend to my wisdom,
– and turn your ears to my words of prudence.

Reading Daniel 10:1-21

In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a revelation was made to Daniel known as Belteshazzar, a true revelation of a great conflict. He grasped the meaning of the revelation; what it meant was disclosed to him in a vision.

At that time, I, Daniel, was doing a three-week penance; I ate no rich food, touched no meat or wine, and did not anoint myself, until these three weeks were over. On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I stood on the bank of that great river, the Tigris, I raised my eyes to look about me, and this is what I saw:

A man dressed in linen, with a girdle of pure gold round his waist;
his body was like beryl,
his face shone like lightning,
his eyes were like fiery torches,
his arms and his legs had the gleam of burnished bronze,
the sound of his voice was like the noise of a crowd.

I, Daniel, alone saw the apparition; the men who were with me did not see the apparition, but so great a trembling overtook them that they fled to hide. I was left alone, gazing on this great apparition; I was powerless, my appearance altered out of all recognition, what strength I had deserted me.

I heard him speak, and at the sound of his voice I fell unconscious to the ground. I felt a hand touching me, setting my knees and my hands trembling. He said, ‘Daniel, you are a man specially chosen; listen carefully to the words that I am going to say; stand up; I have been sent to you and here I am.’ He said this, and I stood up trembling. He said then, ‘Daniel, do not be afraid: from that first day when you resolved to humble yourself before God, the better to understand, your words have been heard; and your words are the reason why I have come. The prince of the kingdom of Persia has been resisting me for twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the leading princes, came to my assistance. I have left him confronting the kings of Persia and have come to tell you what will happen to your people in the days to come. For here is a new vision about those days.’
When he had said these things to me I prostrated myself on the ground, without saying a word; then someone looking like a son of man came and touched my lips. I opened my mouth to speak, and I said to the person standing in front of me, ‘My lord, anguish overcomes me at this vision, and what strength I had deserts me. How can my lord’s servant speak to my lord now that I have no strength left and my breath fails me?’ Once again the person like a man touched me; he gave me strength. ‘Do not be afraid,’ he said ‘you are a man specially chosen; peace be with you; play the man, be strong!’ And as he spoke to me I felt strong again and said, ‘Let my lord speak, you have given me strength.’

He said then, ‘Do you know why I have come to you? It is to tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. I must go back to fight against the prince of Persia: when I have done with him, the prince of Javan will come next. And now I will tell you the truth about these things. In all this there is no one to lend me support except Michael your prince, on whom I rely to give me support and reinforce me.’

Reading A sermon of the second century
Let us turn to God, who has called us

The advice I have given about continence is by no means unimportant. If someone follow it he will not be sorry: he will save himself and me too, as the giver of this advice. It is no small reward, to take a lost and wandering soul and bring it to safety. For this is how we can pay God back for creating us, by making sure that whoever speaks or listens, speaks or listens in faith and love.

Let us keep firm in what we believe, in righteousness and holiness, so that we can trustingly pray to the God who told us Even while you are still speaking I will answer, Behold, I am here. This saying is a sign of a great promise, because it says that God is quicker to give than we are to ask. Since we all have a share in his generosity, let us not be envious of one another for receiving such great blessings. For just as these words bring happiness to those who follow them, so do they bring condemnation to those who do not.

So, brethren, this is no small opportunity for penitence that we have been given. Let us take advantage of it, let us turn to God who has called us, while we still have time, while we have someone who will receive us. If we renounce these desires and we conquer our souls and do not follow their evil impulses, we shall share in Jesus’s mercy. But be aware that the day of judgement is coming, a day like a blazing furnace, that a part of the heavens and the entire earth like lead melting in a fire, and all the deeds of men will be revealed, whether they were hidden or open. Therefore almsgiving is good, as penance for sin: fasting is better than prayer but almsgiving is better than both. Charity covers a multitude of sins, but prayer done with a good conscience liberates us from death. Blessed is anyone who is perfect in these ways: for almsgiving lifts the weight of sin.
So let us do penance wholeheartedly, lest any one of us perish. For if we have been commanded to draw people away from the worship of idols, and to teach them, how much more important it must be that a soul that already knows God should not perish. Let us help one another so that we lead even the weak to goodness, so that we may all be saved, may be converted together and guide each other.

Concluding Prayer

Almighty and ever-living God, remove the obstacles that stand in our way,
so that unimpeded in body and soul
we may freely devote ourselves to your service.
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.