Saturday, January 2, 2010

Prayer of the Day

Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, hear us. Jesus, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, redeemer of the world,
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God,
Jesus, Son of the living God,
Jesus, brightness of eternal light,
Jesus, king of glory,
Jesus, son of justice,
Jesus, Son of the virgin Mary,
Jesus, most amiable,
Jesus, most admirable,
Jesus, the mighty God,
Jesus, father of the world to come,
Jesus, angel of great counsel,
Jesus, most powerful,
Jesus, most patient,
Jesus, most obedient,
Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Jesus, lover of chastity,
Jesus, lover of us,
Jesus, God of peace,
Jesus, author of life,
Jesus, example of virtues,
Jesus, zealous lover of souls,
Jesus, our God,
Jesus, our refuge,
Jesus, father of the poor,
Jesus, treasure of the faithful,
Jesus, good Shepherd,
Jesus, true light,
Jesus, eternal wisdom,
Jesus, infinite goodness,
Jesus, our way and our life,
Jesus, joy of angels,
Jesus, king of Patriarchs,
Jesus, master of the Apostles,
Jesus, teacher of the Evangelists,
Jesus, strength of martyrs,
Jesus, light of Confessors,
Jesus, purity of virgins,
Jesus, crown of all saints, have mercy on us.

Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus.
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus.
From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin,
From Thy wrath,
From the snares of the devil,
From the spirit of fornication,
From everlasting death,
From the neglect of Thine inspirations,
By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation,
By Thy nativity,
By Thine infancy,
By Thy most divine life,
By Thy labors,
By Thine agony and passion,
By Thy cross and dereliction,
By Thy sufferings,
By Thy death and burial,
By Thy resurrection,
By Thine ascension,
By Thine institution of the most Holy Eucharist,
By Thy joys,
By Thy glory, deliver us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, hear us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus.
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast said: ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you; mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the gift of Thy divine charity, that we may ever love Thee with our whole heart and with all our words and deeds, and may never cease from praising Thee.

Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy name, for Thou never failest to help and govern those whom Thou dost bring up in Thy steadfast fear and love; who livest and reignest for ever and ever.


Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory Nazianzen, bishops and doctors of the Church

Reading I
1 Jn 2:22-28
Who is the liar?
Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ.
Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist.
Anyone who denies the Son does not have the Father,
but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well.

Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you.
If what you heard from the beginning remains in you,
then you will remain in the Son and in the Father.
And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life.
I write you these things about those who would deceive you.
As for you,
the anointing that you received from him remains in you,
so that you do not need anyone to teach you.
But his anointing teaches you about everything and is true and not false;
just as it taught you, remain in him.

And now, children, remain in him,
so that when he appears we may have confidence
and not be put to shame by him at his coming.

Responsorial Psalm
98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4

R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.

R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.

R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.

R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

Jn 1:19-28

This is the testimony of John.
When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him
to ask him, “Who are you?”
He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted,
“I am not the Christ.”
So they asked him,
“What are you then? Are you Elijah?”
And he said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
So they said to him,
“Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?
What do you have to say for yourself?”
He said:
“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’
as Isaiah the prophet said.”
Some Pharisees were also sent.
They asked him,
“Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John answered them,
“I baptize with water;
but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,
where John was baptizing.

Saint of the Day

January 2

St. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen (329-379)

Basil was on his way to becoming a famous teacher when he decided to begin a religious life of gospel poverty. After studying various modes of religious life, he founded what was probably the first monastery in Asia Minor. He is to monks of the East what St. Benedict is to the West, and his principles influence Eastern monasticism today.

He was ordained a priest, assisted the archbishop of Caesarea (now southeastern Turkey), and ultimately became archbishop himself, in spite of opposition from some of his suffragan bishops, probably because they foresaw coming reforms.

One of the most damaging heresies in the history of the Church, Arianism, which denied the divinity of Christ, was at its height. Emperor Valens persecuted orthodox believers, and put great pressure on Basil to remain silent and admit the heretics to communion. Basil remained firm, and Valens backed down. But trouble remained. When the great St. Athanasius (May 2) died, the mantle of defender of the faith against Arianism fell upon Basil. He strove mightily to unite and rally his fellow Catholics who were crushed by tyranny and torn by internal dissension. He was misunderstood, misrepresented, accused of heresy and ambition. Even appeals to the pope brought no response. “For my sins I seem to be unsuccessful in everything.”

He was tireless in pastoral care. He preached twice a day to huge crowds, built a hospital that was called a wonder of the world (as a youth he had organized famine relief and worked in a soup kitchen himself) and fought the prostitution business.

Basil was best known as an orator. His writings, though not recognized greatly in his lifetime, rightly place him among the great teachers of the Church. Seventy-two years after his death, the Council of Chalcedon described him as “the great Basil, minister of grace who has expounded the truth to the whole earth.”

Office of Readings

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

Antiphon: Come, let us worship the Lord, the fountain of wisdom.

(repeat antiphon*)

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all who live in it.
He himself founded it upon the seas
and set it firm over the waters.

(repeat antiphon*)

Who will climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who will stand in his holy place?
The one who is innocent of wrongdoing and pure of heart,
who has not given himself to vanities or sworn falsely.
He will receive the blessing of the Lord
and be justified by God his saviour.
This is the way of those who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

(repeat antiphon*)

Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of might and power.
The Lord, strong in battle.

(repeat antiphon*)

Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of hosts
– he is the king of glory.

(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*)

The Lord is faithful to his promises
Psalm 104 (105)

Sing to the Lord and remember the wonders he has performed.
Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name;
proclaim his works among the peoples.
Sing and make music to him
and reflect on all the wonders he has performed.
Glory in his holy name,
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord in his power,
always seek his face.
Remember the wonders he performed,
his miracles and the judgements he has uttered.
Seed of Abraham, his servants,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
The Lord himself is our God,
his rule extends over the whole earth.
He has always remembered his covenant,
that he made to last a thousand generations,
the agreement he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.
He made it a decree for Jacob,
an eternal covenant for Israel, saying
“I will give you Canaan
and measure it out as your inheritance.”
Although they were few in number,
a handful of wanderers,
although they were travelling from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another,
he let no harm come to them,
he rebuked kings in their defence:
“do not touch my anointed ones,
do no harm to my prophets.”

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.


Sing to the Lord and remember the wonders he has performed.
Psalm 104 (105)

The Lord did not forget the just man who had been sold as a slave, but freed him from the power of sinners.
The Lord called down famine upon the land, he ground away every stick of bread.
He had sent a man to them, Joseph, and he was sold as a slave.
They confined his feet in fetters and put a ring around his neck –
until the Lord’s word came, the Lord spoke and justified him.
The king sent for him and released him – the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He set him to rule over his house, made him lord of all his possessions,
so that he could make the princes as wise as himself and teach wisdom to the elders.

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 did not forget the just man who had been sold as a slave, but freed him from the power of sinners.
Psalm 104 (105)

The Lord remembered his holy word and led out his people with joy.
And so Israel passed into Egypt
and Jacob lived in the country of Ham.
The Lord made his people grow enormously
and strengthened them against their enemies.
Then he turned the hearts of men against his chosen people,
so that they hated them and made plots against them.
He sent Moses, his servant,
and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
He made them prophesy
the signs and prodigies he would work in the land of Ham.
He sent shadows and darkness,
but they would not listen to his words.
He turned their rivers into blood,
killing all the fish.
Frogs ate up the earth,
even in the secret gardens of the palaces.
He summoned flies
and insects throughout the land.
He sent stones of hail and fire
to devastate their land.
He struck their vines and their fig-trees,
broke down the trees of their country.
He spoke, and locusts came,
and worms without number:
they ate all the grain of the land,
consumed all of the fruit.
He struck down the first-born of their land,
the flower of all their strength.
He led his people out with silver and gold;
not a single one of them stumbled.
Egypt rejoiced to see them go,
to see the last of the people they feared.
He sent a cloud to protect them,
and fire to light up their nights.
He led out his people in exultation,
his chosen ones in gladness.
He gave them the territory of the nations,
the fruits of the labours of the peoples.
All this he did
so that they would keep his decrees
and follow his laws.

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 remembered his holy word and led out his people with joy.
Sing to the Lord and bless his name:
– day by day, proclaim his saving work.

Reading Colossians 2:16-3:4

From now onwards, never let anyone else decide what you should eat or drink, or whether you are to observe annual festivals, New Moons or sabbaths. These were only pale reflections of what was coming: the reality is Christ. Do not be taken in by people who like grovelling to angels and worshipping them; people like that are always going on about some vision they have had, inflating themselves to a false importance with their worldly outlook. A man of this sort is not united to the head, and it is the head that adds strength and holds the whole body together, with all its joints and sinews – and this is the only way in which it can reach its full growth in God.

If you have really died with Christ to the principles of this world, why do you still let rules dictate to you, as though you were still living in the world? ‘It is forbidden to pick up this, it is forbidden to taste that, it is forbidden to touch something else’; all these prohibitions are only concerned with things that perish by their very use – an example of human doctrines and regulations! It may be argued that true wisdom is to be found in these, with their self-imposed devotions, their self-abasement, and their severe treatment of the body; but once the flesh starts to protest, they are no use at all.

Since you have been brought back to true life with Christ, you must look for the things that are in heaven, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. Let your thoughts be on heavenly things, not on the things that are on the earth, because you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God. But when Christ is revealed – and he is your life – you too will be revealed in all your glory with him.

Reading A sermon by St Gregory Nazianzen
Two bodies, but a single spirit

Basil and I were both in Athens. We had come, like streams of a river, from the same source in our native land, had separated from each other in pursuit of learning, and were now united again as if by plan, for God so arranged it.

I was not alone at that time in my regard for my friend, the great Basil. I knew his irreproachable conduct, and the maturity and wisdom of his conversation. I sought to persuade others, to whom he was less well known, to have the same regard for him. Many fell immediately under his spell, for they had already heard of him by reputation and hearsay.

What was the outcome? Almost alone of those who had come to Athens to study he was exempted from the customary ceremonies of initiation for he was held in higher honour than his status as a first-year student seemed to warrant.

Such was the prelude to our friendship, the kindling of that flame that was to bind us together. In this way we began to feel affection for each other. When, in the course of time, we acknowledged our friendship and recognised that our ambition was a life of true wisdom, we became everything to each other: we shared the same lodging, the same table, the same desires the same goal. Our love for each other grew daily warmer and deeper.

The same hope inspired us: the pursuit of learning. This is an ambition especially subject to envy. Yet between us there was no envy. On the contrary, we made capital out of our rivalry. Our rivalry consisted, not in seeking the first place for oneself but in yielding it to the other, for we each looked on the other’s success as his own.

We seemed to be two bodies with a single spirit. Though we cannot believe those who claim that everything is contained in everything, yet you must believe that in our case each of us was in the other and with the other.

Our single object and ambition was virtue, and a life of hope in the blessings that are to come; we wanted to withdraw from this world before we departed from it. With this end in view we ordered our lives and all our actions. We followed the guidance of God’s law and spurred each other on to virtue. If it is not too boastful to say, we found in each other a standard and rule for discerning right from wrong.

Different men have different names, which they owe to their parents or to themselves, that is, to their own pursuits and achievements. But our great pursuit, the great name we wanted, was to be Christians, to be called Christians.

Concluding Prayer

Lord, we ask you to give your people an unassailably firm faith.
They proclaim that your Son, who eternally shares your glory,
was born of the Virgin Mary in a truly human body.
Free them from the adversities of the present time
and grant them a share in your permanent joys.
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.