Thursday, May 27, 2010


Fifth Day of the Novena to the Holy Ghost

Verse for the Fifth Day:

Light immortal! Light Divine!
Visit Thou these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill!

Meditation for the Fifth Day—"The Gift of Knowledge":

The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth--in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. "Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it."

Prayers for the Fifth Day:

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for Thy glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to Thee, and Thy eternal rewards. Amen.

Our Father, etc.
Hail Mary, etc.
Glory be, etc. (seven times)
Act of Consecration to the Holy Ghost
Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost

Thursday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
1 Pt 2:2-5, 9-12

Like newborn infants, long for pure spiritual milk
so that through it you may grow into salvation,
for you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings
but chosen and precious in the sight of God,
and, like living stones,
let yourselves be built into a spiritual house
to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people of his own,
so that you may announce the praises of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Once you were no people
but now you are God’s people;
you had not received mercy
but now you have received mercy.

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and sojourners
to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against the soul.
Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles,
so that if they speak of you as evildoers,
they may observe your good works
and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 100: 2, 3, 4, 5

R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.

R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.

R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him;
bless his name.

R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

The LORD is good:
his kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.

R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Mk 10:46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said,

“Call him.”

So they called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Jesus said to him in reply,

“What do you want me to do for you?”

The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”
Jesus told him,

“Go your way; your faith has saved you.”

Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.


May 27

St. Augustine of Canterbury (d. 605?)

In the year 596, some 40 monks set out from Rome to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Leading the group was Augustine, the prior of their monastery in Rome. Hardly had he and his men reached Gaul (France) when they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons and of the treacherous waters of the English Channel. Augustine returned to Rome and to the pope who had sent them—St. Gregory the Great (September3 )— only to be assured by him that their fears were groundless.

Augustine again set out and this time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian. Ethelbert received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within the year, on Pentecost Sunday, 597, was himself baptized. After being consecrated a bishop in France, Augustine returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands. As the faith spread, additional sees were established at London and Rochester.

Work was sometimes slow and Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the original Briton Christians (who had been driven into western England by Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure. Augustine failed to convince the Britons to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness, helping him evangelize their Anglo-Saxon conquerors

Laboring patiently, Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles—quite enlightened for the times—suggested by Pope Gregory the Great: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Truly Augustine of Canterbury can be called the “Apostle of England.”


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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

Let us exult in the Lord’s presence.

– Let us exult in the Lord’s presence.

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

– Let us exult in the Lord’s presence.

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

– Let us exult in the Lord’s presence.

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.

– Let us exult in the Lord’s presence.

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 us exult in the Lord’s presence.


When God of old came down from heaven,
In power and wrath he came.
Before his feet the clouds were riven,
Half darkness and half flame;
But when he came the second time,
He came in power and love.
Softer than gale at morning prime
Hovered his holy Dove.
The fires that rushed on Sinai down
In sudden torrents dread,
Now gently light, a glorious crown,
On every sainted head.
And when the Spirit of our God
Came down his flock to find,
A voice from heaven was heard abroad,
A rushing, mighty wind.
It fills the Church of God, it fills
The sinful world around;
Only in stubborn hearts and wills
No place for it is found.
Come Lord, come Wisdom, Love and Power,
Open our ears to hear.
Let us not miss the accepted hour!
Save, Lord, by love or fear.

In time of defeat
Psalm 43 (44)

It is not their own strength that will give them victory, but your right hand and the light of your face.

Our own ears have heard, O God,
and our fathers have proclaimed it to us,
what you did in their days, the days of old:
how with your own hand you swept aside the nations
and put us in their place,
struck them down to make room for us.
It was not by their own swords that our fathers took over the land,
it was not their own strength that gave them victory;
but your hand and your strength,
the light of your face,
for you were pleased in them.
You are my God and my king,
who take care for the safety of Jacob.
Through you we cast down your enemies;
in your name we crushed those who rose against us.
I will not put my hopes in my bow,
my sword will not bring me to safety;
for it was you who saved us from our afflictions,
you who set confusion among those who hated us.
We will glory in the Lord all the day,
and proclaim your name for all ages.

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.

It is not their own strength that will give them victory, but your right hand and the light of your face.
Psalm 43 (44)

The Lord will not turn his face from you if you return to him.

But now, God, you have spurned us and confounded us,
so that we must go into battle without you.
You have put us to flight in the sight of our enemies,
and those who hate us plunder us at will.
You have handed us over like sheep sold for food,
you have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for no money,
not even profiting by the exchange.
You have made us the laughing-stock of our neighbours,
mocked and derided by those who surround us.
The nations have made us a by-word,
the peoples toss their heads in scorn.
All the day I am ashamed,
I blush with shame
as they reproach me and revile me,
my enemies and my persecutors.

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 not turn his face from you if you return to him.
Psalm 43 (44)

Rise up, Lord, do not reject us for ever.
All this happened to us,
but not because we had forgotten you.
We were not disloyal to your covenant;
our hearts did not turn away;
our steps did not wander from your path;
and yet you brought us low,
with horrors all about us:
you overwhelmed us in the shadows of death.
If we had forgotten the name of our God,
if we had spread out our hands before an alien god —
would God not have known?
He knows what is hidden in our hearts.
It is for your sake that we face death all the day,
that we are reckoned as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake, Lord, why do you sleep?
Rise up, do not always reject us.
Why do you turn away your face?
How can you forget our poverty and our tribulation?
Our souls are crushed into the dust,
our bodies dragged down to the earth.
Rise up, Lord, and help us.
In your mercy, redeem us.

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.

Rise up, Lord, do not reject us for ever.
Lord, let your face shine on your servant;
– teach me your decrees.

Job 11:1-20

Zophar of Naamath spoke next. He said:

Is babbling to go without an answer?
Is wordiness in man a proof of right?
Do you think your talking strikes men dumb,
will you jeer with no one to refute you?
These were your words, ‘My way of life is faultless,
and in your eyes I am free from blame.’
But if God had a mind to speak,
to open his lips and give you answer,
were he to show you the secrets of wisdom
which put all cleverness to shame –
you would know it is for sin he calls you to account.
Can you claim to grasp the mystery of God,
to understand the perfection of Shaddai?
It is higher than the heavens: what can you do?
It is deeper than Sheol: what can you know?
Its length is longer than the earth,
its breadth is broader than the sea.
If he passes, who can stop him,
or make him yield once he has seized?
For he detects the worthlessness in man,
he sees iniquity and marks it well.
And so the idiot grows wise,
thus a young wild donkey grows tame.
Come, you must set your heart right,
stretch out your hands to him.
Renounce the iniquity that stains your hands,
let no injustice live within your tents.
Then you may face the world in innocence,
unwavering and free from fear.
You will forget your sufferings,
remember them as waters that have passed away.
Your life, more radiant than the noonday,
will make a dawn of darkness.
Full of hope, you will live secure,
dwelling well and safely guarded.
No one will dare disturb you,
and many a man will seek your favour.
But the wicked will look round with weary eyes,
and finding no escape,
the only hope they have is life’s last breath.


We are in difficulties on all sides, but never cornered; we see no answer to our problems, but never despair; we have been persecuted, but never deserted.

Always we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may always be seen in our body. We have been persecuted, but never deserted.

Reading The Moral Reflections on Job by Pope St Gregory the Great
The law of the Lord is manifold

If only God would show you how manifold is his law. How must we interpret this law of God? How, if not by love? The love that stamps the precepts of right-living on the mind and bids us put them into practice. Listen to Truth speaking of this law: This is my commandment, that you love one another. Listen to Paul: The whole law, he declares, is summed up in love; and again: Help one another in your troubles, and you will fulfil the law of Christ. The law of Christ – does anything other than love more fittingly describe it? Truly we are keeping this law when, out of love, we go to the help of a brother in trouble.

But we are told that this law is manifold. Why? Because love’s lively concern for others is reflected in all the virtues. It begins with two commands, but it soon embraces many more. Paul gives a good summary of its various aspects. Love is patient, he says, and kind; it is never jealous or conceited; its conduct is blameless; it is not ambitious, not selfish, not quick to take offence; it harbours no evil thoughts, does not gloat over other people’s sins, but is gladdened by an upright life.

The man ruled by this love shows his patience by bearing wrongs with equanimity; his kindness by generously repaying good for evil. Jealousy is foreign to him. It is impossible to envy worldly success when he has no worldly desires. He is not conceited. The prizes he covets lie within; outward blessings do not elate him. His conduct is blameless, for he cannot do wrong in devoting himself entirely to love of God and his neighbour. He is not ambitious. The welfare of his own soul is what he cares about. Apart from that he seeks nothing. He is not selfish. Unable to keep anything he has in this world, he is as indifferent to it as if it were another’s. Indeed, in his eyes nothing is his own but what will be so always. He is not quick to take offence. Even under provocation, thought of revenge never crosses his mind. The reward he seeks hereafter will be greater in proportion to his endurance. He harbours no evil thoughts. Hatred is utterly rooted out of a heart whose only love is goodness. Thoughts that defile a man can find no entry. He does not gloat over other people’s sins. No; an enemy’s fall affords him no delight, for loving all men, he longs for their salvation.

On the other hand, he is gladdened by an upright life. Since he loves others as himself, he takes as much pleasure in whatever good he sees in them as if the progress were his own. That is why this law of God is manifold.


Leave no claim outstanding against you, except that of mutual love. He who loves his neighbour has satisfied every claim of the law. The whole law is summed up in love.
The whole law can be summed up in a single commandment, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ The whole law is summed up in love.
O Lord, guide the world in order and peace according to your plan:
may your Church rejoice
and worship you in tranquillity.
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.