Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Novena to the Sacred Heart

O my Jesus, Thou has said: "Truly I say to you, ask and it will be given you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you." Behold I knock, I seek, and I ask for the grace of [state your request here].

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee.

O my Jesus, Thou hast said: "Truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in My name, He will give it to you." Behold, in Thy name, I ask the Father for the grace of [request].

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee.

O my Jesus, thou has said: "Truly I say to you, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Encouraged by Thy infallible words, I now ask for the grace of [request].

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee.

Let us pray.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for Whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have mercy on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of Thee, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, thy tender Mother and ours.

Hail, Holy Queen, etc.

St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.

Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
1 Kgs 2:1, 6-14

When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind,
he and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.
Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here;
the LORD has sent me on to the Jordan.”
“As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live,
I will not leave you,” Elisha replied.
And so the two went on together.
Fifty of the guild prophets followed and
when the two stopped at the Jordan,
they stood facing them at a distance.
Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up
and struck the water, which divided,
and both crossed over on dry ground.

When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha,
“Ask for whatever I may do for you, before I am taken from you.”
Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.”
“You have asked something that is not easy,” Elijah replied.
“Still, if you see me taken up from you,
your wish will be granted; otherwise not.”
As they walked on conversing,
a flaming chariot and flaming horses came between them,
and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
When Elisha saw it happen he cried out,
“My father! my father! Israel’s chariots and drivers!”
But when he could no longer see him,
Elisha gripped his own garment and tore it in two.

Then he picked up Elijah’s mantle that had fallen from him,
and went back and stood at the bank of the Jordan.
Wielding the mantle that had fallen from Elijah,
Elisha struck the water in his turn and said,
“Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?”
When Elisha struck the water it divided and he crossed over.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 31:20, 21, 24

R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.

How great is the goodness, O LORD,
which you have in store for those who fear you,
And which, toward those who take refuge in you,
you show in the sight of the children of men.

R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.

You hide them in the shelter of your presence
from the plottings of men;
You screen them within your abode
from the strife of tongues.

R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.

Love the LORD, all you his faithful ones!
The LORD keeps those who are constant,
but more than requites those who act proudly.

R. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.

Mt 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door,
and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to others to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”


December 31

St. John Francis Regis (1597-1640)

Born into a family of some wealth, John Francis was so impressed by his Jesuit educators that he himself wished to enter the Society of Jesus. He did so at age 18. Despite his rigorous academic schedule he spent many hours in chapel, often to the dismay of fellow seminarians who were concerned about his health. Following his ordination to the priesthood, he undertook missionary work in various French towns. While the formal sermons of the day tended toward the poetic, his discourses were plain. But they revealed the fervor within him and attracted people of all classes. Father Regis especially made himself available to the poor. Many mornings were spent in the confessional or at the altar celebrating Mass; afternoons were reserved for visits to prisons and hospitals.

The Bishop of Viviers, observing the success of Father Regis in communicating with people, sought to draw on his many gifts, especially needed during the prolonged civil and religious strife then rampant throughout France. With many prelates absent and priests negligent, the people had been deprived of the sacraments for 20 years or more. Various forms of Protestantism were thriving in some cases while a general indifference toward religion was evident in other instances. For three years Father Regis traveled throughout the diocese, conducting missions in advance of a visit by the bishop. He succeeded in converting many people and in bringing many others back to religious observances.

Though Father Regis longed to work as a missionary among the North American Indians in Canada, he was to live out his days working for the Lord in the wildest and most desolate part of his native France. There he encountered rigorous winters, snowdrifts and other deprivations. Meanwhile, he continued preaching missions and earned a reputation as a saint. One man, entering the town of Saint-Andé, came upon a large crowd in front of a church and was told that people were waiting for "the saint" who was coming to preach a mission.

The last four years of his life were spent preaching and in organizing social services, especially for prisoners, the sick and the poor. In the autumn of 1640, Father Regis sensed that his days were coming to a conclusion. He settled some of his affairs and prepared for the end by continuing to do what he did so well: speaking to the people about the God who loved them. On December 31, he spent most of the day with his eyes on the crucifix. That evening, he died. His final words were: "Into thy hands I commend my spirit."

He was canonized in 1737.


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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

– Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

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

– Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

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

– Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

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 worship the Lord, for he made 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.

– Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.


Thou madest all and dost control,
Lord, with thy touch divine.
Cast out the slumbers of the soul,
The rest that is not thine.
Look down, Eternal Holiness,
And wash the sins away,
Of those, who, rising to confess,
Outstrip the lingering day.
Our hearts and hands by night, O Lord,
We lift them in our need;
As holy Psalmist gives the word,
And holy Paul the deed.
Each sin to thee of years gone by,
Each hidden stain lies bare;
We shrink not from thine awful eye,
But pray that thou wouldst spare.
Grant this, O Father, Only Son
And Spirit, God of grace,
To whom all worship shall be done
In every time and place.

The Lord's kindness to the house of David
Psalm 88 (89)

Kindness and faithfulness are your attendants, O Lord.

I will sing for ever of the kindnesses of the Lord:
to generation upon generation
my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said
“My kindness shall be established for ever”;
your faithfulness will be established in the heavens.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one.
I have sworn to David my servant:
To all eternity I will set your descendants firm;
I shall build your house to last for all generations.”
The heavens will proclaim your wonders, O Lord,
the assembly of your holy ones will proclaim your faithfulness.
For who in the sky can be compared to the Lord?
Who could resemble the Lord among all the sons of God?
God is to be feared in the council of his holy ones,
great and terrible above all who surround him.
Lord God of hosts, who is like you?
Yours is the power, and faithfulness surrounds you.
You subdue the pride of the sea:
when its waves rise high, you calm them.
You have trampled Rahab underfoot, like a wounded man;
through the strength of your arm you have scattered your enemies.
Yours are the heavens and yours is the earth,
you set firm the globe and all it contains.
You made the north and the south,
Tabor and Hermon will rejoice in your name.
Your arm it is that has the power,
your hand is strong, your right hand held high.
Your throne is founded on justice and right,
kindness and faithfulness are your attendants.
Happy the nation that knows the cry of praise!
They will walk in the light of your presence, Lord,
and rejoice in your name all the day –
for you are the splendour of their strength,
and by your good will our standard is held high.
For our shields belong to the Lord,
and our king to the Holy One of Israel.

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.

Kindness and faithfulness are your attendants, O Lord.
Psalm 88 (89)

When he took on human form, the Son of God was born into the line of David.

In a vision you spoke to your holy ones.
You said, “I have given strength to a warrior,
I have raised a chosen one from the people.
I have found David my servant,
I have anointed him with my holy oil.
For my hand will always give him support,
my right arm will give him strength.
The enemy shall make no headway against him,
the son of iniquity shall have no power over him.
I will crush his foes in his sight
and strike down those who hate him.
My faithfulness and kindness shall be with him
and his strength will be triumphant through my name.
I shall extend his power over the sea,
and his right hand over the rivers.
He will call upon me: ‘you are my father,
my God and my safe refuge.’
And I shall make him my first-born,
supreme over all the kings of the earth.
My kindness to him will continue for ever,
my covenant with him will remain firm.
For all ages I shall establish his descendants,
and for all the days of heaven his throne will stand.”

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.

When he took on human form, the Son of God was born into the line of David.
Psalm 88 (89)

I have sworn once and for all to my servant David: his seed shall remain for ever.

“But if his children abandon my law
and walk no more in the paths of my decrees;
if they profane my judgements
and do not keep to my commandments,
I will punish their transgressions with a rod,
I will punish their wickedness with a beating.
Even so, I will not turn my kindness away from him,
nor will I be untrue to my word.
I will not profane my covenant,
I will not go against the word I have spoken.
I have sworn in my sanctuary, once and for all:
I will not lie to David.
His seed shall remain for ever,
his throne firm as the sun in my sight,
just as the moon stays firm for ever,
a faithful witness in the sky.”

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.

I have sworn once and for all to my servant David: his seed shall remain for ever.
The words that you utter give light
– and understanding to the simple.

Judges 6:33-7:8,16-22

Then all Midian and Amalek and the sons of the East joined forces, crossed the Jordan and encamped in the plain of Jezreel. And the spirit of the Lord came on Gideon; he sounded the horn and Abiezer rallied behind him. He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, and Manasseh too rallied behind him; he sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, and they too marched out to meet him.

Gideon said to God, ‘If you really mean to deliver Israel by my hand, as you have declared, see now, I spread out a fleece on the threshing-floor; if there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is left dry, then I shall know that you will deliver Israel by my hand, as you have declared.’ And so it happened. Gideon rose the next morning, squeezed the fleece and wrung enough dew out of the fleece to fill a drinking cup. Then Gideon spoke to God again, ‘Do not be angry with me if I speak once again. Let me make trial with the fleece just once more. Let the fleece alone be dry, and let there be dew on the ground all round it.’ And God did so that night. The fleece alone stayed dry, and there was dew on the ground all round it.

Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) got up very early, as did all the people with him; he pitched camp at En-harod; the camp of Midian was north of his, under the Hill of Moreh in the valley. Then the Lord said to Gideon, ‘There are too many people with you for me to put Midian into their power; Israel might claim the credit for themselves at my expense: they might say, “My own hand has rescued me.” Therefore, make this proclamation now to the people: “Let anyone who is frightened or fearful go home!”’ Gideon put them to the test. Twenty-two thousand men went home, and ten thousand were left.

The Lord said to Gideon, ‘There are still too many people. Take them down to the waterside and I will sift them there. If I say of a man: He is to go with you, that man is to go with you. And if I say of a man: He is not to go with you, that man is not to go.’ So Gideon took the people down to the waterside, and the Lord said to him, ‘All those who lap the water with their tongues, as a dog laps, place these on one side. And all those who kneel down to drink, place these on the other side.’ The number of those who lapped with their tongues was three hundred; all the rest of the people had knelt to drink. Then the Lord said to Gideon, ‘With the three hundred who lapped the water I will rescue you and put Midian into your power. Let all the others go back, every man to his own home.’ Gideon made the people give him what pitchers and horns they had, then sent away all the Israelites, each to his own tent, keeping only the three hundred with him. The camp of Midian was below his own in the valley.

Gideon then divided his three hundred men into three companies. To each man he gave a horn and an empty pitcher, with a torch inside each pitcher. He said to them, ‘Watch me, and do as I do. When I reach the edge of the camp, whatever I do, you do too. When I sound the horn, I and those with me, then you too must sound your horns all round the camp and shout, “For the Lord and for Gideon!”’

Gideon and his hundred companions reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when the new sentries had just been posted; they sounded their horns and smashed the pitchers in their hands. The three companies sounded their horns and smashed their pitchers; with their left hands they grasped the torches, with their right hands the horns ready to blow; and they shouted, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon!’ And they stood still, spaced out all round the camp. Then the whole camp woke and the Midianites fled, shouting. While the three hundred kept sounding their horns, the Lord made every man in the camp turn his sword against his comrade. They all fled as far as Beth-shittah towards Zarethan, as far as the bank of Abel-meholah opposite Tabbath.


God chose what the world considers weak in order to bring down powerful men. He chose what the world looks down on, despises and counts as nothing; he uses it to overthrow the existing order. This means that pride has no place in God’s presence.

The Lord has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. This means that pride has no place in God’s presence.

St Cyprian's treatise on the Lord's Prayer

Thy kingdom come

The prayer continues: Thy kingdom come. We ask that the kingdom of God may appear to us, just as we ask that his name may be sanctified in us. For when does God not reign, or when does his kingdom begin, for it always has been and never ceases to be? We are praying that our kingdom, which has been promised to us by God, may come, the kingdom that was acquired by the blood and passion of Christ; and that we who started off as his subjects in this world may hereafter reign with Christ when he reigns, as he himself promised when he said: Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take up the kingdom which has been prepared for you from the beginning of the world.

But it may be, dearest brethren, that Christ himself is the kingdom of God, for whose coming we daily ask. For since he himself is our resurrection, since in him we rise again, so also the kingdom of God may be understood to be himself, since it is in him that we shall reign. We do well to ask for the coming of the kingdom of God – that is, the heavenly kingdom – for there is also an earthly kingdom, and he who has already renounced this world is greater than any of its honours or powers.

We add: Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. This is not that God should do what he wills, but so that we may be able to do what God wills. For who could resist God in such a way as to prevent him doing what he wills? But since the devil hinders us from obeying, by thought and by deed, God’s will in all things, we pray and ask that God’s will may be done in us. For this to happen, we need God’s good will – that is, his help and protection, since no-one is strong in and of himself but is kept safe by the grace and mercy of God. Moreover, the Lord, showing the weakness of the humanity which he bore, said Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, and showing his disciples an example, that they should do not their own will but God’s, he went on to say nevertheless, let it not be my will, but yours.

But it is the will of God that Christ both did and taught. Humility in dealings with others; steadfastness in faith; modesty in words; justice in deeds; mercifulness in works; discipline in morals. To be unable to do a wrong, and to be able to bear a wrong when it is done; to keep peace with the brethren; to love God with all one’s heart; to love God because he is a Father but fear him because he is God; to prefer nothing whatever to Christ because he preferred nothing to us; to adhere inseparably to his love; to stand faithfully and bravely by his cross; when there is any conflict over his name and honour, to exhibit in discourse that steadfastness in which we proclaim him; in torture, to show that confidence in which we unite; in death, that patience in which we are crowned – this is what it means to want to be co-heirs with Christ, this is what it means to do what God commands, this is what it is to fulfil the will of the Father.


He who does the will of my Father in heaven, he shall enter the kingdom of heaven.
Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother: he shall enter the kingdom of heaven.

O God, you are the strength of those who hope in you: in your kindness, attend to our prayers.
Weak and mortal, we can achieve nothing without you: always give us your support,
so that we carry out your commandments, pleasing you in both intention and action.

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.