Friday, July 16, 2010


Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

O most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein that you are my Mother.

O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart, to succor me in this my necessity. There are none that can withstand your power. O show me herein that you are my Mother.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us that have recourse to thee. (3 times)

Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands. (3 times)

Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
Is 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8

When Hezekiah was mortally ill,
the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came and said to him:
"Thus says the LORD: Put your house in order,
for you are about to die; you shall not recover."
Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord:

"O LORD, remember how faithfully and wholeheartedly
I conducted myself in your presence,
doing what was pleasing to you!"
And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: "Go, tell Hezekiah:
Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David:
I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.
I will heal you: in three days you shall go up to the Lord's temple;
I will add fifteen years to your life.
I will rescue you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria;
I will be a shield to this city."

Isaiah then ordered a poultice of figs to be taken
and applied to the boil, that he might recover.
Then Hezekiah asked,
"What is the sign that I shall go up to the temple of the LORD?"

Isaiah answered:
"This will be the sign for you from the LORD
that he will do what he has promised:
See, I will make the shadow cast by the sun
on the stairway to the terrace of Ahaz
go back the ten steps it has advanced."
So the sun came back the ten steps it had advanced.

Responsorial Psalm
Isaiah 38:10, 11, 12abcd, 16

R. You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.

Once I said,
"In the noontime of life I must depart!
To the gates of the nether world I shall be consigned
for the rest of my years."

R. You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.

I said, "I shall see the LORD no more
in the land of the living.
No longer shall I behold my fellow men
among those who dwell in the world."

R. You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.

My dwelling, like a shepherd's tent,
is struck down and borne away from me;
You have folded up my life, like a weaver
who severs the last thread.

R. You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.

Those live whom the LORD protects;
yours is the life of my spirit.
You have given me health and life.

R. You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die.

Mt 12:1-8

Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath.
His disciples were hungry
and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him,
"See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath."
He said to the them,

"Have you not read what David did
when he and his companions were hungry,
how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering,
which neither he nor his companions
but only the priests could lawfully eat?
Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath
the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath
and are innocent?
I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.
If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
you would not have condemned these innocent men.
For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath."


July 16

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Hermits lived on Mount Carmel near the Fountain of Elijah (northern Israel) in the 12th century. They had a chapel dedicated to Our Lady. By the 13th century they became known as “Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.” They soon celebrated a special Mass and Office in honor of Mary. In 1726 it became a celebration of the universal Church under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For centuries the Carmelites have seen themselves as specially related to Mary. Their great saints and theologians have promoted devotion to her and often championed the mystery of her Immaculate Conception.

St. Teresa of Avila (October 15) called Carmel “the Order of the Virgin.” St. John of the Cross (December 14) credited Mary with saving him from drowning as a child, leading him to Carmel and helping him escape from prison. St. Theresa of the Child Jesus believed that Mary cured her from illness. On her First Communion, she dedicated her life to Mary. During the last days of her life she frequently spoke of Mary.

There is a tradition (which may not be historical) that Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock, a leader of the Carmelites, and gave him a scapular, telling him to promote devotion to it. The scapular is a modified version of Mary’s own garment. It symbolizes her special protection and calls the wearers to consecrate themselves to her in a special way. The scapular reminds us of the gospel call to prayer and penance—a call that Mary models in a splendid way.


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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 66 (67)

Let us give thanks to the Lord, for his mercy lasts for ever.

– Let us give thanks to the Lord, for his mercy lasts for ever.

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.

– Let us give thanks to the Lord, for his mercy lasts for ever.

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.

– Let us give thanks to the Lord, for his mercy lasts for ever.

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.

– Let us give thanks to the Lord, for his mercy lasts for ever.

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 give thanks to the Lord, for his mercy lasts for ever.


O Three in One, and One in Three,
Who rulest all things mightily,
Bow down to hear the songs of praise
Which, freed from bonds of sleep, we raise.
While lingers yet the peace of night,
We rouse us from our slumbers light;
That might of instant prayer may win
The healing balm for wounds of sin.
If, by the wiles of Satan caught,
This night-time we have sinned in aught,
That sin thy glorious power today,
From heaven descending, cleanse away.
Let naught impure our bodies stain,
No laggard sloth our souls detain,
No taint of sin our spirits know,
To chill the fervour of their glow.
Wherefore, Redeemer, grant that we
Fulfilled with thine own light may be:
That, in our course, from day to day,
By no misdeed we fall away.
Grant this, O Father ever One
With Christ, thy sole-begotten Son,
And Holy Ghost, whom all adore,
Reigning and blest for evermore.

I am consumed with zeal for your house
Psalm 68 (69)

I am exhausted with crying, but still I put my hope in my God.

Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
I am stuck in bottomless mud;
I am adrift in deep waters
and the flood is sweeping me away.
I am exhausted with crying out, my throat is parched,
my eyes are failing as I look out for my God.
Those who hate me for no reason
are more than the hairs of my head.
They are strong, my persecutors, my lying enemies:
they make me give back things I never took.
God, you know my weakness:
my crimes are not hidden from you.
Let my fate not put to shame those who trust in you,
Lord, Lord of hosts.
Let them not be dismayed on my account,
those who seek you, God of Israel.
For it is for your sake that I am taunted
and covered in confusion:
I have become a stranger to my own brothers,
a wanderer in the eyes of my mother’s children –
because zeal for your house is consuming me,
and the taunts of those who hate you
fall upon my head.
I have humbled my soul with fasting
and they reproach me for it.
I have made sackcloth my clothing
and they make me a byword.
The idlers at the gates speak against me;
for drinkers of wine, I am the butt of their songs.

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 am exhausted with crying, but still I put my hope in my God.
Psalm 68 (69)

They gave me bitterness to eat; when I was thirsty they gave me vinegar to drink.

But I turn my prayer to you, Lord,
at the acceptable time, my God.
In your great kindness, hear me,
and rescue me with your faithful help.
Tear me from the mire, before I become stuck;
tear me from those who hate me;
tear me from the depths of the waters.
Do not let the waves overwhelm me;
do not let the deep waters swallow me;
do not let the well’s mouth engulf me.
Hear me, Lord, for you are kind and good.
In your abundant mercy, look upon me.
Do not turn your face from your servant:
I am suffering, so hurry to answer me.
Come to my soul and deliver it,
rescue me from my enemies’ attacks.
You know how I am taunted and ashamed;
how I am thrown into confusion.
You can see all those who are troubling me.
Reproach has shattered my heart – I am sick.
I looked for sympathy, but none came;
I looked for a consoler but did not find one.
They gave me bitterness to eat;
when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.

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.

They gave me bitterness to eat; when I was thirsty they gave me vinegar to drink.
Psalm 68 (69)

Seek the Lord, and your heart shall live.

I am weak and I suffer,
but your help, O God, will sustain me.
I will praise the name of God in song
and proclaim his greatness with praises.
This will please the Lord more than oxen,
than cattle with their horns and hooves.
Let the humble see and rejoice.
Seek the Lord, and your heart shall live,
for the Lord has heard the needy
and has not despised his captive people.
Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and all that swims in them.
For the Lord will make Zion safe
and build up the cities of Judah:
there they will live, the land will be theirs.
The seed of his servants will inherit the land,
and those who love his name will dwell there.

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.

Seek the Lord, and your heart shall live.
The Lord will teach us his ways
– and we shall walk in his paths.

2 Chronicles 20:1-9,13-24

After this the Moabites and Ammonites, with some of the Melinites started to make war on Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat received the following intelligence, ‘A vast horde is advancing against you from Edom, from the other side of the sea; they are already at Hazazon-tamar, that is, En-gedi.’

Jehoshaphat was alarmed and resolved to have recourse to the Lord; he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; they came seeking the Lord from every single town in Judah.

At this assembly of the people of Judah and Jerusalem in the Temple of the Lord, Jehoshaphat stood before the new court and said, ‘O Lord, God of our ancestors, are you not the God who dwells in the heavens? Do you not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? Such power and might are in your hands that no one can resist you. Are you not our God, you who have dispossessed the inhabitants of this land for Israel your people, and given it to the descendants of Abraham whom you will love for ever? They have settled in it and built a sanctuary there for your name, saying, “Should calamity befall us, or war, punishment, pestilence, or famine, then we shall stand before this Temple and before you, for your name is in this Temple. From the depths of our distress we shall cry to you, and you will hear and save us.”’

All the men of Judah, even down to their youngest children and their wives, stood in the presence of the Lord. In the middle of the assembly the spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah the Levite, one of the sons of Asaph. ‘Listen all you men of Judah,’ he cried ‘and you who live in Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! The Lord says this to you, “Do not be afraid, do not be daunted by this vast horde; this battle is not yours but God’s. March out against them tomorrow; they are coming up by the Slope of Ziz and you will come on them in the Valley of Soph, near the wilderness of Jeruel. You will not need to fight there. Take up your position, stand firm, and see what salvation the Lord has in store for you. Judah and Jerusalem, be fearless, be dauntless; march out against them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you.”’

Jehoshaphat bent his head, his face to the ground, and all Judah with those who lived in Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshipping him. Then the Levites – Kohathites and Korahites – began praising the Lord the God of Israel at the tops of their voices.

They rose early in the morning and left for the wilderness of Tekoa. As they were setting out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Listen to me Judah and all who live in Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be secure; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.’ Then, having held a conference with the people, he set the cantors of the Lord in sacred vestments at the head of the army, to sing praises to him. ‘Give praise to the Lord,’ they sang ‘for his love is everlasting.’ As they began to sing their joy and their praise, the Lord laid an ambush for the Ammonites and Moab and the mountain folk of Seir who had come to attack Judah, and routed them. The Ammonites and Moabites turned on the mountain folk of Seir to inflict the ban on them and destroy them altogether, but they only helped each other to their own undoing.

When the men of Judah reached the spot that looks out on the wilderness and turned to face the horde, they found only corpses lying on the ground; no one had escaped.


Our fight is not against human foes but against cosmic powers, against the authorities and potentates of this dark world, against the superhuman forces of evil in the heavens. Stand firm, I say, and fasten onto the belt of truth.

You have but to stand firm and watch the Lord coming to your aid. Stand firm, I say, and fasten onto the belt of truth.

From the treatise On the Mysteries by Saint Ambrose, bishop
To the newly baptised on the eucharist

Fresh from the waters and resplendent in these garments, God’s holy people hasten to the altar of Christ, saying: I will go in to the altar of God, to God who gives joy to my youth. They have sloughed off the old skin of error, their youth renewed like an eagle’s, and they make haste to approach that heavenly banquet. They come and, seeing the sacred altar prepared, cry out: You have prepared a table in my sight. David puts these words into their mouths: The Lord is my shepherd and nothing will be lacking to me. He has set me down there in a place of pasture. He has brought me beside refreshing water. Further on, we read: For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I shall not be afraid of evils, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff have given me comfort. You have prepared in my sight a table against those who afflict me. You have made my head rich in oil, and your cup, which exhilarates, how excellent it is.

It is wonderful that God rained manna on our fathers and they were fed with daily food from heaven. And so it is written: Man ate the bread of angels. Yet those who ate that bread all died in the desert. But the food that you receive, that living bread which came down from heaven, supplies the very substance of eternal life, and whoever will eat it will never die, for it is the body of Christ.

Consider now which is the more excellent: the bread of angels or the flesh of Christ, which is indeed the body that gives life. The first was manna from heaven, the second is above the heavens. One was of heaven, the other is of the Lord of the heavens; one subject to corruption if it was kept till the morrow, the other free from all corruption, for if anyone tastes of it with reverence he will be incapable of corruption. For our fathers, water flowed from the rock; for you, blood flows from Christ. Water satisfied their thirst for a time; blood cleanses you for ever. The Jew drinks and still thirsts, but when you drink you will be incapable of thirst. What happened in symbol is now fulfilled in reality.

If what you marvel at is a shadow, how great is the reality whose very shadow you marvel at. Listen to this, which shows that what happened in the time of our fathers was but a shadow. They drank, it is written, from the rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. All this took place as a symbol for us. You know now what is more excellent: light is preferable to its shadow, reality to its symbol, the body of the Giver to the manna he gave from heaven.


Our ancestors passed through the Red Sea, and so they all received baptism into the fellowship of Moses in cloud and sea: all these things that happened to them were symbolic.
They all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink: all these things that happened to them were symbolic.

O God, your light guides those who have strayed and helps them back to the right path.
Grant to all who are called Christians
that they may reject whatever contradicts that name
but hold fast to whatever is right for it.

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.