Thursday, August 5, 2010


In Honor of the Immaculate Heart

O heart of Mary, mother of God, and our mother; heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well-pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; heart, full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Savior. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, enkindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all the graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger and especially at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against us its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment, that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. Ah, then most tender virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thine intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy, whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end.



Thursday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
Jer 31:31-34

The days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel
and the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers:
the day I took them by the hand
to lead them forth from the land of Egypt;
for they broke my covenant,
and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD.
But this is the covenant that I will make
with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD.
I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts;
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives
how to know the LORD.
All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD,
for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps. 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19

R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.

R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.

R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

Mt 16:13-23

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
and he asked his disciples,

“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them,

“But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply,

“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Then he strictly ordered his disciples
to tell no one that he was the Christ.

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples
that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly
from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.
Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him,
“God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”
He turned and said to Peter,

“Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”


August 5

Dedication of St. Mary Major Basilica

First raised at the order of Pope Liberius in the mid-fourth century, the Liberian basilica was rebuilt by Pope Sixtus III shortly after the Council of Ephesus affirmed Mary’s title as Mother of God in 431. Rededicated at that time to the Mother of God, St. Mary Major is the largest church in the world honoring God through Mary. Standing atop one of Rome’s seven hills, the Esquiline, it has survived many restorations without losing its character as an early Roman basilica. Its interior retains three naves divided by colonnades in the style of Constantine’s era. Fifth-century mosaics on its walls testify to its antiquity.

St. Mary Major is one of the four Roman basilicas known as patriarchal cathedrals in memory of the first centers of the Church. St. John Lateran represents Rome, the See of Peter; St. Paul Outside the Walls, the See of Alexandria, allegedly the see presided over by Mark; St. Peter’s, the See of Constantinople; and St. Mary’s, the See of Antioch, where Mary is supposed to have spent most of her life.

One legend, unreported before the year 1000, gives another name to this feast: Our Lady of the Snows. According to that story, a wealthy Roman couple pledged their fortune to the Mother of God. In affirmation, she produced a miraculous summer snowfall and told them to build a church on the site. The legend was long celebrated by releasing a shower of white rose petals from the basilica’s dome every August 5.


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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 66 (67)

Let us exult in the Lord’s presence.

– Let us exult in the Lord’s presence.

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 exult in the Lord’s presence.

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 exult in the Lord’s presence.

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 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.


The dusky veil of night hath laid
The varied hues of earth in shade;
Before thee, righteous Judge of all,
We contrite in confession fall.
Take far away our load of sin,
Our soiled minds make clean within:
Thy sovereign grace, O Christ, impart,
From all offence to guard our heart.
For lo! our mind is dull and cold,
envenomed by sin’s baneful hold:
Fain would it now the darkness flee
And seek, Redeemer, unto thee.
Far from it drive the shades of night,
Its inmost darkness put to flight;
Till in the daylight of the Blest
It joys to find itself at rest.
Almighty Father, hear our cry
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord most high,
Who with the Holy Ghost and thee
Doth live and reign eternally.

In time of defeat
Psalm 43 (44)

You have saved us, Lord, and we shall proclaim your name for all ages.

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.

You have saved us, Lord, and we shall proclaim your name for all ages.
Psalm 43 (44)

We are your inheritance, Lord: spare us, do not let us be a laughing-stock.

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.

We are your inheritance, Lord: spare us, do not let us be a laughing-stock.
Psalm 43 (44)

Rise up, Lord, and help us. In your mercy, redeem us.

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, and help us. In your mercy, redeem us.
Lord, to whom shall we go?
– You have the words of eternal life.

Hosea 1:1-9,3:1-5 ©

The word of the Lord that was addressed to Hosea son of Beeri when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah were reigning in Judah, and Jeroboam son of Joash in Israel.

When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said this to him, ‘Go, marry a whore, and get children with a whore, for the country itself has become nothing but a whore by abandoning the Lord.’

So he went; and he took Gomer daughter of Diblaim, who conceived and bore him a son. ‘Name him Jezreel’, the Lord told him ‘for it will not be long before I make the House of Jehu pay for the bloodshed at Jezreel’ and I put an end to the sovereignty of the House of Israel.’ When that day comes I will break Israel’s bow in the Valley of Jezreel.’

She conceived a second time and gave birth to a daughter. ‘Name her Unloved’ the Lord told him. ‘No more love shall the House of Israel have from me in future, no further forgiveness.’ (But my love shall go to the House of Judah and through the Lord their God I mean to save them – but not by bow or sword or battle, horse or horseman.)

She weaned Unloved, conceived again and gave birth to a son. ‘Name him No-People-of-Mine’ the Lord said. ‘You are not my people and I am not your God.’

The Lord said to me, ‘Go a second time, give your love to a woman, loved by her husband but an adulteress in spite of it, just as the Lord gives his love to the sons of Israel though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.’ So I bought her for fifteen silver shekels and a bushel-and-a-half of barley, and said to her, ‘For many days you must keep yourself quietly for me, not playing the whore or offering yourself to others; and I will do the same for you.’ For the sons of Israel will be kept for many days without a king, without a leader, without sacrifice or sacred stone, without ephod or teraphim. Afterwards the sons of Israel will come back; they will seek the Lord their God and David their king; they will come trembling to the Lord, come for his good things in those days to come.


You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood. Once you were not a people at all and now you are the people of God.

Instead of being told ‘You are no people of mine,’ they will now be called sons of the living God. Once you were not a people at all and now you are the people of God.

Baldwin of Canterbury: treatise 10

Love is as strong as death

Death is strong: it has the power to deprive us of the gift of life. Love is strong: it has the power to restore us to the exercise of a better life.

Death is strong, strong enough to despoil us of this body of ours. Love is strong, strong enough to rob death of its spoils and restore them to us.

Death is strong; for no man can resist it. Love is strong; for it can triumph over death, can blunt its sting, counter its onslaught and overturn its victory. A time will come when death will be trampled underfoot; when it will be said: ‘Death, where is your sting? Death, where is your attack?’

‘Love is strong as death,’ since Christ’s love is the death of death. For this reason he says: ‘Death, I shall be your death; hell, I shall grip you fast.’ The love, too, with which Christ is loved by us is itself strong as death, since it is a kind of death, being the extinction of our old life, the abolition of vice, and the putting aside of dead works.

This love of ours for Christ is a sort of return, though not equal to his love for us; and it is a copy, a likeness of his. For he first loved us, and by the example of love that he sets before us, he has become a seal by which we are moulded to his image — putting off the likeness of the earthly and bearing that of the heavenly, loving him as we are loved. In this he leaves us an example, that we may follow in his footsteps.

That is why he says: ‘Set me as a seal on your heart.’ As though to say: Love me, as I love you; have me in your mind, in your memory, in your desire; in your sighing, your groaning, your weeping. Remember, man, in what state I fashioned you, how far I preferred you before the rest of creatures, the dignity with which I ennobled you; how I crowned you with glory and honour, made you a little less than the angels, and subjected all things under your feet. Remember not only the great things I did for you, but what harsh indignities I bore on your behalf; and see if you are not acting wickedly against me, if you do not love me. For who loves you as I love you? Who created you, if not I? Who redeemed you, if not I?

Lord, take away from me the heart of stone, a heart shrunken and uncircumcised — take it away and give me a new heart, a heart of flesh, a clean heart. You cleanse our heart and love the heart that is clean — possess my heart and dwell in it, both holding it and filling it. You surpass what is highest in me, and yet are within my inmost self! Pattern of beauty and seal of holiness, mould my heart in your likeness: mould my heart under your mercy, God of my heart and God my portion for ever. Amen.


Love is strong as death; it blazes up like flashing fire, fiercer than any flame. Many waters cannot quench love, nor flood sweep it away.

There is no greater love than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friend. Many waters cannot quench love, nor flood sweep it away.

Come to the aid of your servants, O Lord; be good to those who pray to you.

We glory in having you as our creator and guide:

renew whatever is good in us, and make it last.

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.