Saturday, August 14, 2010

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Immaculata Prayer

O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, (name), a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet, humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.
If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: "She will crush your head," and "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world." Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Allow me to praise you, O Sacred Virgin
Give me strength against your enemies

Amen

Saint Maximillian Kolbe

DAILY MASS READINGS

Memorial of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, priest and martyr


Reading 1
Ez 18:1-10, 13b, 30-32

The word of the LORD came to me:
Son of man, what is the meaning of this proverb
that you recite in the land of Israel:

“Fathers have eaten green grapes,
thus their children’s teeth are on edge”?

As I live, says the Lord GOD:
I swear that there shall no longer be anyone among you
who will repeat this proverb in Israel.
For all lives are mine;
the life of the father is like the life of the son, both are mine;
only the one who sins shall die.

If a man is virtuous—if he does what is right and just,
if he does not eat on the mountains,
nor raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel;
if he does not defile his neighbor’s wife,
nor have relations with a woman in her menstrual period;
if he oppresses no one,
gives back the pledge received for a debt,
commits no robbery;
if he gives food to the hungry and clothes the naked;
if he does not lend at interest nor exact usury;
if he holds off from evildoing,
judges fairly between a man and his opponent;
if he lives by my statutes and is careful to observe my ordinances,
that man is virtuous—he shall surely live, says the Lord GOD.

But if he begets a son who is a thief, a murderer,
or lends at interest and exacts usury–
this son certainly shall not live.
Because he practiced all these abominations, he shall surely die;
his death shall be his own fault.

Therefore I will judge you, house of Israel,
each one according to his ways, says the Lord GOD.
Turn and be converted from all your crimes,
that they may be no cause of guilt for you.
Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed,
and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.
Why should you die, O house of Israel?
For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,
says the Lord GOD. Return and live!


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.


Gospel
Mt 19:13-15

Children were brought to Jesus
that he might lay his hands on them and pray.
The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said,

“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them;
for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
After he placed his hands on them, he went away.

SAINT OF THE DAY

August 14

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe (1894-1941)


“I don’t know what’s going to become of you!” How many parents have said that? Maximilian Mary Kolbe’s reaction was, “I prayed very hard to Our Lady to tell me what would happen to me. She appeared, holding in her hands two crowns, one white, one red. She asked if I would like to have them—one was for purity, the other for martyrdom. I said, ‘I choose both.’ She smiled and disappeared.” After that he was not the same.

He entered the minor seminary of the Conventual Franciscans in LvĂ­v (then Poland, now Ukraine), near his birthplace, and at 16 became a novice. Though he later achieved doctorates in philosophy and theology, he was deeply interested in science, even drawing plans for rocket ships.

Ordained at 24, he saw religious indifference as the deadliest poison of the day. His mission was to combat it. He had already founded the Militia of the Immaculata, whose aim was to fight evil with the witness of the good life, prayer, work and suffering. He dreamed of and then founded Knight of the Immaculata,, a religious magazine under Mary’s protection to preach the Good News to all nations. For the work of publication he established a “City of the Immaculata”—Niepokalanow—which housed 700 of his Franciscan brothers. He later founded one in Nagasaki, Japan. Both the Militia and the magazine ultimately reached the one-million mark in members and subscribers. His love of God was daily filtered through devotion to Mary.

In 1939 the Nazi panzers overran Poland with deadly speed. Niepokalanow was severely bombed. Kolbe and his friars were arrested, then released in less than three months, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

In 1941 he was arrested again. The Nazis’ purpose was to liquidate the select ones, the leaders. The end came quickly, in Auschwitz three months later, after terrible beatings and humiliations.

A prisoner had escaped. The commandant announced that 10 men would die. He relished walking along the ranks. “This one. That one.” As they were being marched away to the starvation bunkers, Number 16670 dared to step from the line. “I would like to take that man’s place. He has a wife and children.” “Who are you?” “A priest.” No name, no mention of fame. Silence. The commandant, dumbfounded, perhaps with a fleeting thought of history, kicked Sergeant Francis Gajowniczek out of line and ordered Father Kolbe to go with the nine. In the “block of death” they were ordered to strip naked, and their slow starvation began in darkness. But there was no screaming—the prisoners sang. By the eve of the Assumption four were left alive. The jailer came to finish Kolbe off as he sat in a corner praying. He lifted his fleshless arm to receive the bite of the hypodermic needle. It was filled with carbolic acid. They burned his body with all the others. He was beatified in 1971 and canonized in 1982.

OFFICE OF READINGS

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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 23 (24)


Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.

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.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.

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.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.

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.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.

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.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.

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.
Amen.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the King of martyrs.


Hymn

Great God of boundless mercy, hear!
Thou Ruler of this earthly sphere;
In substance one, in Persons three,
Dread Trinity in Unity!
Do thou in love accept our lays
Of mingled penitence and praise;
And set our hearts from error free,
More fully to rejoice in thee.
Our reins and hearts in pity heal,
And with thy chastening fires anneal;
Gird thou our loins, each passion quell,
And every harmful lust expel.
Now as our anthems, upward borne,
Awake the silence of the morn,
Enrich us with thy gifts of grace,
From heaven, thy blissful dwelling place!
Hear thou our prayer, almighty King;
Hear thou our praises, while we sing,
Adoring with the heavenly host
The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


Thanksgiving after rescue
Psalm 106 (107)

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness, for the wonders he works for men.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his kindness is for ever.
Let them say this, the people the Lord has redeemed,
those whom he rescued from their enemies
whom he gathered together from all lands,
from east and west, from the north and the south.
They wandered through desert and wilderness,
they could find no way to a city they could dwell in.
Their souls were weary within them,
weary from hunger and thirst.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
and he rescued them from their distress.
He set them on the right path
towards a city they could dwell in.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
for the wonders he works for men:
the Lord, who feeds hungry creatures
and gives water to the thirsty to drink.
They sat in the darkness and shadow of death,
imprisoned in chains and in misery,
because they had rebelled against the words of God
and spurned the counsels of the Most High.
He wore out their hearts with labour:
they were weak, there was no-one to help.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
and he rescued them from their distress.
He led them out of the darkness and shadow of death,
he shattered their chains.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
for the wonders he works for men:
the Lord, who shatters doors of bronze,
who breaks bars of iron.

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.
Amen.


Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness, for the wonders he works for men.
Psalm 106 (107)

They have seen the works of the Lord and the wonders he performs.

The people were sick because they transgressed,
afflicted because of their sins.
All food was distasteful to them,
they were on the verge of death.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble
and he rescued them from their distress.
He sent forth his word and healed them,
delivered them from their ruin.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
for the wonders he works for men:
Let them offer a sacrifice of praise
and proclaim his works with rejoicing.
Those who go down to the sea in ships,
those who trade across the great waters –
they have seen the works of the Lord,
the wonders he performs in the deep.
He spoke, and a storm arose,
and the waves of the sea rose up.
They rose up as far as the heavens
and descended down to the depths:
the sailors’ hearts melted from fear,
they staggered and reeled like drunkards,
terror drove them out of their minds.
But they cried to the Lord in their trouble
and he rescued them from their distress.
He turned the storm into a breeze
and silenced the waves.
They rejoiced at the ending of the storm
and he led them to the port that they wanted.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness,
for the wonders he works for men:
let them exalt him in the assembly of the people,
give him praise in the council of 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.
Amen.


They have seen the works of the Lord and the wonders he performs.
Psalm 106 (107)

The upright shall see and be glad, and understand the mercies of the Lord.

The Lord has turned rivers into wilderness,
he has made well-watered lands into desert,
fruitful ground into salty waste
because of the evil of those who dwelt there.
But he has made wilderness into ponds,
deserts into the sources of rivers,
he has called together the hungry
and they have founded a city to dwell in.
They have sowed the fields, planted the vines;
they grow and harvest their produce.
He has blessed them and they have multiplied;
he does not let their cattle decrease.
But those others became few and oppressed
through trouble, evil, and sorrow.
He poured his contempt on their princes
and set them to wander the trackless waste.
But the poor he has saved from their poverty
and their families grow numerous as sheep.
The upright shall see, and be glad,
and all wickedness shall block up its mouth.
Whoever is wise will remember these things
and understand the mercies of the Lord.

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.
Amen.


The upright shall see and be glad, and understand the mercies of the Lord.

Lord, your faithfulness reaches up to the clouds.
– Your judgements reach down to the depths.


Reading
Micah 7:7-20

For my part, I look to the Lord,
my hope is in the God who will save me;
my God will hear me.
Do not gloat over me, my enemy:
though I have fallen, I shall rise;
though I live in darkness,
the Lord is my light.
I must suffer the anger of the Lord,
for I have sinned against him,
until he takes up my cause
and rights my wrongs;
he will bring me out into the light
and I shall rejoice to see the rightness of his ways.
When my enemy sees it,
she will be covered with shame,
she who said to me, ‘Where is the Lord your God?’
My eyes will gloat over her;
she will be trampled underfoot
like mud in the streets.
The day is coming for rebuilding your walls.
Your frontiers will be extended that day,
men will come to you that day
from Assyria as far as to Egypt,
from Tyre as far as to the river,
from sea to sea, from mountain to mountain.
The earth will become a desert
by reason of its inhabitants, in return for what they have done.
With shepherd’s crook lead your people to pasture,
the flock that is your heritage,
living confined in a forest
with meadow land all around.
Let them pasture in Bashan and Gilead
as in the days of old.
As in the days when you came out of Egypt
grant us to see wonders.
The pagans, seeing it, will be confounded
for all their power;
they will lay their hands to their mouths,
their ears will be deafened by it.
They will lick the dust like serpents,
like things that crawl on the earth.
They will come trembling from their lairs,
in terror and fear before you.
What god can compare with you: taking fault away,
pardoning crime,
not cherishing anger for ever
but delighting in showing mercy?
Once more have pity on us,
tread down our faults,
to the bottom of the sea
throw all our sins.
Grant Jacob your faithfulness,
and Abraham your mercy,
as you swore to our fathers
from the days of long ago.


Responsory

He who is to come will come and will not delay, and there will be no more fear in the land, for he is our Saviour.

He will tread down our faults; he will cast all our sins to the bottom of the sea, for he is our Saviour.


Reading
A letter of St Maximilian Kolbe

We must sanctify the whole world

I rejoice greatly, dear brother, at the outstanding zeal that drives you to promote the glory of God. It is sad to see how in our times the disease called “indifferentism” is spreading in all its forms, not just among those in the world but also among the members of religious orders. But indeed, since God is worthy of infinite glory, it is our first and most pressing duty to give him such glory as we, in our weakness, can manage – even that we would never, poor exiled creatures that we are, be able to render him such glory as he truly deserves.

Because God’s glory shines through most brightly in the salvation of the souls that Christ redeemed with his own blood, let it be the chief concern of the apostolic life to bring salvation and an increase in holiness to as many souls as possible. Let me briefly outline the best way to achieve this end – both for the glory of God and for the sanctification of the greatest number. God, who is infinite knowledge and infinite wisdom, knows perfectly what is to be done to give him glory, and in the clearest way possible makes his will known to us through his vice-gerents on Earth.

It is obedience and obedience alone that shows us God’s will with certainty. Of course our superiors may err, but it cannot happen that we, holding fast to our obedience, should be led into error by this. There is only one exception: if the superior commands something that would obviously involve breaking God’s law, however slightly. In that case the superior could not be acting as a faithful interpreter of God’s will.

God himself is the one infinite, wise, holy, and merciful Lord, our Creator and our Father, the beginning and the end, wisdom, power, and love – God is all these. Anything that is apart from God has value only in so far as it is brought back to him, the Founder of all things, the Redeemer of mankind, the final end of all creation. Thus he himself makes his holy will known to us through his vice-gerents on Earth and draws us to himself, and through us – for so he has willed – draws other souls too, and unites them to himself with an ever more perfect love.

See then, brother, the tremendous honour of the position that God in his kindness has placed us in. Through obedience we transcend our own limitations and align ourselves with God’s will, which, with infinite wisdom and prudence, guides us to do what is best. Moreover, as we become filled with the divine will, which no created thing can resist, so we become stronger than all others.

This is the path of wisdom and prudence, this is the one way by which we can come to give God the highest glory. After all, if there had been another, better way, Christ would certainly have shown it to us, by word and by example. But in fact sacred Scripture wraps up his entire long life in Nazareth with the words and he was obedient to them and it shows the rest of his life to have been passed in similar obedience – almost as an instruction to us – by showing how he came down to Earth to do the Father’s will.

Brethren, let us love him above all, our most loving heavenly Father, and let our obedience be a sign of this perfect love, especially when we have to sacrifice our own wills in the process. And as for a book from which to learn how to grow in the love of God, there is no better book than Jesus Christ crucified.

All this we will achieve more easily through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin, to whom the most kind God has given the task of dispensing his mercies. There is no doubt that the will of Mary should be the will of God for us. When we dedicate ourselves to him, we become tools in her hands just as she became a tool in his. Let us let her direct us and lead us by the hand. Let us be calm and serene under her guidance: she will foresee all things for us, provide all things, swiftly fulfil our needs both bodily and spiritual, and keep away from us all difficulty and suffering.


Responsory

Be imitators of God as his dear children. Follow the way of love, even as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as an offering to God, a gift of pleasing fragrance.

Do God’s will with your whole heart as servants of Christ. A gift of pleasing fragrance.

God of power and mercy, you gave Saint N. the grace to overcome the sufferings of martyrdom:
grant to us who celebrate his victory
that the power of your protecting hand
may keep us unshaken in the face of our ancient enemy and all his hidden snares.

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.

Amen.