Friday, August 5, 2011


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.



August 5, 2011

Friday of the Eighteenth
Week in Ordinary Time

Dt 4:32-40

Moses said to the people:

“Ask now of the days of old, before your time,
ever since God created man upon the earth;
ask from one end of the sky to the other:
Did anything so great ever happen before?
Was it ever heard of?
Did a people ever hear the voice of God
speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live?
Or did any god venture to go and take a nation for himself
from the midst of another nation,
by testings, by signs and wonders, by war,
with his strong hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors,
all of which the LORD, your God,
did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?
All this you were allowed to see
that you might know the LORD is God and there is no other.
Out of the heavens he let you hear his voice to discipline you;
on earth he let you see his great fire,
and you heard him speaking out of the fire.
For love of your fathers he chose their descendants
and personally led you out of Egypt by his great power,
driving out of your way nations greater and mightier than you,
so as to bring you in
and to make their land your heritage, as it is today.
This is why you must now know, and fix in your heart,
that the LORD is God in the heavens above and on earth below,
and that there is no other.
You must keep his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you today,
that you and your children after you may prosper,
and that you may have long life on the land
which the LORD, your God, is giving you forever.”

Responsorial Psalm
77:12-13, 14-15, 16 and 21

R. I remember the deeds of the Lord.

I remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I remember your wonders of old.
And I meditate on your works;
your exploits I ponder.

R. I remember the deeds of the Lord.

O God, your way is holy;
what great god is there like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
among the peoples you have made known your power.

R. I remember the deeds of the Lord.

With your strong arm you redeemed your people,
the sons of Jacob and Joseph.
You led your people like a flock
under the care of Moses and Aaron.

R. I remember the deeds of the Lord.

Mt 16:24-28

Jesus said to his disciples,

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay each according to his conduct.
Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here
who will not taste death
until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”


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)

The Lord is our delight: come, bless his name.

– The Lord is our delight: come, bless his name.

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.

– The Lord is our delight: come, bless his name.

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.

– The Lord is our delight: come, bless his name.
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.

– The Lord is our delight: come, bless his name.

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 is our delight: come, bless his name.


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.

The plea of a sinner in great peril
Psalm 37 (38)

Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.

Lord, do not rebuke me in your wrath,
do not ruin me in your anger:
for I am pierced by your arrows
and crushed beneath your hand.
In the face of your anger
there is no health in my body.
There is no peace for my bones,
no rest from my sins.
My transgressions rise higher than my head:
a heavy burden, they weigh me down.

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.

Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.
Psalm 37 (38)

O Lord, you know all my longing.

My wounds are corruption and decay
because of my foolishness.
I am bowed down and bent,
bent under grief all day long.
For a fire burns up my loins,
and there is no health in my body.
I am afflicted, utterly cast down,
I cry out from the sadness of my heart.
Lord, all that I desire is known to you;
my sighs are not hidden from you.
My heart grows weak, my strength leaves me,
and the light of my eyes – even that has gone.
My friends and my neighbours
keep far from my wounds.
Those closest to me keep far away,
while those who would kill me set traps,
those who would harm me make their plots:
they plan mischief all through the day.

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.

O Lord, you know all my longing.
Psalm 37 (38)

I confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not forsake me, my saviour.

But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
like one who is dumb, I do not open my mouth.
I am like someone who cannot hear,
in whose mouth there is no reply.
For in you, Lord, I put my trust:
you will listen to me, Lord, my God.
For I have said, “Let them never triumph over me:
if my feet stumble, they will gloat.”
For I am ready to fall:
my suffering is before me always.
For I shall proclaim my wrongdoing:
I am anxious because of my sins.
All the time my enemies live and grow stronger;
they are so many, those who hate me without cause.
Returning evil for good they dragged me down,
because I followed the way of goodness.
Do not abandon me, Lord:
my God, do not leave me.
Hurry to my aid,
O Lord, my saviour.

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 confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not forsake me, my saviour.
My eyes are weary with longing for your salvation
– and for your words of justice.

Hosea 2:4,8-26

Denounce your mother, denounce her,
for she is not my wife nor am I her husband.
That is why I am going to block her way with thorns,
and wall her in so that she cannot find her way;
she will chase after her lovers and never catch up with them,
she will search for them and never find them.
Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband,
I was happier then than I am today.’
That is why I am going to lure her
and lead her out into the wilderness
and speak to her heart.
I am going to give her back her vineyards,
and make the Valley of Achor a gateway of hope.
There she will respond to me as she did when she was young,
as she did when she came out of the land of Egypt.
When that day comes – it is the Lord who speaks –
she will call me, ‘My husband’,
no longer will she call me, ‘My Baal.’
I will take the names of the Baals off her lips,
their names shall never be uttered again.
When that day comes I will make a treaty on her behalf
with the wild animals,
with the birds of heaven and the creeping things of the earth;
I will break bow, sword and battle in the country,
and make her sleep secure.
I will betroth you to myself for ever,
betroth you with integrity and justice,
with tenderness and love;
I will betroth you to myself with faithfulness,
and you will come to know the Lord.
When that day comes – it is the Lord who speaks –
the heavens will have their answer from me,
the earth its answer from them,
the grain, the wine, the oil, their answer from the earth,
and Jezreel his answer from them.
I will sow him in the country,
I will love Unloved;
I will say to No-People-of-Mine, ‘You are my people’,
and he will answer, ‘You are my God.’


This is the time for the marriage of the Lamb, and his bride is ready. Happy are those who are invited to the wedding-feast of the Lamb.

I will betroth you to myself with faithfulness, and you will come to know the Lord. Happy are those who are invited to the wedding-feast of the Lamb.

From a Spiritual Canticle by Saint John of the Cross, priest

I give myself as your spouse for ever

The soul united to God and transformed in him draws from within God a divine breath, much like the most high God himself. And God, abiding in the soul, breathes forth the life of the soul as its exemplar. This I take to be what Paul meant when he said: Because you are children of God, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, “Abba, Father”; this is what takes place in those who have achieved perfection.

One should not wonder that the soul is capable of so sublime an activity. For if God so favours her that she is made God-like by union with the most Holy Trinity, I ask you then, why it should seem so incredible that the soul, at one with the Trinity and in the greatest possible likeness to it, should share the understanding, knowledge and love which God achieves in himself.

How this is possible no other power or wisdom can express, save by explaining how the Son of God obtained this sublime state for us and won for us the power to be the children of God, as he asked of the Father: Father, I desire that where I am those you have given me may also be with me, that they may see the glory you have given me, that is, that they may share with certainty the very task I perform.

And then he said: Not for them alone do I ask but also for those who will come to believe in me through their teaching, that all may be one as you, Father, are one in me and I in you, that they may be one in us; that the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory you have given me I have given them that they may be one as we are. I in them, you in me, that they may be made perfect, and the world will know that you sent me and as you have loved me, so I have loved them.

The Father thus gives them the same love he shares with the Son, though not by nature as with the Son, but through unity and transformation of love. One should not think that the Son is asking the Father to make the saints one with him in essence and nature as the Son is with the Father, but rather that they be united with him in love, just as the Father and Son are one in the essential unity of love. Accordingly, souls possess the same goods by participation that the Son possesses by nature. As a result, they are truly divine by participation, equals and companions of God.

Thus Peter said: May grace and peace be perfected in you in the knowledge of God and Christ Jesus our Lord. For all things of his divine power, which are given to us for our life and goodness, are given through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and power, by which he has given us great and precious promises, that by these we may be made partakers of the divine nature. So the soul, in this union which God has ordained, joins in the work of the Trinity, not yet fully as in the life to come, but nonetheless even now in a real and perceptible way.

O my soul, created to enjoy such exquisite gifts, what are you doing, where is your life going? How wretched is the blindness of Adam’s children, if indeed we are blind to such a brilliant light and deaf to so insistent a voice.


Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us. Not only shall we be called children of God, but we shall truly be his children.

We know that when our future is revealed we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he really is. Not only shall we be called children of God, but we shall truly be his children.

Let us pray.

We recognize with joy
that you, Lord, created us,
and that you guide us by your providence.

In your unfailing kindness, support us in our prayer:
renew your life within us,
guard it and make it bear fruit for eternity.

We make our prayer 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.