Friday, August 19, 2011

EDITOR’S NOTE: The daily postings may be delayed, incomplete or missing today due to travel. I may not have regular access to a computer. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Prayer for our Courts and Judges
Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of our nation.
You alone rule the world with justice,
Yet you place in our hands the solemn duty
of participating in the shaping of our government.
I pray today for our President and Senators
Who have the responsibility of placing judges on our courts.
Please protect this process from all obstruction.
Please send us men and women of wisdom,
Who respect Your law of Life.
Please send us judges with humility,
Who seek Your truth and not their own opinions.
Lord, give all of us the courage we need to do what is right
And to serve you, the Judge of all, with fidelity.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
August 19, 2011
Friday of the Twentieth Week 
in Ordinary Time

Once in the time of the judges there was a famine in the land;
so a man from Bethlehem of Judah
departed with his wife and two sons
to reside on the plateau of Moab.
Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died,
and she was left with her two sons, who married Moabite women,
one named Orpah, the other Ruth.
When they had lived there about ten years,
both Mahlon and Chilion died also,
and the woman was left with neither her two sons nor her husband.
She then made ready to go back from the plateau of Moab
because word reached her there
that the LORD had visited his people and given them food.
Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth stayed with her.
Naomi said, “See now! 
Your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her god.
Go back after your sister-in-law!”
But Ruth said, “Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you!
For wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge,
your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”
Thus it was that Naomi returned
with the Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth,
who accompanied her back from the plateau of Moab.
They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them.

 Praise the Lord, my soul!

The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.

 Praise the Lord, my soul!

The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
The LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.

 Praise the Lord, my soul!

The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.

 Praise the Lord, my soul!

Then the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

August 19
St. John Eudes (1601-1680)
How little we know where God’s grace will lead. Born on a farm in northern France, John died at 79 in the next “county” or department. In that time he was a religious, a parish missionary, founder of two religious communities and a great promoter of the devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
He joined the religious community of the Oratorians and was ordained a priest at 24. During severe plagues in 1627 and 1631, he volunteered to care for the stricken in his own diocese. Lest he infect his fellow religious, he lived in a huge cask in the middle of a field during the plague.
At age 32, John became a parish missionary. His gifts as preacher and confessor won him great popularity. He preached over 100 parish missions, some lasting from several weeks to several months.
In his concern with the spiritual improvement of the clergy, he realized that the greatest need was for seminaries. He had permission from his general superior, the bishop and even Cardinal Richelieu to begin this work, but the succeeding general superior disapproved. After prayer and counsel, John decided it was best to leave the religious community. The same year he founded a new one, ultimately called the Eudists (Congregation of Jesus and Mary), devoted to the formation of the clergy by conducting diocesan seminaries. The new venture, while approved by individual bishops, met with immediate opposition, especially from Jansenists and some of his former associates. John founded several seminaries in Normandy, but was unable to get approval from Rome (partly, it was said, because he did not use the most tactful approach).
In his parish mission work, John was disturbed by the sad condition of prostitutes who sought to escape their miserable life. Temporary shelters were found but arrangements were not satisfactory. A certain Madeleine Lamy, who had cared for several of the women, one day said to him, “Where are you off to now? To some church, I suppose, where you’ll gaze at the images and think yourself pious. And all the time what is really wanted of you is a decent house for these poor creatures.” The words, and the laughter of those present, struck deeply within him. The result was another new religious community, called the Sisters of Charity of the Refuge.
He is probably best known for the central theme of his writings: Jesus as the source of holiness, Mary as the model of the Christian life. His devotion to the Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary led Pius XI to declare him the father of the liturgical cult of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

Against a faithless friend
Psalm 54 (55)

Do not reject my plea, O God, for wicked men assail me.

Open your ears, O God, to my prayer,
and do not hide when I call on you:
turn to me and answer me.
My thoughts are distracted and I am disturbed
by the voice of my enemy and the oppression of the wicked.
They let loose their wickedness on me,
they persecute me in their anger.
My heart is tied in a knot
and the terrors of death lie upon me;
fear and trembling cover me;
terror holds me tight.
I said, “Will no-one give me wings like a dove?
I shall fly away and rest.
I shall flee far away
and remain all alone.
I shall wait for him who will save me
from the stormy wind and the tempest.”

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 reject my plea, O God, for wicked men assail me.
Psalm 54 (55)

The Lord will free us from the hand of the enemies and from those who wish us harm.

Scatter them, Lord, and separate their tongues,
for I see violence and conflict in the city.
By day and by night they circle it
high on its battlements.
Within it are oppression and trouble;
scheming and fraud fill its squares.
For if my enemy had slandered me,
I think I could have borne it.
And if the one who hated me had trampled me,
perhaps I could have hidden.
But you – a man just like me,
my companion and my friend!
We had happy times together,
we walked together in the house of God.

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 will free us from the hand of the enemies and from those who wish us harm.
Psalm 54 (55)

Entrust your cares to the Lord and he will support you.

Let death break in upon them!
Let them go down alive to the underworld,
for wickedness shares their home.
As for me, I will call upon God,
and the Lord will rescue me.
Evening, morning, noon – I shall watch and groan,
and he will hear my voice.
He will redeem my soul
and give it peace from those who attack me –
for very many are my enemies.
God will hear and will bring them low,
God, the eternal.
They will never reform:
they do not fear God.
That man – he stretched out his hand against his allies:
he corrupted his own covenant.
His face was smoother than butter,
but his heart was at war;
his words were softer than oil,
but they were sharp as drawn swords.
Throw all your cares on the Lord
and he will give you sustenance.
He will not let the just be buffeted for ever.
No – but you, Lord, will lead the wicked
to the gaping mouth of destruction.
The men of blood and guile
will not live half their days.
But I, Lord, will put my trust in you.

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.

Entrust your cares to the Lord and he will support you.
My son, attend to my wisdom,
and turn your ears to my words of prudence.

Isaiah 30:1-18

Woe to those rebellious sons!
it is the Lord who speaks.
They carry out plans that are not mine
and make alliances not inspired by me,
and so add
sin to sin.
They have left for Egypt,
without consulting me,
to take refuge in Pharaoh’s protection,
to shelter in Egypt’s shadow.
Pharaoh’s protection will be your shame,
the shelter of Egypt’s shadow your confounding.
For his ministers have gone to Zoan,
his ambassadors have already reached Hanes.
All are carrying gifts
to a nation that will be of no use to them,
that will bring them neither aid, nor help,
nothing but shame and disgrace.
Oracle on the beasts of the Negeb.
Through the land of distress and of anguish,
of lioness and roaring lion,
of viper and flying serpent,
they bear their riches on donkeys’ backs,
their treasures on camels’ humps,
to a nation that is of no use to them,
to Egypt who will prove futile and empty to them;
and so I call her
Now go and inscribe this on a tablet,
write it in a book,
that it may serve in the time to come
as a witness for ever:
This is a rebellious people,
they are lying sons,
sons who will not listen
to the Lord’s orders.
To the seers they say,
See no visions’;
to the prophets,
Do not prophesy the truth to us,
tell us flattering things;
have illusory visions;
turn aside from the way, leave the path,
take the Holy One out of our sight.’
So the Holy One of Israel says:
Since you reject this warning
and prefer to trust in wile and guile
and to rely on these,
then your guilt will prove
to be for you
a breach on the point of collapse,
the bulge at the top of the city wall
which suddenly and all at once
comes crashing down,
irretrievably shattered,
smashed like an earthenware pot
so that of the fragments not one shard remains big enough to carry a cinder from the hearth or scoop water from the cistern.
For thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel:
Your salvation lay in conversion and tranquillity,
your strength, in complete trust;
and you would have none of it.
No,’ you said ‘we will flee on horses.’
So be it, flee then!
And you add, ‘In swift chariots.’
So be it, your pursuers will be swift too.
A thousand will flee at the threat of one
and when five threaten you will flee,
until what is left of you will be
like a flagstaff on a mountain top,
like a signal on a hill.
But the Lord is waiting to be gracious to you,
to rise and take pity on you,
for the Lord is a just God;
happy are all who hope in him.


In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.

The Lord waits to be gracious to you; blessed are all those who wait for him; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.

From the discourse of St Ambrose on Psalm 48

The one mediator of God and men is the man Christ Jesus

Brother does not redeem; a man shall redeem; he shall not give to God his ransom, nor the price of the redemption of his soul’; that is, ‘Why shall I fear in the evil day?’ For what can hurt me, who not only do not need a redeemer, but am myself the redeemer of all? I shall make others free, and shall I be afraid for myself? See, I make all things new, surpassing the affection and duty of kinship. The one whom a brother, delivered into the light of day from the same mother’s womb, cannot redeem, because he is held by the weakness of an equal nature, him will a man redeem: the man, however, of whom it was written that the Lord ‘will send them a man who will save them’; one who said of himself: ‘You seek to kill me, a man who has spoken the truth to you.’

But although he is a man, who shall know him? Why shall no one know him? Because just as there is one God, so also there is one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus. He is the only one who will redeem man, surpassing kinsfolk in duty; because he sheds his own blood for strangers, whereas a brother cannot do this for a brother. And so to redeem us from sin he did not spare his own body; and he gave himself a ransom for all, as his true witness the apostle Paul affirmed, who claimed: ‘I tell the truth, I do not lie.’

But why is only this man the redeemer? Because no one can equal him in goodness, insofar as he lays down his life for his own servants; no one can equal him in innocence, for all are under the yoke of sin, all lie under Adam’s fall. Alone he is chosen as redeemer since he cannot be affected by the ancient sin. Therefore, by ‘man’ let us understand the Lord Jesus, who assumed the state of man, to crucify the sin of all in his own flesh, and by his own blood wipe out the condemnation of all.

You may perhaps say: ‘How is a brother denied the possibility of redeeming, when he himself said, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers”?’ But it was not as brother to us, but as the man Christ Jesus, in whom was God, that he did away with our sins. So it is written: ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, in that Christ Jesus of whom alone it was said that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. So it was not as a brother but as Lord that he dwelt among us when he dwelt in the flesh.


He surrendered himself to death, letting himself be taken for a sinner. He bore the sins of many while praying for sinners.

Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them: they do not know what they are doing.’ He bore the sins of many while praying for sinners.
Let us pray.

Lord God,
you have prepared for those who love you
what no eye has seen, no ear has heard.

Fill our hearts with your love,
so that, loving you above all and in all,
we may attain your promises
which the heart of man has not conceived.

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.