Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Hourly Prayers of Saint John Chrysostom

O Lord, of Thy heavenly bounties, deprive me not.

O Lord, deliver me from the eternal torments.

O Lord, forgive me if I have sinned in my mind or my thought, whether in word or in deed.

O Lord, free me from all ignorance and forgetfulness, from despondency and stony insensibility.

O Lord, deliver me from every temptation.

O lord, enlighten my heart which evil desires have darkened.

O Lord, as a man have I sinned, have Thou mercy on me, as the God full of compassion, seeing the feebleness of my soul.

O Lord, send down Thy grace to help me, that I may glorify Thy name.

O Lord Jesus Christ, write me down in the book of life and grant unto me a good end.

O Lord my God, even if I had not done anything good before Thee, do Thou help me, in Thy grace, to make a good beginning.

O Lord, sprinkle into my heart the dew of Thy grace.

O Lord of heaven and earth, remember me, Thy sinful servant, full of shame and impurity, in Thy kingdom. Amen.

O Lord, receive me in penitence.

O Lord, forsake me not.

O Lord, lead me not into misfortune.

O Lord, quicken in me a good thought.

O Lord, give me tears and remembrance of death, and contrition.

O Lord, make me solicitous of confessing my sins.

O Lord, give me humility, chastity, and obedience.

O Lord, give me patience, magnanimity, and meekness.

O Lord, implant in my the root of all good--Thy fear in my heart.

O Lord, vouchsafe that I may love thee from all my soul and mind and in everything do Thy will.

O Lord, shelter me from certain men, from demons and passions, and from any other unbecoming thing.

O Lord, Thou knowest that Thou dost as Thou wilt, let then Thy will be done in me, a sinner, for blessed art Thou unto the ages.



Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, bishop and doctor of the Church

1 Tm 3:1-13

Beloved, this saying is trustworthy:
whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task.
Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable,
married only once, temperate, self-controlled,
decent, hospitable, able to teach,
not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle,
not contentious, not a lover of money.
He must manage his own household well,
keeping his children under control with perfect dignity;
for if a man does not know how to manage his own household,
how can he take care of the Church of God?
He should not be a recent convert,
so that he may not become conceited
and thus incur the Devil's punishment.
He must also have a good reputation among outsiders,
so that he may not fall into disgrace, the Devil's trap.

Similarly, deacons must be dignified, not deceitful,
not addicted to drink, not greedy for sordid gain,
holding fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
Moreover, they should be tested first;
then, if there is nothing against them,
let them serve as deacons.
Women, similarly, should be dignified, not slanderers,
but temperate and faithful in everything.
Deacons may be married only once
and must manage their children and their households well.
Thus those who serve well as deacons gain good standing
and much confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 101:1b-2ab, 2cd-3ab, 5, 6

R. I will walk with blameless heart.

Of mercy and judgment I will sing;
to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.
I will persevere in the way of integrity;
when will you come to me?

R. I will walk with blameless heart.

I will walk with blameless heart,
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
any base thing.

R. I will walk with blameless heart.

Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret,
him will I destroy.
The man of haughty eyes and puffed up heart
I will not endure.

R. I will walk with blameless heart.

My eyes are upon the faithful of the land,
that they may dwell with me.
He who walks in the way of integrity
shall be in my service.

R. I will walk with blameless heart.

Lk 7:11-17

Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain,
and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him.
As he drew near to the gate of the city,
a man who had died was being carried out,
the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.
A large crowd from the city was with her.
When the Lord saw her,
he was moved with pity for her and said to her,

"Do not weep."

He stepped forward and touched the coffin;
at this the bearers halted,
and he said,

"Young man, I tell you, arise!"

The dead man sat up and began to speak,
and Jesus gave him to his mother.
Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming,
"A great prophet has arisen in our midst,"
and "God has visited his people."
This report about him spread through the whole of Judea
and in all the surrounding region.


September 13

St. John Chrysostom (d. 407)

The ambiguity and intrigue surrounding John, the great preacher (his name means "golden-mouthed") from Antioch, are characteristic of the life of any great man in a capital city. Brought to Constantinople after a dozen years of priestly service in Syria, John found himself the reluctant victim of an imperial ruse to make him bishop in the greatest city of the empire. Ascetic, unimposing but dignified, and troubled by stomach ailments from his desert days as a monk, John became a bishop under the cloud of imperial politics.

If his body was weak, his tongue was powerful. The content of his sermons, his exegesis of Scripture, were never without a point. Sometimes the point stung the high and mighty. Some sermons lasted up to two hours.

His lifestyle at the imperial court was not appreciated by many courtiers. He offered a modest table to episcopal sycophants hanging around for imperial and ecclesiastical favors. John deplored the court protocol that accorded him precedence before the highest state officials. He would not be a kept man.

His zeal led him to decisive action. Bishops who bribed their way into office were deposed. Many of his sermons called for concrete steps to share wealth with the poor. The rich did not appreciate hearing from John that private property existed because of Adam's fall from grace any more than married men liked to hear that they were bound to marital fidelity just as much as their wives were. When it came to justice and charity, John acknowledged no double standards.

Aloof, energetic, outspoken, especially when he became excited in the pulpit, John was a sure target for criticism and personal trouble. He was accused of gorging himself secretly on rich wines and fine foods. His faithfulness as spiritual director to the rich widow, Olympia, provoked much gossip attempting to prove him a hypocrite where wealth and chastity were concerned. His actions taken against unworthy bishops in Asia Minor were viewed by other ecclesiastics as a greedy, uncanonical extension of his authority.

Two prominent personages who personally undertook to discredit John were Theophilus, Archbishop of Alexandria, and Empress Eudoxia. Theophilus feared the growth in importance of the Bishop of Constantinople and took occasion to charge John with fostering heresy. Theophilus and other angered bishops were supported by Eudoxia. The empress resented his sermons contrasting gospel values with the excesses of imperial court life. Whether intended or not, sermons mentioning the lurid Jezebel (see 1 Kings 9:1—21:23) and impious Herodias (see Mark 6:17-29) were associated with the empress, who finally did manage to have John exiled. He died in exile in 407.


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

Invitatory Psalm

Psalm 94 (95)
Come, let us worship the Lord, the fountain of wisdom.

Come, let us worship the Lord, the fountain of wisdom.
Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
let us acclaim him with songs.
Come, let us worship the Lord, the fountain of wisdom.
For the Lord is a great God,
a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
and his hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us worship the Lord, the fountain of wisdom.
Come, let us worship and bow down,
bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
the sheep that follow his hand.
Come, let us worship the Lord, the fountain of wisdom.
If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
“Do not harden your hearts
as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
although they had seen my works.”
Come, let us worship the Lord, the fountain of wisdom.
“For forty years they wearied me,
that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
they will never enter my place of rest.”
Come, let us worship the Lord, the fountain of wisdom.*
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.
Come, let us worship the Lord, the fountain of wisdom.


O light of light, O Dayspring bright,
Co-equal in thy Father’s light:
Assist us, as with prayer and psalm
Thy servants break the nightly calm.
All darkness from our minds dispel,
And turn to flight the hosts of hell:
Bid sleepfulness our eyelids fly,
Lest overwhelmed in sloth we lie.
Jesu, thy pardon, kind and free,
Bestow on us who trust in thee:
And as thy praises we declare,
O with acceptance hear our prayer.
O Father, that we ask be done,
Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son,
Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Doth live and reign eternally.

Psalm 101 (102)
Prayers and vows of an exile

Let my cry come to you, Lord: do not hide your face from me.

Lord, listen to my prayer
and let my cry come to you.
Do not hide your face from me:
whenever I am troubled,
turn to me and hear me.
Whenever I call on you,
hurry to answer me.
For my days vanish like smoke,
and my bones are dry as tinder.
My heart is cut down like grass, it is dry –
I cannot remember to eat.
The sound of my groaning
makes my bones stick to my flesh.
I am lonely as a pelican in the wilderness,
as an owl in the ruins,
as a sparrow alone on a rooftop:
I do not sleep.
All day long my enemies taunt me,
they burn with anger and use my name as a curse.
I make ashes my bread,
I mix tears with my drink,
because of your anger and reproach –
you, who raised me up, have dashed me to the ground.
My days fade away like a shadow:
I wither like grass.
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 my cry come to you, Lord: do not hide your face from me.

Psalm 101 (102)
Turn, Lord, to the prayers of the helpless.

But you, Lord, remain for ever
and your name lasts from generation to generation.
You will rise up and take pity on Zion,
for it is time that you pitied it,
indeed it is time:
for your servants love its very stones
and pity even its dust.
Then, Lord, the peoples will fear your name.
All the kings of the earth will fear your glory,
when the Lord has rebuilt Zion
and appeared there in his glory;
when he has listened to the prayer of the destitute
and not rejected their pleading.
These things shall be written for the next generation
and a people yet to be born shall praise the Lord.
Because he has looked down from his high sanctuary,
– the Lord has looked down from heaven to earth –
and heard the groans of prisoners
and freed the children of death
so that they could proclaim the Lord’s name in Zion
and sing his praises in Jerusalem,
where people and kingdoms gather together
to serve 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.

Turn, Lord, to the prayers of the helpless.

Psalm 101 (102)
You founded the earth, Lord, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

He has brought down my strength in the midst of my journey;
he has shortened my days.
I will say, “My God, do not take me away
half way through the days of my life.
Your years last from generation to generation:
in the beginning you founded the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will pass away but you will remain;
all will grow old, like clothing,
and like a cloak you will change them, and they will be changed.
“But you are always the same,
your years will never run out.
The children of your servants shall live in peace,
their descendants will endure in your sight.”
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 founded the earth, Lord, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

Listen, my people, to my teaching;
open your ears to the words of my mouth.

ReadingEzekiel 8:1-6,16-9:11

In the sixth year, on the fifth day of the sixth month, I was sitting at home and the elders of Judah were sitting with me, when the hand of the Lord fell on me.

I looked and saw something that looked like a man. Downwards from what seemed to be his loins he was fire; and upwards from his loins he seemed to shine like polished bronze. He stretched out what seemed to be a hand and took me by the hair; and the spirit lifted me into the air and, in visions from God, took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the inner north gate, where the idol of Jealousy stands, provoking jealousy. There I saw the glory of the God of Israel, as I had seen it in the valley. He said, ‘Son of man, raise your eyes to the north.’ I raised my eyes to the north, and there, to the north of the altar gate, stood this statue of Jealousy at the entrance. He said, ‘Son of man, do you see what they are doing? Do you see all the filth practised here by the House of Israel, to drive me out of my sanctuary? You will see filthier practices yet.’

He then led me to the inner court of the Temple of the Lord. And there, at the entrance to the sanctuary of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, there were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the sanctuary of the Lord and their faces turned to the east. They were bowing to the east, towards the sun. He said to me, ‘Son of man, do you see that? Is it not bad enough for the House of Judah to do the filthy things that they are doing here? But they fill the country with violence and provoke my anger further; look at them now putting that branch to their nostrils. My anger forces me to it; I will show neither pity nor mercy. They may shout as loud as they like; I will not listen to them.’

Then as I listened he shouted, ‘Come here, you scourges of the city, and bring your weapons of destruction.’ Immediately six men advanced from the upper north gate, each holding a deadly weapon. In the middle of them was a man in white, with a scribe’s ink horn in his belt. They came in and halted in front of the bronze altar. The glory of the God of Israel rose off the cherubs where it had been and went up to the threshold of the Temple. He called the man in white with a scribe’s ink horn in his belt and said, ‘Go all through the city, all through Jerusalem, and mark a cross on the foreheads of all who deplore and disapprove of all the filth practised in it.’ I heard him say to the others, ‘Follow him through the city, and strike. Show neither pity nor mercy; old men, young men, virgins, children, women, kill and exterminate them all. But do not touch anyone with a cross on his forehead. Begin at my sanctuary.’ So they began with the old men in front of the Temple. He said to them, ‘Defile the Temple; fill the courts with corpses, and go.’ They went out and hacked their way through the city.

While they were hacking them down, I stayed behind; I fell face downwards and exclaimed, ‘Ah, Lord, are you going to annihilate all that is left of Israel as you turn your anger on Jerusalem?’ He said, ‘The guilt of the House of Israel and Judah is immense, boundless; the country is full of bloodshed, the city overflows with wickedness, for they say, “The Lord has abandoned the country, the Lord cannot see.” Right, then, I too will show no pity, I too will not spare. I mean to call them to account for all their behaviour.’ The man in white with the scribe’s ink horn in his belt then came back and made his report, ‘I have carried out your orders.’

When you see the ‘abomination of desolation’ standing in the holy place, there will be a time of great distress. If that time were not cut short, no living thing could survive; but for the sake of God’s chosen that time of trouble will be cut short.
Do no damage to sea or land until we have set the seal of our God upon the foreheads of his servants; but for the sake of God’s chosen that time of trouble will be cut short.

ReadingA sermon by St John Chrysostom

For me, life means Christ, and death is gain

The waters have risen and severe storms are upon us, but we do not fear drowning, for we stand firmly upon a rock. Let the sea rage, it cannot break the rock. Let the waves rise, they cannot sink the boat of Jesus. What are we to fear? Death?Life to me means Christ, and death is gain. Exile? ‘The earth and its fullness belong to the Lord. The confiscation of goods? We brought nothing into this world, and we shall surely take nothing from it. I have only contempt for the world’s threats, I find its blessings laughable. I have no fear of poverty, no desire for wealth. I am not afraid of death nor do I long to live, except for your good. I concentrate therefore on the present situation, and I urge you, my friends, to have confidence.

Do you not hear the Lord saying: Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst? Will he be absent, then, when so many people united in love are gathered together? I have his promise; I am surely not going to rely on my own strength! I have what he has written; that is my staff, my security, my peaceful harbour. Let the world be in upheaval. I hold to his promise and read his message; that is my protecting wall and garrison. What message? Know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!

If Christ is with me, whom shall I fear? Though the waves and the sea and the anger of princes are roused against me, they are less to me than a spider’s web. Indeed, unless you, my brothers, had detained me, I would have left this very day. For I always say “Lord, your will be done”; not what this fellow or that would have me do, but what you want me to do. That is my strong tower, my immovable rock, my staff that never gives way. If God wants something, let it be done! If he wants me to stay here, I am grateful. But wherever he wants me to be, I am no less grateful.

Yet where I am, there you are too, and where you are, I am. For we are a single body, and the body cannot be separated from the head nor the head from the body. Distance separates us, but love unites us, and death itself cannot divide us. For though my body die, my soul will live and be mindful of my people.

You are my fellow citizens, my fathers, my brothers, my sons, my limbs, my body. You are my light, sweeter to me than the visible light. For what can the rays of the sun bestow on me that is comparable to your love? The sun’s light is useful in my earthly life, but your love is fashioning a crown for me in the life to come.

It is the gospel for which I am suffering and wearing fetters like a criminal, but the word of God is not fettered. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of God’s chosen people.
The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? Therefore I endure everything for the sake of God’s chosen people.

Let us pray.

Lord God, strength of those who hope in you, by your will Saint John Chrysostom became renowned in the Church for his astounding eloquence and his forbearance in persecution.
Grant that we may be enriched by his teaching and encouraged by the example of his unconquerable fortitude.
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.


Let us bless the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.