Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Prayer to Saint Josemaría Escrivá

O God,
through the mediation of Mary our Mother,
you granted your priest St. Josemaría 
countless graces,
choosing him as a most faithful instrument 
to found Opus Dei,
a way of sanctification in daily work and in the fulfillment of the Christian's ordinary duties.

Grant that I too may learn to turn all the circumstances and events of my life into occasions of loving You and serving the Church,
the Pope and all souls with joy and simplicity,
lighting up the pathways of this earth 
with faith and love.
Deign to grant me,
through the intercession of St. Josemaría,
the favor of ... (make your request).


Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory be to the Father.


Tuesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

2 Kgs 19:9b-11, 14-21, 31-35a, 36

Sennacherib, king of Assyria, sent envoys to Hezekiah
with this message:
"Thus shall you say to Hezekiah, king of Judah:
'Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you
by saying that Jerusalem will not be handed over
to the king of Assyria.
You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done
to all other countries: they doomed them!
Will you, then, be saved?'"

Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it;
then he went up to the temple of the LORD,
and spreading it out before him,
he prayed in the LORD's presence:
"O LORD, God of Israel, enthroned upon the cherubim!
You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth.
You have made the heavens and the earth.
Incline your ear, O LORD, and listen!
Open your eyes, O LORD, and see!
Hear the words of Sennacherib which he sent to taunt the living God.
Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations
and their lands, and cast their gods into the fire;
they destroyed them because they were not gods,
but the work of human hands, wood and stone.
Therefore, O LORD, our God, save us from the power of this man,
that all the kingdoms of the earth may know
that you alone, O LORD, are God."

Then Isaiah, son of Amoz, sent this message to Hezekiah:
"Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel,
in answer to your prayer for help against Sennacherib, king of Assyria:
I have listened!
This is the word the LORD has spoken concerning him:

"'She despises you, laughs you to scorn,
the virgin daughter Zion!
Behind you she wags her head,
daughter Jerusalem.

"'For out of Jerusalem shall come a remnant,
and from Mount Zion, survivors.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.'

"Therefore, thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria:
'He shall not reach this city, nor shoot an arrow at it,
nor come before it with a shield,
nor cast up siege-works against it.
He shall return by the same way he came,
without entering the city, says the LORD.
I will shield and save this city for my own sake,
and for the sake of my servant David.'"

That night the angel of the LORD went forth and struck down
one hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp.
So Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, broke camp,
and went back home to Nineveh.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 48:2-3ab, 3cd-4, 10-11

R. God upholds his city for ever.

Great is the LORD and wholly to be praised
in the city of our God.
His holy mountain, fairest of heights,
is the joy of all the earth.

R. God upholds his city for ever.

Mount Zion, "the recesses of the North,"
is the city of the great King.
God is with her castles;
renowned is he as a stronghold.

R. God upholds his city for ever.

O God, we ponder your mercy
within your temple.
As your name, O God, so also your praise
reaches to the ends of the earth.
Of justice your right hand is full.

R. God upholds his city for ever.

Mt 7:6, 12-14

Jesus said to his disciples:

"Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

"Do to others whatever you 
would have them do to you.
This is the Law and the Prophets.

"Enter through the narrow gate;
for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction,
and those who enter through it are many.
How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
And those who find it are few."


June 26

St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer (1902-1975)

An estimated 300,000 people filled St. Peter's Square on October 6, 2002, for the canonization of Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, the founder of Opus Dei. His canonization came only 27 years after his death, one of the shortest waiting periods in Church history.

Opus Dei, which means Work of God, emphasizes that men and women can become holy by performing their daily duties with a Christian spirit. In his homily, Pope John Paul II emphasized the importance of every believer following God's will, as had the newly sainted founder of Opus Dei. “The Lord has a plan for each one of us. Saints cannot even conceive of themselves outside of God's plan: 
They live only to fulfill it.”

Born in Barbastro, Spain, Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer sensed early in life that he had a vocation to the priesthood. Following his ordination in 1925, he briefly ministered in a rural parish. He moved to Madrid, where he obtained a doctorate in law. At the same time Father Escriva was beginning to envision a movement that would offer ordinary people help in seeking holiness through their everyday activities. It was officially founded in 1928.

As Opus Dei grew, Father Escriva continued his studies and his priestly work among the poor and sick. During the Civil War in Spain he had to exercise his ministry secretly and move from place to place. Only after the war did he return to Madrid and complete his doctoral studies. He later moved to Rome and obtained a doctorate in theology. Pope Pius XII named him an honorary prelate and a consultor to two Vatican congregations. All the while, Opus Dei grew in size and influence.

When Msgr. Escriva died in 1975, Opus Dei could be found in dozens of places around the globe. Today its membership includes approximately 83,000 laypersons and 1,800 priests in 60 countries. It is a “personal prelature,” a special jurisdictional entity within the Church.


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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 23 (24)

Come, let us worship the Lord, the great God.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the great God.

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 great God.

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 great God.

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 great God.

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 great 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.

– Come, let us worship the Lord, the great God.


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.

1 Samuel 17:57-18:9,20-30

When David came back after killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with the Philistine’s head in his hand. Saul asked him, ‘Whose son are you, young man?’ David replied, ‘The son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem.’

After David had finished talking to Saul, Jonathan’s soul became closely bound to David’s and Jonathan came to love him as his own soul. Saul kept him by him from that day forward and would not let him go back to his father’s house. Jonathan made a pact with David to love him as his own soul; he took off the cloak he was wearing and gave it to David, and his armour too, even his sword, his bow and his belt. Whenever David went out, on whatever mission Saul sent him, he was successful, and Saul put him in command of the fighting men; he stood well in the people’s eyes and in the eyes of Saul’s officers too.

On their way back, as David was returning after killing the Philistine, the women came out to meet King Saul from all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing to the sound of tambourine and lyre and cries of joy; and as they danced the women sang:

‘Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands.’

Saul was very angry; the incident was not to his liking. ‘They have given David the tens of thousands,’ he said ‘but me only the thousands; he has all but the kingship now.’ And Saul turned a jealous eye on David from that day forward.

Now Michal the daughter of Saul fell in love with David. When Saul heard this he was pleased. He thought, ‘Yes, I will give her to him, but she will prove a snare for him and the hand of the Philistines will strike him.’ (Twice Saul said to David, ‘Now you shall be my son-in-law.’) Saul then gave this command to his servants, ‘Talk secretly to David and say, “Look, the king is pleased with you and all his servants love you; it is time you became the king’s son-in-law.”’ The king’s servants repeated these words in David’s ear, and David replied, ‘Does it strike you as an easy thing for me to become the king’s son-in-law, poor and of humble position as I am?’ Saul’s servants then reported back what David had said. Saul replied, ‘Tell David this, “The king desires no settlement except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, for vengeance on the king’s enemies.”’ Saul was planning that David should fall by the hand of the Philistines.

His servants brought this message to David and he was delighted at the thought of becoming the king’s son-in-law. The time had not yet expired when David rose and set off, he and his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. David brought back their foreskins and counted them out before the king so that he could be the king’s son-in-law. Saul then gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.

Saul now realised that the Lord was with David, and that all the House of Israel loved him; then Saul feared David all the more and became David’s lasting enemy. The leaders of the Philistines went out to battle, but every time they went out to battle David was more successful than all Saul’s officers, and his name was held in great honour.


Have mercy on me, God, men crush me; they fight me all day long and oppress me; I will trust in you.

You rescued my soul from death, you kept my feet from stumbling. I will trust in you.

A treatise on Christian Perfection 
by St Gregory of Nyssa

Christ should be manifest in our whole life

The life of the Christian has three distinguishing aspects: deeds, words and thought. Thought comes first, then words, since our words express openly the interior conclusions of the mind. Finally, after thoughts and words, comes action, for our deeds carry out what the mind has conceived. So when one of these results in our acting or speaking or thinking, we must make sure that all our thoughts, words and deeds are controlled by the divine ideal, the revelation of Christ. For then our thoughts, words and deeds will not fall short of the nobility of their implications.

What then must we do, we who have been found worthy of the name of Christ? Each of us must examine his thoughts, words and deeds, to see whether they are directed toward Christ or are turned away from him. This examination is carried out in various ways. Our deeds or our thoughts or our words are not in harmony with Christ if they issue from passion. They then bear the mark of the enemy who smears the pearl of the heart with the slime of passion, dimming and even destroying the lustre of the precious stone.

On the other hand, if they are free from and untainted by every passionate inclination, they are directed toward Christ, the author and source of peace. He is like a pure, untainted stream. If you draw from him the thoughts in your mind and the inclinations of your heart, you will show a likeness to Christ, your source and origin, as the gleaming water in a jar resembles the flowing water from which it was obtained.
For the purity of Christ and the purity that is manifest in our hearts are identical. Christ’s purity, however, is the fountainhead; ours has its source in him and flows out of him. Our life is stamped with the beauty of his thought. The inner and the outer man are harmonised in a kind of music. The mind of Christ is the controlling influence that inspires us to moderation and goodness in our behaviour. As I see it, Christian perfection consists in this: sharing the titles which express the meaning of Christ’s name, we bring out this meaning in our minds, our prayers and our way of life.


Whatever you do in word or deed, 
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.

None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. Do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Let us pray.

Lord God,
teach us at all times to fear and love your holy name,
for you never withdraw your guiding hand
from those you establish in your love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

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