Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Prayer for the Pope

O Lord,
we are the millions of believers,
humbly kneeling at Thy feet and begging Thee to preserve,
defend and save the Sovereign Pontiff for many years.
He is the Father of the great fellowship of souls and our Father as well.
On this day,
as on every other day,
he is praying for us also,
and is offering unto Thee with holy fervor the sacred Victim of love and peace.

O Lord, turn Thyself toward us with eyes of pity;
for we are now,
as it were, forgetful of ourselves,
and are praying above all for him.
Do Thou unite our prayers with his and receive them into the bosom of Thine infinite mercy,
as a sweet savor of active and fruitful charity,
whereby the children are united in the Church to their Father.
All that he asks of Thee this day,
we too ask it of Thee in unison with him.

Whether he weeps or rejoices,
whether he hopes or offers himself as a victim of charity for his people,
we desire to be united with him;
nay more,
we desire that the cry of our hearts should be made one with his.
Of Thy great mercy grant,
O Lord,
that not one of us may be far from his mind and his heart in the hour that he prays and offers unto Thee the Sacrifice of Thy blessed Son.
At the moment when our venerable High Priest, holding in His hands the very Body of Jesus Christ,
shall say to the people over the Chalice of benediction these words:
"The peace of the Lord be with you always,"
grant, O Lord,
that Thy sweet peace may come down upon our hearts and upon all the nations with new and manifest power.



Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Eph 6:1-9

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Honor your father and mother.
This is the first commandment with a promise,
that it may go well with you
and that you may have a long life on earth.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger,
but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord.

Slaves, be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling,
in sincerity of heart, as to Christ,
not only when being watched, as currying favor,
but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,
willingly serving the Lord and not men,
knowing that each will be requited from the Lord
for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
Masters, act in the same way towards them, and stop bullying,
knowing that both they and you have a Master in heaven
and that with him there is no partiality.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 145:10-11, 12-13ab, 13cd-14

R. The Lord is faithful in all his words.

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.

R. The Lord is faithful in all his words.

Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.

R. The Lord is faithful in all his words.

The LORD is faithful in all his words
and holy in all his works.
The LORD lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.

R. The Lord is faithful in all his words.

Lk 13:22-30

Jesus passed through towns and villages,
teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him,
"Lord, will only a few people be saved?"

He answered them,

"Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
'Lord, open the door for us.'
He will say to you in reply,
'I do not know where you are from.'
And you will say,
'We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.'
Then he will say to you,
'I do not know where you are from.
Depart from me, all you evildoers!'
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God
and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the Kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last."


October 31

Blessed Thomas of Florence (d. 1447)

The son of a butcher in Florence, Thomas led such a wild life for a time that parents warned their sons to stay away from him. A rich man in town befriended him and led him deeper into depravity. Accused of a serious crime that he had not committed, Thomas went to his friend for protection. The man would not even see him and told him to stay away. Crushed, Thomas wandered the streets until he met a priest who listened to his story and took Thomas into his home. Ultimately, he was able to get Thomas declared innocent of the crime.

Thomas broke off his former associations and began to lead a life of prayer and penance. Filled with grace, he asked to be admitted to a Franciscan friary as a lay brother. He went on to become a model friar, fasting, keeping vigils, disciplining himself. He wore the cast-off clothes of his brothers. He was frequently wrapped in ecstasy. Though he was never ordained a priest and remained content to serve as a lay brother, Thomas was appointed novice master. Many young men followed in his path of holiness.

Thomas founded numerous convents of friars in southern Italy. And Pope Martin V called upon him to preach against the Fraticelli, a branch of heretical Franciscans. He was also asked to go to the Orient to promote the reunion of the Eastern and Western Churches. There he was imprisoned and expected to receive the crown of martyrdom. But the pope ransomed him for a large sum of money. Thomas returned to Italy and died on a journey to Rome, where he had hoped to receive permission to return to the Orient.


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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 66 (67)

Rejoice in God, all the earth: serve the Lord with gladness.

– Rejoice in God, all the earth: serve the Lord with gladness.

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.

– Rejoice in God, all the earth: serve the Lord with gladness.

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.

– Rejoice in God, all the earth: serve the Lord with gladness.

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.

– Rejoice in God, all the earth: serve the Lord with gladness.

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.

– Rejoice in God, all the earth: serve the Lord with gladness.

Ambrose of Milan (tr. J.M. Neale)

O God, creation’s secret force,
yourself unmoved, all motion’s source,
who from the morn till evening ray
through all its changes guide the day:
Grant us, when this short life is past,
the glorious evening that shall last;
that, by a holy death attained,
eternal glory may be gained.
To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One,
may every tongue and nation raise
an endless song of thankful praise!

Psalm 38 (39)
A prayer in sickness

We groan inwardly and await the redemption of our bodies.

I said, “I will watch my ways,
I will try not to sin in my speech.
I will set a guard on my mouth,
for as long as my enemies are standing against me.”
I stayed quiet and dumb, spoke neither evil nor good,
but my pain was renewed.
My heart grew hot within me,
and fire blazed in my thoughts.
Then I spoke out loud:
“Lord, make me know my end.
Let me know the number of my days,
so that I know how short my life is to be.”
All the length of my days is a handsbreadth or two,
the expanse of my life is as nothing before you.
For in your sight all men are nothingness:
man passes away, like a shadow.
Nothingness, although he is busy:
he builds up treasure, but who will collect it?

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.

We groan inwardly and await the redemption of our bodies.

Psalm 38 (39)

Lord, hear my prayer: do not be deaf to my tears.

What, now, can I look forward to, Lord?
My hope is in you.
Rescue me from all my sins,
do not make me a thing for fools to laugh at.
I have sworn to be dumb, I will not open my mouth:
for it is at your hands that I am suffering.
Aim your blows away from me,
for I am crushed by the weight of your hand.
You rebuke and chastise us for our sins.
Like the moth you consume all we desire
– for all men are nothingness.
Listen, Lord, to my prayer:
turn your ear to my cries.
Do not be deaf to my weeping,
for I come as a stranger before you,
a wanderer like my fathers before me.
Turn away from me, give me respite,
before I leave this world,
before I am no more.

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.

Lord, hear my prayer: do not be deaf to my tears.

Psalm 51 (52)
Against calumny

I trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.

Why do you take pride in your malice,
you expert in evil-doing?
All day long you plan your traps,
your tongue is sharp as a razor –
you master of deceit!
You have chosen malice over kindness;
you speak lies rather than the truth;
your tongue is in love with every deceit.
For all this, in the end God will destroy you.
He will tear you out and expel you from your dwelling,
uproot you from the land of the living.
The upright will see and be struck with awe:
they will deride the evil-doer.
“Here is the man who did not make God his refuge,
but put his hope in the abundance of his riches
and in the power of his stratagems.”
But I flourish like an olive in the palace of God.
I hope in the kindness of God,
for ever, and through all ages.
I shall praise you for all time for what you have done.
I shall put my hope in your name and in its goodness
in the sight of your chosen ones.

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 trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.

My soul waits for his word;
– my soul puts its hope in the Lord.

Wisdom 6:2-27

Listen, kings, and understand;
rulers of remotest lands, take warning;
hear this, you who have thousands under your rule,
who boast of your hordes of subjects.
For power is a gift to you from the Lord,
sovereignty is from the Most High;
he himself will probe your acts and scrutinise your intentions.
If, as administrators of his kingdom, you have not governed justly
nor observed the law,
nor behaved as God would have you behave,
he will fall on you swiftly and terribly.
Ruthless judgement is reserved for the high and mighty;
the lowly will be compassionately pardoned,
the mighty will be mightily punished.
For the Lord of All does not cower before a personage,
he does not stand in awe of greatness,
since he himself has made small and great
and provides for all alike;
but strict scrutiny awaits those in power.
Yes, despots, my words are for you,
that you may learn what wisdom is and not transgress;
for they who observe holy things holily will be adjudged holy,
and, accepting instruction from them, will find their defence in them.
Look forward, therefore, to my words;
yearn for them, and they will instruct you.
Wisdom is bright, and does not grow dim.
By those who love her she is readily seen,
and found by those who look for her.
Quick to anticipate those who desire her, she makes herself known to them.
Watch for her early and you will have no trouble;
you will find her sitting at your gates.
Even to think about her is understanding fully grown;
be on the alert for her and anxiety will quickly leave you.
She herself walks about looking for those who are worthy of her
and graciously shows herself to them as they go,
in every thought of theirs coming to meet them.
Of her the most sure beginning is the desire for discipline,
care for discipline means loving her,
loving her means keeping her laws,
obeying her laws guarantees incorruptibility,
incorruptibility brings near to God;
thus desire for Wisdom leads to sovereignty.
If then, despots of nations, you delight in throne and sceptre,
honour Wisdom, thus to reign for ever.
What Wisdom is and how she came to be, I will now declare,
I will hide none of the secrets from you;
I will trace her right from the beginning
and set out knowledge of her, plainly,
not swerving from the truth.
Neither will I take blighting Envy as my travelling companion,
for she has nothing in common with Wisdom.
In the greatest number of wise men lies the world’s salvation,
in a sagacious king the stability of a people.
Learn, therefore, from my words; the gain will be yours.


The lessons wisdom taught me are riches honestly acquired,
and they are shared without stint. Wisdom is a treasure men will find incorruptible.

How pitiable is the case of those who make light of true wisdom and of ordered living!
God loves only the man who lives with Wisdom.
Wisdom is a treasure men will find incorruptible.

A letter to the Corinthians by Pope St Clement I

Let us follow the way of truth

Let us put on unity of mind, thinking humble thoughts, exercising self-control, keeping ourselves far from all backbiting and slander, being righteous in deed, and not in word only. Scripture says: He who says much hears much in his own turn. Or does the easy talker think that he is righteous?

It is our duty then to be eager to do good, for everything is from God. He warns us: See, the Lord is coming, and the reward he brings is before him, for paying each according to his work. He urges us, who believe in him with all our heart, not to be idle or careless in any good work. Our boasting and our confidence must rest on him. Let us be subject to his will. Let us look carefully at the whole host of his angels; they stand ready and serve his will. Scripture says: Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him, and a thousand thousand served him, and cried out: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole creation is full of his glory.

We, too, dutifully gathered together in unity of mind, should cry out to him continuously as with one voice, so as to share in his great and glorious promises. It is written: Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, man’s heart has not conceived, what great things have been prepared for those who wait for him.

Beloved, how blessed, how wonderful, are God’s gifts! Life with immortality, glory with righteousness, truth with confidence, self-control with holiness: all these are the gifts that fall within our understanding. What then are those gifts that are in store for those who wait for him? Only the most holy Creator and Father of the ages knows their greatness and their splendour.

We should then strive with the greatest zeal to be found among the number of those who await him, so that we may share in the promised gifts. How will this be, beloved? If our mind is fixed on God through faith, if we are diligent in seeking what is pleasing and acceptable to him, if we fulfil what is according to his blameless will and follow the way of truth, casting away from ourselves all that is unholy.


Lord, make me know your ways and teach me your paths; make me walk in your truth,
for you are God my saviour, and in you I hope all the day long.

Turn to me and have mercy,
for I am lonely and poor;
for you are God my saviour,
and in you I hope all the day long.

Let us pray.

Lord God, deepen our faith,
strengthen our hope,
enkindle our love;
and so that we may obtain what you promise,
make us love what you command.
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.