Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Fifteen Prayers of Saint Bridget

[Prior to each prayer, Recite one Our Father and One Hail Mary.]

1st Prayer

O Jesus!
You have proved that You have no greater desire than to be among men,
even assuming human nature at the fullness of time for the love of men.
I recall all the sufferings of Your life especially Your Passion.

I remember, O Lord,
that during the Last Supper with Your disciples,
having washed their feet,
You gave them Your Most Precious Body and Blood,
and, while consoling them,
You foretold Your coming Passion.

I remember the sadness and bitterness which You experienced
in Your Soul as You said, My Soul is sorrowful even unto death.

I remember all the fear, anguish and pain that You did suffer in Your delicate Body
before the torment of the Crucifixion, when,
after having prayed three times,
bathed in a sweat of blood,
You were betrayed by Judas,
arrested by the people of a nation You had chosen and elevated,
accused by false witnesses and unjustly judged by three judges.

I remember that You were despoiled of Your garments and clothed in those of derision,
that Your Face and Eyes were covered, that You were beaten,
crowned with thorns, a reed placed in Your Hands,
that You were crushed with blows and overwhelmed with insults and outrages. I
n memory of all these pains and sufferings which You endured before Your Passion on the Cross,
grant me before my death a true contrition, a sincere and entire confession,
worthy satisfaction and the remission of all my sins. Amen.

2nd Prayer

O Jesus!
I remember the horror and sadness which You endured when Your enemies surrounded You,
and by thousands of insults, spits, blows, lacerations and other unheard-of cruelties tormented You.
In consideration of these torments and insulting words,
I beg You to deliver me from all my enemies, visible and invisible,
and to bring me, under Your protection, to the perfection of eternal salvation.


3rd Prayer

O Jesus!
I remember the very bitter pain You did suffer when the executioners
nailed Your Sacred Hands and Feet to the Cross by blow after blow with big blunt nails,
and, not finding You in a sad enough state,
to satisfy their cruelty they enlarged Your Wounds,
and added pain to pain, stretching Your Body on the Cross and
dislocated Your Bones by pulling Them on all sides.
I beg of You by the memory of this most loving suffering of the Cross
to grant me the grace to love You.


4th Prayer

O Jesus!
I Remember the bruises You suffered and the weakness of Your Body,
which was distended to such a degree that never was there pain like Yours.
From the crown of Your Head to the soles of Your Feet
there was not one spot on Your Body which was not in torment.
Yet, for getting all Your sufferings,
You did not cease to pray to Your Heavenly Father for Your enemies, saying:
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Through this great mercy and in memory of this suffering,
grant that the remembrance of Your most bitter Passion may effect in us
a perfect contrition and the remission of all our sins.


5th Prayer

O Jesus!
I remember the sadness which You experienced when,
foreseeing those who would be damned for their sins,
You suffered bitterly over these hopeless,
lost and unfortunate sinners.

Through this abyss of compassion and pity
and especially through the goodness which You displayed to the good thief when You said to him,
This day you will be with Me in Paradise,
I beg of You that at the hour of my death to show me mercy.


6th Prayer

O Jesus!
I remember the grief which You suffered when,
like a common criminal,
You were raised and fastened to the Cross,
when all Your relatives and friends abandoned You,
except Your Beloved Mother who remained close to You during Your agony
and Whom You entrusted to Your faithful disciple when You said,

Woman, behold Your son. Son behold your Mother.

I beg You by the sword of sorrow which pierced the soul of Your Holy Mother,
to have compassion on me in all my afflictions and tribulations,
both of body and spirit,
and to assist me in all my trials and especially at the hour of my death.


7th Prayer

O Jesus!
I remember Your profound gesture of love from the Cross when You said,
I thirst,
and Your suffering from the thirst for the salvation of the human race.
I beg You to inflame in our hearts the desire to tend toward perfection
in all our actions and to extinguish in us all worldly desires.


8th Prayer

O Jesus!
I remember the bitterness of the gall and vinegar which You tasted on the Cross
for love of us.
Grant us the grace to receive worthily Your Precious Body and Blood during our life
and at the hour of our death that It may be a remedy of consolation for our souls.


9th Prayer

O Jesus!
I remember the pain You endured when,
immersed in an ocean of bitterness at the approach of death,
insulted, outraged by the people,
You cried out in a loud voice that You were abandoned by Your Father, saying:
My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Through this anguish I beg You not to abandon me in the terrors and pains of my death.


10th Prayer

O Jesus!
I remember that for our sakes You were immersed into an abyss of suffering.
In consideration of the enormity of Your Wounds,
teach me to keep, through pure love, Your Commandments,
which are a wide and easy path for those who love You.


11th Prayer

O Jesus!
I remember Your Wounds which penetrated to the very marrow of Your Bones
and to the depth of Your Being.
Draw me away from sin and hide me in Your Wounds.


12th Prayer

O Jesus!
I remember the multitude of Wounds which afflicted You from Head to Foot,
torn and reddened by the spilling of Your Precious Blood.
O great and universal pain which You suffered in Your Flesh for love of us!
What is there You could have done for us which You have not done?

May the fruit of Your sufferings be renewed in my soul by the faithful remembrance
of Your Passion and may Your love increase in my heart each day until I see You in eternity,
You Who are the treasury of every real good and joy,
which I beg You to grant me in Heaven.


13th Prayer

O Jesus!
I remember the pain You endured when all Your strength,
both moral and physical,
was entirely exhausted;
You bowed Your Head, saying:
It is consummated.

Through this anguish and grief,
I beg You to have mercy on me at the hour of my death,
when my mind will be greatly troubled and my soul will be in anguish.


14th Prayer

O Jesus!
I remember the simple and humble recommendation You made of Your Soul
to Your Eternal Father, saying,
"Father, into Your Hands I commend My Spirit,"
and when, Your Body all torn and Your Heart broken, You expired.
By this precious death,
I beg You to comfort me and give me help to resist the devil,
the flesh and the world, so that, being dead to the world,
I may live for You alone.
I beg of You at the hour of my death to receive me.


15th Prayer

O Jesus!
I remember the abundant outpouring of Blood which You shed.
From Your Side,
pierced with a lance by a soldier,
Blood and Water poured forth until there was not left in Your Body a single Drop;
and finally the very substance of Your Body withered and the marrow of Your Bones dried up.

Through this bitter Passion and through the outpouring of Your Precious Blood,
I beg You to pierce my heart so that my tears of penance and love
may be my bread day and night.
May I be entirely converted to You;
may my heart be Your perpetual resting place;
may my conversation be pleasing to You;
and may the end of my life be so praiseworthy that I may merit Heaven
and there with Your saints praise You forever.


(Approved by Pope Pius IX)


Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

EX 14:21—15:1

Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,
and the LORD swept the sea
with a strong east wind throughout the night
and so turned it into dry land.
When the water was thus divided,
the children of Israel marched into the midst of the sea on dry land,
with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.

The Egyptians followed in pursuit;
all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and charioteers went after them
right into the midst of the sea.
In the night watch just before dawn
the LORD cast through the column of the fiery cloud
upon the Egyptian force a glance that threw it into a panic;
and he so clogged their chariot wheels
that they could hardly drive.
With that the Egyptians sounded the retreat before Israel,
because the LORD was fighting for them against the Egyptians.

Then the LORD told Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea,
that the water may flow back upon the Egyptians,
upon their chariots and their charioteers.”
So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,
and at dawn the sea flowed back to its normal depth.
The Egyptians were fleeing head on toward the sea,
when the LORD hurled them into its midst.
As the water flowed back,
it covered the chariots and the charioteers of Pharaoh’s whole army
that had followed the children of Israel into the sea.
Not a single one of them escaped.
But the children of Israel had marched on dry land
through the midst of the sea,
with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.
Thus the LORD saved Israel on that day
from the power of the Egyptians.
When Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore
and beheld the great power that the LORD
had shown against the Egyptians,
they feared the LORD and believed in him and in his servant Moses.

Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD:

I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant;
horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.

Responsorial Psalm
EX 15:8-9, 10 AND 12, 17

R. Let us sing to the Lord;
he has covered himself in glory.

At the breath of your anger the waters piled up,
the flowing waters stood like a mound,
the flood waters congealed in the midst of the sea.
The enemy boasted, “I will pursue and overtake them;
I will divide the spoils and have my fill of them;
I will draw my sword; my hand shall despoil them!”

R. Let us sing to the Lord;
he has covered himself in glory.

When your wind blew, the sea covered them;
like lead they sank in the mighty waters.
When you stretched out your right hand, the earth swallowed them!

R. Let us sing to the Lord;
he has covered himself in glory.

And you brought them in and planted them on the mountain of your inheritance—
the place where you made your seat, O LORD,
the sanctuary, O LORD, which your hands established.

R. Let us sing to the Lord;
he has covered himself in glory.

MT 12:46-50

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
his mother and his brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with him.
Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with you.”

But he said in reply to the one who told him,

“Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”

And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,

“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother.”


July 23

St. Bridget (1303?-1373)

From age seven on, Bridget had visions of Christ crucified. 
Her visions formed the basis for her activity—always with the emphasis on charity rather than spiritual favors.

She lived her married life in the court of the Swedish king Magnus II. Mother of eight children 
(the second eldest was St. Catherine of Sweden), she lived the strict life of a penitent after her husband’s death.

Bridget constantly strove to exert her good influence over Magnus; while never fully reforming, 
he did give her land and buildings to found a monastery for men and women. 
This group eventually expanded into an Order known as the Bridgetines (still in existence).

In 1350, a year of jubilee, Bridget braved a plague-stricken Europe to make a pilgrimage to Rome. Although she never returned to Sweden, her years in Rome were far from happy, 
being hounded by debts and by opposition to her work against Church abuses.

A final pilgrimage to the Holy Land, marred by shipwreck and the death of her son, Charles, 
eventually led to her death in 1373. In 1999, she, 
Saints Catherine of Siena (April 29) and Teresa Benedicts of the Cross (Edith Stein, August 9) 
were named co-patronesses of Europe.


O Lord, open our lips.
And we shall praise your name.

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 94 (95)

A mighty God is the Lord:
come, let us adore him.

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.

A mighty God is the Lord:
come, let us adore him.

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.

A mighty God is the Lord:
come, let us adore him.

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.

A mighty God is the Lord:
come, let us adore him.

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.”

A mighty God is the Lord:
come, let us adore him.

“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.”

A mighty God is the Lord:
come, let us adore him.

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.

A mighty God is the Lord:
come, let us adore him.


O God of truth and Lord of power,
whose word their course to things assigns,
whose splendour lights the morning hour,
whose fiery sun at noonday shines:
Within us quench the flames of strife,
the harmful heat of passion quell;
give health of body to our life
and give true peace of soul as well.
In this, most loving Father, hear,
and Christ, co-equal Son, our prayer:
with Holy Ghost, one Trinity,
you reign for all eternity.

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.

First Reading
2 Corinthians 2:12-3:6

When I went up to Troas to preach the Good News of Christ, and the door was wide open for my work there in the Lord, I was so continually uneasy in mind at not meeting brother Titus there, I said good-bye to them and went on to Macedonia.

Thanks be to God who, wherever he goes, makes us, in Christ, partners of his triumph, and through us is spreading the knowledge of himself, like a sweet smell, everywhere. We are Christ’s incense to God for those who are being saved and for those who are not; for the last, the smell of death that leads to death, for the first the sweet smell of life that leads to life. And who could be qualified for work like this? At least we do not go round offering the word of God for sale, as many other people do. In Christ, we speak as men of sincerity, as envoys of God and in God’s presence.
Does this sound like a new attempt to commend ourselves to you? Unlike other people, we need no letters of recommendation either to you or from you, because you are yourselves our letter, written in our hearts, that anybody can see and read, and it is plain that you are a letter from Christ, drawn up by us, and written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on stone tablets but on the tablets of your living hearts.

Before God, we are confident of this through Christ: not that we are qualified in ourselves to claim anything as our own work: all our qualifications come from God. He is the one who has given us the qualifications to be the administrators of this new covenant, which is not a covenant of written letters but of the Spirit: the written letters bring death, but the Spirit gives life.


Through Christ, we have confidence in God;
and through Christ we have been made capable of serving the new covenant,
which consists not of a written law but of the Spirit.

There is nothing in us which can justify a claim that we are capable of doing this work.
What capacity we have comes from God,
and through Christ we have been made capable of serving the new covenant,
which consists not of a written law but of the Spirit.

Second Reading
St Ignatius of Antioch's letter to the Magnesians

You have Jesus Christ within you

Let us not fail to be moved by his goodness, for if he were ever to imitate the way we behave ourselves, we would be truly lost. Now that we are his disciples let us learn to lead Christian lives. Whoever does not take the name of Christian does not belong to God. Put aside the old worn-out leaven which has grown old and sour, and turn to the new leaven, which is Jesus Christ. Be preserved by the salt of Christ so that you do not decay; for it is by your odor that you will be judged. It is monstrous to talk of Jesus Christ and to practice Judaism. For Christianity did not base its faith on Judaism, 
but Judaism on Christianity, and every tongue believing on God was brought together in it.

Now I say this, beloved, not because I know that there are any of you that are thus, but because I wish to warn you, though I am less than you, not to fall into the snare of vain doctrine. Be convinced of the birth and passion and resurrection which took place at the time of the procuratorship of Pontius Pilate; 
for these things were truly and certainly done by Jesus Christ, our hope, 
from which God grant that none of you be turned aside.

My desire is to enjoy every happiness in you, if only I can be found worthy. Even though I am in chains and you are not, I am still unfit to be compared to you. I know that you are free from pride, for you have Jesus Christ in yourselves. 
Even when I praise you, you are not proud but embarrassed. As Scripture says, The righteous man is his own accuser.

Do your utmost to stand firm in the precepts of the Lord and the Apostles, so that you may prosper in all that you do in the flesh and in the spirit, in faith and love, in the Son and the Father and the Spirit, at the beginning and at the end, together with your revered bishop and with your clergy (that beautifully woven spiritual crown) and with the godly deacons. Be subject to the bishop and to one another, even as Jesus Christ was subject to the Father, and the Apostles were subject to Christ and to the Father, so that there may be complete unity of both flesh and spirit.
I have kept my exhortation brief because I know how God fills you. Remember me in your prayers, so that I may win through to God, and remember the Church in Syria, of which I am not worthy to be called a member. For I need your united prayers and love in God so that the Church in Syria may draw refreshment from the dew of your Church.

I am writing this from Smyrna and the Ephesians here send you their greeting. They, like you, are here for the glory of God and have in all things given me comfort, as has Polycarp, the bishop of the Smyrnaeans. 
The other Churches also greet you in honor of Jesus Christ.

See that there is a godly unity among you and an unhesitating spirit; 
for this is Jesus Christ.


God grant that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
Then, being rooted and grounded in love,
you will be filled with all the fullness of God.

Live in Christ;
rooted in him, built up on him,
and established firmly in the faith.
Then, being rooted and grounded in love,
you will be filled with all the fullness of God.

Let us pray.

Be gracious, Lord, to us who serve you,
and in your kindness increase your gifts of grace within us:
so that, fervent in faith, hope and love,
we may be ever on the watch
and persevere in doing 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 praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.