Monday, November 25, 2013


A Prayer to Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Glorious Saint Catherine,
virgin and martyr,
help me to imitate your love of purity.
Give me strength and courage in fighting off the temptations of the world and evil desires.

Help me to love God with my whole heart and serve Him faithfully.

O Saint Catherine,
through your glorious martyrdom for the love of Christ,
help me to be loyal to my faith and my God as long as I live.



Monday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

DN 1:1-6, 8-20

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah,
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came
and laid siege to Jerusalem.
The Lord handed over to him Jehoiakim, king of Judah,
and some of the vessels of the temple of God;
he carried them off to the land of Shinar,
and placed the vessels in the temple treasury of his god.

The king told Ashpenaz, his chief chamberlain,
to bring in some of the children of Israel of royal blood
and of the nobility, young men without any defect,
handsome, intelligent and wise,
quick to learn, and prudent in judgment,
such as could take their place in the king’s palace;
they were to be taught the language and literature of the Chaldeans;
after three years’ training they were to enter the king’s service.
The king allotted them a daily portion of food and wine
from the royal table.
Among these were men of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah,
Mishael, and Azariah.

But Daniel was resolved not to defile himself
with the king’s food or wine;
so he begged the chief chamberlain to spare him this defilement.
Though God had given Daniel the favor and sympathy
of the chief chamberlain, he nevertheless said to Daniel,
“I am afraid of my lord the king;
it is he who allotted your food and drink.
If he sees that you look wretched
by comparison with the other young men of your age,
you will endanger my life with the king.”
Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief chamberlain
had put in charge of Daniel, Hananiah,
Mishael, and Azariah,
“Please test your servants for ten days.
Give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.
Then see how we look in comparison with the other young men
who eat from the royal table,
and treat your servants according to what you see.”
He acceded to this request, and tested them for ten days;
after ten days they looked healthier and better fed
than any of the young men who ate from the royal table.
So the steward continued to take away
the food and wine they were to receive, and gave them vegetables.
To these four young men God gave knowledge and proficiency
in all literature and science,
and to Daniel the understanding of all visions and dreams.
At the end of the time the king had specified for their preparation,
the chief chamberlain brought them before Nebuchadnezzar.
When the king had spoken with all of them,
none was found equal to Daniel, Hananiah,
Mishael, and Azariah;
and so they entered the king’s service.
In any question of wisdom or prudence which the king put to them,
he found them ten times better
than all the magicians and enchanters in his kingdom.

Responsorial Psalm
DN 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56

R. Glory and praise for ever!

“Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.”

R. Glory and praise for ever!

“Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.”

R. Glory and praise for ever!

“Blessed are you on the throne of your Kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”

R. Glory and praise for ever!

“Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”

R. Glory and praise for ever!

“Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
praiseworthy and glorious forever.”

R. Glory and praise for ever!

LK 21:1-4

When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people
putting their offerings into the treasury
and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.

He said,

“I tell you truly,
this poor widow put in more than all the rest;
for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”


November 25

St. Catherine of Alexandria (c. 310)

According to the Legend of St. Catherine, this young woman converted to Christianity after receiving a vision. At the age of 18, she debated 50 pagan philosophers. Amazed at her wisdom and debating skills, they became Christians
—as did about 200 soldiers and members of the emperor’s family. All of them were martyred.

Sentenced to be executed on a spiked wheel, Catherine touched the wheel and it shattered. She was beheaded. Centuries later, angels are said to have carried the body of St. Catherine to a monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai.

Devotion to her spread as a result of the Crusades. 
She was invoked as the patroness of students, teachers, librarians and lawyers. 
Catherine is one of the 14 Holy Helpers, venerated especially in Germany and Hungary.


O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim Your Praise!

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 66 (67)

Let us rejoice in the Lord,
with songs let us praise him.

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.

Let us rejoice in the Lord,
with songs let us praise him.

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.

Let us rejoice in the Lord,
with songs let us praise him.

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.

Let us rejoice in the Lord,
with songs let us praise 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.

Let us rejoice in the Lord,
with songs let us praise him.


Come, Spirit blest, with God the Son
and God the Father, ever one:
shed forth your grace within our breast
and live in us, a ready guest.
By every power, by heart and tongue,
by act and deed, your praise be sung.
Inflame with perfect love each sense,
that others’ souls may kindle thence.

Psalm 30 (31)
Trustful prayer in time of adversity

Hear me, Lord, and come to rescue me.

In you, Lord, I put my trust: 
may I never be put to shame.
In your justice, set me free,
Turn your ear to me,
make haste to rescue me.
Be my rampart, my fortification;
keep me safe.
For you are my strength and my refuge:
you will lead me out to the pastures,
for your own name’s sake.
You will lead me out of the trap that they laid for me –
for you are my strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit:
you have redeemed me, Lord God of truth.
You hate those who run after vain nothings;
but I put my trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad in your kindness,
for you have looked on me, lowly as I am.
You saw when my soul was in need:
you did not leave me locked in the grip of the enemy,
but set my feet on free and open ground.

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.

Hear me, Lord, and come to rescue me.

Psalm 30 (31)

Lord, let your face shine on your servant.

Take pity on me, Lord, for I am troubled:
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
the very centre of my being is disturbed.
For my life is worn out with distress,
my years with groaning;
my strength becomes weakness,
my bones melt away.
I am a scandal and a disgrace,
so many are my enemies;
to my friends and neighbors,
I am a thing to fear.
When they see me in the street,
they run from me.
I have vanished from their minds as though I were dead,
or like a pot that is broken.
I know this – for I have heard the scolding of the crowd.
There is terror all around,
for when they come together against me
it is my life they are resolved to take.
But I put my trust in you, Lord;
I say: “You are my God,
my fate is in your hands.”
Tear me from the grip of my enemies,
from those who hound me;
let your face shine upon your servant,
in your kindness, save me.

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, let your face shine on your servant.

Psalm 30 (31)

Blessed be the Lord,
who has shown me the wonders of his love.

How very many are the pleasures, Lord,
that you have stored up for those who fear you.
You have made these things ready for those who trust in you,
to give them in the sight of all men.
Far away from the plottings of men
you hide them in your secret place.
You keep them safe in your dwelling-place
far from lying tongues.
Blessed be the Lord,
for he has shown me his wonderful kindness
within the fortified city.
In my terror, I said
“I am cut off from your sight”;
but you heard the voice of my prayer
when I called to you.
Love the Lord, all his chosen ones.
The Lord keeps his faithful ones safe,
heaps rich revenge on the arrogant.
Be brave, let your hearts be strong,
all who trust in 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.

Blessed be the Lord, who has shown me the wonders of his love.

Guide me in your truth, Lord, and teach me;
– for you are my God and my salvation.

First Reading
2 Peter 1:1-11

From Simeon Peter, servant and apostle of Jesus Christ; to all who treasure the same faith as ourselves, 
given through the righteousness of our God and savior Jesus Christ. 
May you have more and more grace and peace as you come to know our Lord more and more.

By his divine power, he has given us all the things that we need for life and for true devotion, bringing us to know God himself, who has called us by his own glory and goodness. In making these gifts, he has given us the guarantee of something very great and wonderful to come: through them you will be able to share the divine nature and to escape corruption in a world that is sunk in vice. But to attain this, you will have to do your utmost yourselves, adding goodness to the faith that you have, understanding to your goodness, self-control to your understanding, patience to your self-control, true devotion to your patience, kindness towards your fellow men to your devotion, and, to this kindness, love. If you have a generous supply of these, they will not leave you ineffectual or unproductive: they will bring you to a real knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But without them a man is blind or else short-sighted; he has forgotten how his past sins were washed away. Brothers, you have been called and chosen: work all the harder to justify it. 
If you do all these things there is no danger that you will ever fall away. 
In this way you will be granted admittance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.


The Lord has called us to share his own glory and goodness,
and has given us the very great and precious gifts which he promised,
so that we may come to share the divine nature.

All of us who have been baptized in Christ’s name have put on the person of Christ,
so that we may come to share the divine nature.

Second Reading
A sermon of Pope St Leo the Great

Each man's reward will be suited to what he does

The Lord says: Unless your justice exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. How indeed can justice exceed, unless compassion rises above judgement? What is as right or as worthy as a creature, fashioned in the image and likeness of God, imitating his Creator who, by the remission of sins, brought about the reparation and sanctification of believers? With strict vengeance removed and the cessation of all punishment, the guilty man was restored to innocence, and the end of wickedness became the beginning of virtue. 
Can anything be more just than this?

This is how Christian justice can exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, not by canceling out the law but by rejecting earthly wisdom. This is why, in giving his disciples a rule for fasting, the Lord said: Whenever you fast do not become sad like the hypocrites. For they disfigure their faces in order to seem to be fasting. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. What reward but that of human praise? Such a desire often puts on a mask of justice, 
for where there is no concern for conscience, untruthful reputation gives pleasure. 
The result is that concealed injustice enjoys a false reputation.

For the man who loves God it is sufficient to please the one he loves; and there is no greater recompense to be sought than the loving itself; for love is from God by the very fact that God himself is love. The good and chaste soul is so happy to be filled with him that it desires to take delight in nothing else. For what the Lord says is very true: Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. What is a man’s treasure but the heaping up of profits and the fruit of his toil? For as a man sows, so will he reap, and each man’s gain matches his toil; and where delight and enjoyment are found, there the heart’s desire is attached. Now there are many kinds of wealth and a variety of grounds for rejoicing; 
every man’s treasure is that which he desires. 
If it is based on earthly ambitions, its acquisition makes men not blessed but wretched.

But those who enjoy the things that are above and eternal rather than earthly and perishable, possess an incorruptible, hidden store of which the prophet speaks: Our treasure and salvation have come, wisdom and instruction and piety from the Lord: these are the treasures of justice. Through these, with the help of God’s grace, even earthly possessions are transformed into heavenly blessings; it is a fact that many people use the wealth which is either rightfully left to them or otherwise acquired, as a tool of devotion. By distributing what might be superfluous to support the poor, they are amassing imperishable riches, so that what they have discreetly given cannot be subject to loss. 
They have properly placed those riches where their heart is; 
it is a most blessed thing to work to increase such riches rather than to fear that they may pass away.


We must never become tired of doing good,
because if we do not give up the struggle we shall reap our harvest in due course.
While opportunity offers, we must do good to all.

A man reaps what he sows.
While opportunity offers, we must do good to all.

Let us pray.

Lord, strengthen the wills of your people
to be more active in doing good works,
and so gain from your loving-kindness
more abundant healing.
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.