Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Novena for the Protection of the Unborn
Prayers to the Holy Trinity, The Blessed Virgin Mary, All the Angels and Saints

O Heavenly Father,
Creator and Giver of all life,
Author of justice,
Source of love and mercy:
Although it is deserving of thine anger and punishment,
look with mercy on our nation,
which has offended thee by condoning the killing of millions of innocent children,
thy precious sons and daughters,
who, like all of us,
were created in thine image and likeness,
but whose only offense was their very existence.


O Blessed Lord Jesus Christ,
Our Redeemer,
whose inestimable gift of self-sacrificing love
provided the means of Salvation for all mankind through the shedding of thine innocent blood:
grant that all may come to know thee,
serve thee and love thee,
and thus may know the meaning of true freedom and true liberty,
which never destroys, but always serves and protects life.


O Holy Spirit,
source of wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, fortitude, piety and holy fear:
inspire us with these gifts.
Fill the hearts of the leaders of this nation,
especially those who have the temporal power and the grave responsibility to make and interpret and execute laws,
with the desire to do God’s will,
to restore justice and to establish laws that govern the people of this land in conformity with the Divine Law
— laws that will preserve, protect and defend the lives of all sons and daughters of God,
from their earliest beginnings until death.


O Mary,
Mother of Jesus,
entrusted to be the mother of God’s only begotten Son,
Our Savior,
through thine obedient consent to God’s will,
and who thus became for all people and all time the model of faith and of the self-giving love and devotion of Motherhood:
take into thy motherly arms all the babies who are victims of abortion,
that they may receive eternally the comfort of a mother’s love.
May thine example and intercession open the hearts of all who reject God and His holy laws,
comfort all those who suffer remorse because of abortion,
and restore to hope in Christ those mothers and fathers who grieve and repent the killing of their children.


All Angels and Saints:
may thy guidance and example show fallen humanity the way to perfect joy and freedom and peace
found only in unity with God in obedience to His will through salvation in Christ Jesus;
and may thy constant prayers be joined by those of all the little children
— the “slaughtered innocents” —
as a “cloud of witnesses” interceding for sinful man.


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.


Novena: Day 1

Above prayers
Psalm 139
Gloria Patri (Glory be)
Rosary: Sorrowful Mysteries
Magnificat: Luke 1:46-55
Gloria Patri

Novena: Days 2-9

Our Father...
Above prayers
Three Hail Marys
Gloria Patri

Psalm 139 [RSV-CE]

Antiphonal (Responsive):

1. O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me!

2. Thou knowest when I sit down and when I rise up; thou discernest my thoughts from afar.

3. Thou searchest out my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4. Even before a word is on my tongue, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

5. Thou dost beset me behind and before, and layest thy hand upon me.

6. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it.

7. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

8. If I ascend to heaven, thou art there! If I make my bed in Sheol, thou art there!

9. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10. Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

11. If I say, “Let only darkness cover me, and the light about me be night,”

12. Even the darkness is not dark to thee, the night is as bright as the day; for darkness is as light with thee.

13. For thou didst form my inward parts: thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14. I praise thee; for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well;

15. My frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.

16. Thine eyes beheld my unformed substance; in thy book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

17. How precious to me are thy thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

18. If I would count them, they are more than the sand. When I awake, I am still with thee.

19. O that thou wouldst slay the wicked, O God, and that men of blood would depart from me,

20. Men who maliciously defy thee, who lift themselves up against thee for evil!

21. Do I not hate them that hate thee, O Lord? And do I not loathe them that rise up against thee?

22. I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.

23. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me, and know my thoughts!

24. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

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.


The Magnificat: Luke 1:46-55


My soul doth magnify the Lord
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He hath regarded the low estate of
His handmaiden. For behold, from henceforth
all generations will call me blessed;
for He who is mighty hath
done great things for me,
and holy is His name.
And His mercy is on them that fear Him
throughout all generations.
He hath shown strength with His arm;
He hath scattered the proud
in the imagination of their hearts;
He hath put down the mighty
from their thrones,
and exalted the humble and meek;
He hath filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He hath sent empty away.
He hath helped His servant Israel,
in remembrance of His mercy,
as He spake to our forefathers,
to Abraham and his seed forever.

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.



Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

1 SM 17:32-33, 37, 40-51

David spoke to Saul:

“Let your majesty not lose courage.
I am at your service to go and fight this Philistine.”
But Saul answered David,
“You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him,
for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth.”

David continued:
“The LORD, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear,
will also keep me safe from the clutches of this Philistine.”
Saul answered David, “Go! the LORD will be with you.”

Then, staff in hand, David selected five smooth stones from the wadi
and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s bag.
With his sling also ready to hand, he approached the Philistine.

With his shield bearer marching before him,
the Philistine also advanced closer and closer to David.
When he had sized David up,
and seen that he was youthful, and ruddy, and handsome in appearance,
the Philistine held David in contempt.
The Philistine said to David,
“Am I a dog that you come against me with a staff?”
Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods
and said to him, “Come here to me,
and I will leave your flesh for the birds of the air
and the beasts of the field.”
David answered him:
“You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar,
but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts,
the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted.
Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand;
I will strike you down and cut off your head.
This very day I will leave your corpse
and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air
and the beasts of the field;
thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God.
All this multitude, too,
shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves.
For the battle is the LORD’s and he shall deliver you into our hands.”

The Philistine then moved to meet David at close quarters,
while David ran quickly toward the battle line
in the direction of the Philistine.
David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone,
hurled it with the sling,
and struck the Philistine on the forehead.
The stone embedded itself in his brow,
and he fell prostrate on the ground.
Thus David overcame the Philistine with sling and stone;
he struck the Philistine mortally, and did it without a sword.
Then David ran and stood over him;
with the Philistine’s own sword which he drew from its sheath
he dispatched him and cut off his head.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 144:1B, 2, 9-10

R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war.

R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

My refuge and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I trust,
who subdues my people under me.

R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

O God, I will sing a new song to you;
with a ten-stringed lyre I will chant your praise,
You who give victory to kings,
and deliver David, your servant from the evil sword.

R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

MK 3:1-6

Jesus entered the synagogue.
There was a man there who had a withered hand.
They watched Jesus closely
to see if he would cure him on the sabbath
so that they might accuse him.
He said to the man with the withered hand,

“Come up here before us.”

Then he said to the Pharisees,

“Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?”

But they remained silent.
Looking around at them with anger
and grieved at their hardness of heart,
Jesus said to the man,

“Stretch out your hand.”

He stretched it out and his hand was restored.
The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel
with the Herodians against him to put him to death.


January 22

St. Vincent (d. 304)

When Jesus deliberately began his “journey” to death, Luke says that he “set his face” to go to Jerusalem. 
It is this quality of rocklike courage that distinguishes the martyrs.

Most of what we know about this saint comes from the poet Prudentius. His Acts have been rather freely colored by the imagination of their compiler. But St. Augustine, in one of his sermons on St. Vincent, speaks of having the Acts of his martyrdom before him. We are at least sure of his name, his being a deacon, the place of his death and burial.

According to the story we have (and as with some of the other early martyrs the unusual devotion he inspired must have had a basis in a very heroic life), Vincent was ordained deacon by his friend St. Valerius of Zaragossa in Spain. The Roman emperors had published their edicts against the clergy in 303, and the following year against the laity. Vincent and his bishop were imprisoned in Valencia. Hunger and torture failed to break them. Like the youths in the fiery furnace (Book of Daniel, chapter three), 
they seemed to thrive on suffering.

Valerius was sent into exile, and Dacian, the Roman governor, now turned the full force of his fury on Vincent. Tortures that sound very modern were tried. But their main effect was the progressive disintegration of Dacian himself. 
He had the torturers beaten because they failed.

Finally he suggested a compromise: Would Vincent at least give up the sacred books to be burned according to the emperor’s edict? He would not. Torture on the gridiron continued, the prisoner remaining courageous, the torturer losing control of himself. Vincent was thrown into a filthy prison cell—and converted the jailer. Dacian wept with rage, but strangely enough, 
ordered the prisoner to be given some rest.

Friends among the faithful came to visit him, but he was to have no earthly rest. 
When they finally settled him on a comfortable bed, he went to his eternal rest.


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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 23 (24)

Cry out with joy to God,
all the earth: 
serve the Lord with gladness.

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.

Cry out with joy to God,
all the earth: 
serve the Lord with gladness.

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 savior.
This is the way of those who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Cry out with joy to God,
all the earth: 
serve the Lord with gladness.

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.

Cry out with joy to God,
all the earth: 
serve the Lord with gladness.

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.

Cry out with joy to 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.

Cry out with joy to God,
all the earth: 
serve the Lord with gladness.

St Ambrose of Milan

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.

First Reading
Deuteronomy 7:6-14,8:1-6

Israel, the chosen people

These are the words that Moses spoke beyond Jordan to the whole of Israel:

You are a people consecrated to the Lord your God; 
it is you that the Lord our God has chosen to be his very own people out of all the peoples on the earth.

If the Lord set his heart on you and chose you, it was not because you outnumbered other peoples: you were the least of all peoples. It was for love of you and to keep the oath he swore to your fathers that the Lord brought you out with his mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know then that the Lord your God is God indeed, the faithful God who is true to his covenant and his graciousness for a thousand generations towards those who love him and keep his commandments, but who punishes in their own persons those that hate him. 
He is not slow to destroy the man who hates him; he makes him work out his punishment in person. 
You are therefore to keep and observe the commandments and statutes and ordinances 
that I lay down for you today.

Listen to these ordinances, be true to them and observe them, and in return the Lord your God will be true to the covenant and the kindness he promised your fathers solemnly. He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers; he will bless the fruit of your body and the produce of your soil, your corn, your wine, your oil, the issue of your cattle, the young of your flock, in the land he swore to your fathers he would give you. You will be more blessed than all peoples. 
No man or woman among you shall be barren, no male or female of your beasts infertile.

All the commandments I enjoin on you today you must keep and observe so that you may live and increase in numbers and enter into the land that the Lord promised on oath to your fathers, and make it your own. Remember how the Lord your God led you for forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, to test you and know your inmost heart – whether you would keep his commandments or not. He humbled you, he made you feel hunger, he fed you with manna which neither you nor your fathers had known, to make you understand that man does not live on bread alone but that man lives on everything that comes from the mouth of the Lord. The clothes on your back did not wear out and your feet were not swollen, all those forty years.

Learn from this that the Lord your God was training you as a man trains his child, 
and keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and so follow his ways and reverence him.


God first loved us and sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away,
and we have known and put our faith in God’s love towards us.

The Lord has proved himself our Savior;
he has redeemed us in his love,
and we have known and put our faith in God’s love towards us.

Second Reading
Vatican II, "Lumen gentium"

Behold! I will save my people

By an utterly free and mysterious decree of his own wisdom and goodness, the eternal Father created the whole world. His plan was to dignify men with a participation in his own divine life. When in Adam men had fallen, he did not abandon them, but ceaselessly offered them help to salvation, in anticipation of Christ the Redeemer, ‘who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature’. All the elect, before time began, the Father 
‘foreknew and predestined to become conformed to the image of his Son, 
that he should be the firstborn among many brethren’.

All those who would believe in Christ he planned to assemble in the holy Church, which was already foreshadowed from the beginning of the world. In a remarkable way the Church was prepared for throughout the history of the people of Israel and by means of the Old Covenant. Established in the present era of time, she was made manifest by the outpouring of the Spirit. At the end of time she will achieve her glorious fulfillment. Then, as may be read in the holy Fathers, all just men from the time of Adam, ‘from Abel, the just one, to the last of the elect’, will be gathered together with the Father in the universal Church.

Finally, those who have not yet received the gospel are related in various ways to the People of God.

In the first place there is that people to whom the covenants and promises were made and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh. On account of their fathers, this people remains most dear to God, 
for God does not repent of the gifts he makes nor of the calls he issues.

But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the creator. In the first place among these there are the Moslems; they profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and along with us adore the one and merciful God, 
who will judge mankind on the last day.

Nor is God himself far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, 
for it is he who gives to all men life and breath and every other gift, and who as Savior wills that all men be saved.

Those also can attain to everlasting salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the gospel of Christ or his Church, yet sincerely seek God and, moved by grace, strive by their deeds to do his will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does divine Providence deny the help necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, 
have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God but who strive, aided by his grace, to live a good life.

Whatever goodness or truth is found amongst them, is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the gospel, 
and as given by him who enlightens all men that they may finally have life.


God’s plan,
which he will complete when the time is right,
is to bring all creation together,
everything in heaven and on earth,
with Christ as head.

God wanted all perfection to be found in him and all things to be reconciled through him and for him,
everything in heaven and on earth,
with Christ as head.

Let us pray.

Almighty God,
ruler of all things in heaven and on earth,
listen favorably to the prayer of your people,
and grant us your peace in our day.
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.