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Office of Readings -- Awakening Prayer

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help 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.
Amen. Alleluia.


A suitable hymn may be inserted at this point.

Psalm 6
A prayer for relief from affliction
Lord, do not condemn me in your fury: do not destroy me in your anger.

Take pity on me, Lord, for I am sick; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in disarray.
My spirit is deeply disturbed, and you, Lord – how long?

Turn to me, Lord, rescue my spirit: in your pity, save me.
If I die, how can I praise you? Can anyone in the underworld proclaim your name?

I struggle and groan, soak my bed with weeping night after night;
my eyes are troubled with sadness: I grow older as my enemies watch.

Leave me, all who do evil, for the Lord has heard my voice as I wept.
The Lord listened to my prayer, granted me what I asked.

Let my enemies be ashamed and confounded:
let shame and confusion overtake them soon.

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.
Amen.

Psalm 9A (9)
Thanksgiving for victory
I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of your wonders.
I will rejoice in you and triumph, make music to your name, O Most High.

Because my enemies are in full retreat; they stumble and perish at your presence.
For you have given judgement in my favour, upheld my case, taken your seat on the throne of judgement.

You have rebuked the nations, condemned the wicked, wiped out their name for ever and for ever.

My enemies are no more; their land is a desert for ever. You have demolished their cities, their very memory is wiped away.

But the Lord will reign for ever: he has made his throne his judgement-seat.
He himself will judge the whole world in justice, judge the peoples impartially.

The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in good times and in bad.
Let them put their hope in you, those who know your name; for you, Lord, have never abandoned those who seek you.

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.
Amen.

Psalm 9A (9)
Sing to the Lord who dwells in Sion, proclaim to the nations his loving care.
For he has remembered the poor and avenged them with blood: he has not forgotten the cry of the weak.

Take pity on me, Lord: see how my enemies torment me.
You raise me up from the gates of death, and I will proclaim your praise at the gates of the daughter of Sion; I will rejoice in your salvation.

The nations have fallen into the pit that they made, into the very trap that they set: their feet are caught fast.
The Lord’s justice shines forth: the sinner is trapped by his very own action.

Sinners will go down to the underworld, and all nations that forget God.
For the weak will not always be forgotten: the hope of the weak will never perish.

Rise up, Lord, let men not be complacent: let the nations come before you to be judged.
Put fear into them, Lord: let them know that they are only men.

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.
Amen.

Reading Job 29:1 - 30:23 ©
And Job continued his solemn discourse. He said:
Who will bring back to me the months that have gone,
 and the days when God was my guardian,
when his lamp shone over my head,
 and his light was my guide in the darkness?
Shall I ever see my autumn days again
 when God hedged round my tent;
when Shaddai dwelt with me,
 and my children were around me;
when my feet were plunged in cream,
 and streams of oil poured from the rocks?

When I went out to the gate of the city,
 when I took my seat in the square,
as soon as I appeared, the young men stepped aside,
 while the older men rose to their feet.
Men of note interrupted their speeches,
 and put their fingers on their lips;
The voices of rulers were silenced,
 and their tongues stayed still in their mouths.

And now I am the laughing-stock
 of my juniors, the young people,
whose fathers I did not consider fit
 to put with the dogs that looked after my flock.

And these are the ones that now sing ballads about me,
 and make me the talk of the town!
To them I am loathsome, they stand aloof from me,
 do not scruple to spit in my face.
Because he has unbent my bow and chastened me
 they cast the bridle from their mouth.
That brood of theirs rises to right of me,
 stones are their weapons,
 and they take threatening strides towards me.
They have cut me off from all escape,
 there is no one to check their attack.
They move in, as though through a wide breach,
 and I am crushed beneath the rubble.
Terrors turn to meet me,
 my confidence is blown away as if by the wind;
 my hope of safety passes like a cloud.

And now the life in me trickles away,
 days of grief have gripped me.
At night-time, sickness saps my bones,
 I am gnawed by wounds that never sleep.
With immense power it has caught me by the clothes,
 clutching at the collar of my coat.
It has thrown me into the mud
 where I am no better than dust and ashes.

I cry to you, and you give me no answer;
 I stand before you, but you take no notice.
You have grown cruel in your dealings with me,
 your hand lies on me, heavy and hostile.
You carry me up to ride the wind,
 tossing me about in a tempest.
I know it is to death that you are taking me,
 the common meeting place of all that lives.

Reading A letter by St Boniface
The careful shepherd watches over Christ's flock
In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life’s different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on her course.
The ancient fathers showed us how we should carry out this duty: Clement, Cornelius and many others in the city of Rome, Cyprian at Carthage, Athanasius at Alexandria. They all lived under emperors who were pagans; they all steered Christ’s ship – or rather his most dear spouse, the Church. This they did by teaching and defending her, by their labours and sufferings, even to the shedding of blood.
I am terrified when I think of all this. Fear and trembling came upon me and the darkness of my sins almost covered me. I would gladly give up the task of guiding the Church which I have accepted if I could find such an action warranted by the example of the fathers or by holy Scripture.
Since this is the case, and since the truth can be assaulted but never defeated or falsified, with our tired mind let us turn to the words of Solomon: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own prudence. Think on him in all your ways, and he will guide your steps. In another place he says: The name of the Lord is an impregnable tower. The just man seeks refuge in it and he will be saved.
Let us stand fast in what is right and prepare our souls for trial. Let us wait upon God’s strengthening aid and say to him: O Lord, you have been our refuge in all generations.
Let us trust in him who has placed this burden upon us. What we ourselves cannot bear let us bear with the help of Christ. For he is all-powerful and he tells us: My yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Let us continue the fight on the day of the Lord. The days of anguish and of tribulation have overtaken us; if God so wills, let us die for the holy laws of our fathers, so that we may deserve to obtain an eternal inheritance with them.
Let us be neither dogs that do not bark nor silent onlookers nor paid servants who run away before the wolf. Instead let us be careful shepherds watching over Christ’s flock. Let us preach the whole of God’s plan to the powerful and to the humble, to rich and to poor, to men of every rank and age, as far as God gives us the strength, in season and out of season, as Saint Gregory writes in his book of Pastoral Instruction.
A concluding prayer may follow here.

13 posted on 06/05/2006 8:17:11 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
American Catholic’s Saint of the Day


June 5, 2006
St. Boniface
(672?-754)

Boniface, known as the apostle of the Germans, was an English Benedictine monk who gave up being elected abbot to devote his life to the conversion of the Germanic tribes. Two characteristics stand out: his Christian orthodoxy and his fidelity to the pope of Rome.

How absolutely necessary this orthodoxy and fidelity were is borne out by the conditions he found on his first missionary journey in 719 at the request of Pope Gregory II. Paganism was a way of life. What Christianity he did find had either lapsed into paganism or was mixed with error. The clergy were mainly responsible for these latter conditions since they were in many instances uneducated, lax and questionably obedient to their bishops. In particular instances their very ordination was questionable.

These are the conditions that Boniface was to report in 722 on his first return visit to Rome. The Holy Father instructed him to reform the German Church. The pope sent letters of recommendation to religious and civil leaders. Boniface later admitted that his work would have been unsuccessful, from a human viewpoint, without a letter of safe-conduct from Charles Martel, the powerful Frankish ruler, grandfather of Charlemagne. Boniface was finally made a regional bishop and authorized to organize the whole German Church. He was eminently successful.

In the Frankish kingdom, he met great problems because of lay interference in bishops’ elections, the worldliness of the clergy and lack of papal control.

During a final mission to the Frisians, he and 53 companions were massacred while he was preparing converts for Confirmation.

In order to restore the Germanic Church to its fidelity to Rome and to convert the pagans, he had been guided by two principles. The first was to restore the obedience of the clergy to their bishops in union with the pope of Rome. The second was the establishment of many houses of prayer which took the form of Benedictine monasteries. A great number of Anglo-Saxon monks and nuns followed him to the continent. He introduced Benedictine nuns to the active apostolate of education.

Comment:

Boniface bears out the Christian rule: To follow Christ is to follow the way of the cross. For Boniface, it was not only physical suffering or death, but the painful, thankless, bewildering task of Church reform. Missionary glory is often thought of in terms of bringing new persons to Christ. It seems—but is not—less glorious to heal the household of the faith.



14 posted on 06/05/2006 8:24:46 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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