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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 01-17-11, Memorial, St. Anthony, Abbot
USCCB.org/New American Bible ^ | 01-17-11 | New American Bible

Posted on 01/16/2011 9:31:26 PM PST by Salvation

January 17, 2011


Memorial of Saint Anthony, Abbott

 

Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Gospel


Reading 1

Heb 5:1-10

Brothers and sisters:
Every high priest is taken from among men
and made their representative before God,
to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring,
for he himself is beset by weakness
and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself
as well as for the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself
but only when called by God,
just as Aaron was.
In the same way,
it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest,
but rather the one who said to him:
You are my Son:
this day I have begotten you;
just as he says in another place,
You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.
In the days when he was in the Flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

 
Responsorial Psalm

R. (4b) You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
“Rule in the midst of your enemies.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
“Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
“You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.

Gospel

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast.
People came to Jesus and objected,
“Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them,
“Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast.
But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast on that day.
No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak.
If he does, its fullness pulls away,
the new from the old, and the tear gets worse.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins,
and both the wine and the skins are ruined.
Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; ordinarytime; prayer; worship
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 01/16/2011 9:31:32 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; markomalley; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
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2 posted on 01/16/2011 9:35:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information:
St. Anthony the Abbot
Feast Day: January 17
Born:

251, Herakleopolis Magna, Egypt

Died: 356, Mount Colzim, Egypt
Major Shrine: Monastery of Anthony, Egypt; Vienna, Austria
His body was at Saint-Antoine l'Abbaye, Isère, France
Patron of: against pestilence; amputees; animals; basket makers; basket weavers; brushmakers; butchers; cemetery workers; domestic animals; eczema; epilepsy; epileptics; ergotism; erysipelas; gravediggers; graveyards; hermits; hogs; Hospitallers; monks; pigs; relief from pestilence; shingles; skin diseases; skin rashes; swine; swineherds

3 posted on 01/16/2011 9:51:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Anthony of Egypt


Feast Day: January 17

St. Anthony was born at Heracleus in Egypt. When he was twenty years old, his parents died. They left him a large estate and placed him in charge of the care of his young sister. Anthony felt overwhelmed and turned to God in prayer.

He soon became more and more aware of the power of God in his life. About six months later, he heard this quotation of Jesus from the Gospel: "Go, sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven" (Mark 10:21).

He took the words as a personal message in answer to his prayer for guidance. He made sure that his sister completed her education, then sold his house, furniture, and the land he owned and gave the money to the poor and to the people who needed it.

Anthony's sister joined a group of women living a life of prayer and contemplation. Anthony decided to become a hermit. He begged an elderly hermit to teach him the spiritual life. Anthony also visited other hermits so he could learn each one's most outstanding virtue.

Then at the age of thirty-five he moved alone to the desert, living in an abandoned fort and began his own life of prayer and penance alone with God.

By the time he was fifty-five, people found out where he was and began coming to him for healing and for spiritual counseling. Finally, Anthony built two monasteries on the Nile, one at Pispir and one at Arsinoe. The monks and people who lived around him supported themselves by making and selling baskets and brushes.

Many people heard of him and came to him looking for advice. He would give them practical advice such as: "The devil is afraid of us when we pray and make sacrifices. He is also afraid when we are humble and good. He is especially afraid when we love Jesus very much. He runs away when we make the Sign of the Cross."

St. Anthony visited Paul the hermit shortly before he died and helped dig a grave to bury him. He felt enriched by the example of Paul's holy life.

Anthony died after a long, prayerful life in 356. He was 105. St. Athanasius wrote a well known biography of St. Anthony of Egypt.


4 posted on 01/16/2011 9:53:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Saint of the Week: The Hermit Who Lived For 15 Years in a Tomb
St. Anthony [Of the Desert] (Founder and father of organized Christian monasticism)
Our Holy Father Antony ]St. Anthong of the Desert]
Orthodox Feast of St. Anthony the Great, January 17
Saint Anthony, Abbot [Antony of the Desert][Anthony of Egypt]
5 posted on 01/16/2011 10:09:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

St. Anthony January 17th

 

6 posted on 01/16/2011 10:10:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
7 posted on 01/16/2011 10:12:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
8 posted on 01/16/2011 10:12:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Jesus. High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

9 posted on 01/16/2011 10:13:30 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  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.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Joyful Mysteries
(Mondays and Saturdays)

1. The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) [Spiritual fruit - Humility]
2. The Visitation (Luke 1: 39-56) [Spiritual fruit - Love of Neighbor]
3. The Nativity (Luke 2:1-20) [Spiritual fruit - Poverty of Spirit]
4. The Presentation (Luke 2:21-38) [Spiritual fruit - Purity of mind & body]
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52) [Spiritual fruit - Obedience ]

10 posted on 01/16/2011 10:16:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

11 posted on 01/16/2011 10:16:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Bachmann: Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

Psalm 109:8

    "Let his days be few; and let another take his place of leadership."

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


12 posted on 01/16/2011 10:26:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Christ 2 (Sacred Heart)


Blessed be the most holy Name of Jesus without end!


January Devotion: The Holy Name of Jesus

The month of January is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus. This feast is also celebrated on January 3. Here is an explanation of the devotion.

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has associated entire months to special devotions. The devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus has been traditionally associated with the month of January, due to its celebration on January 3. The name Jesus was given to the Holy Child at God's command (Luke 1:31). The Holy Name is all-powerful because of the Person who bears it; we honor it because of the command of Christ, that we should pray in His Name and because it reminds us of all the blessings we receive through our Holy Redeemer. Hence St. Paul was able to write to the Philippians: ". . . at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth" (Phil. 2:10). By means of this devotion we also make amends for improper use of the Holy Name.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Prayer/Hymn in Honor of the Most Holy Name of Jesus - Iesu, Dulcis Memoria

Iesu, Dulcis Memoria is a celebrated 12th century hymn attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), Doctor Mellifluus. The entire hymn has some 42 to 53 stanzas depending upon the manuscript. Parts of this hymn were used for the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, which was formerly celebrated on the Sunday between the Circumcision and Epiphany, or failing such a Sunday, on January 2. The part below was used at Vespers. In the liturgical revisions of Vatican II, the feast was deleted, though a votive Mass to the Holy Name of Jesus had been retained for devotional use. With the release of the revised Roman Missal in March 2002, the feast was restored as an optional memorial on January 3.

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast!
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy presence rest.

No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than Jesus' name,
The Savior of mankind.

O hope of every contrite heart!
0 joy of all the meek!
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah! this
Nor tongue nor pen can show
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.

Jesus! our only hope be Thou,
As Thou our prize shalt be;
In Thee be all our glory now,
And through eternity. Amen.

---Roman Breviary

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

 

O Divine Jesus, Thou hast promised that anything we ask of the Eternal Father in Thy name shall be granted.

O Eternal Father. In the name of Jesus, for the love of Jesus, in fulfillment of this promise, and because Jesus has said it, grant us our petitions for the sake of Jesus, Thy Divine Son. Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954


That at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Phil:2:10-11
Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
Jesus, The Name above all Names
Devotion to the Holy Name (of Jesus) [Catholic Caucus]
Lessons In Iconography : The Chi Rho - Christ
St. Francis de Sales on the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Excerpt from a Sermon) (Catholic Caucus)
St. Francis de Sales on the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)

St. Bernard on the Most Holy Name of Jesus [Ecumenical]
Saving the day in His Holy Name: St. Genevieve gets a reprieve [Catholic Caucus]
The Holy Name of Jesus
Holy Name of Jesus [San Bernadino of Siena] Ecumenical
The Holy Name of Jesus
Devotion to the Holy Name [of Jesus]
The Name of Jesus: Its Power in Our Lives
The Holy Name of Jesus
Devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus
The Holy Name of Jesus

13 posted on 01/16/2011 10:27:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pope Benedict XVI's Intentions for January, 2011

General Intention: That the riches of creation be preserved, valued and made available to all, as a precious gifts from God to mankind.

Missionary Intention: That Christians may achieve full unity, bearing witness of the universal fatherhood of God to the entire human race.


14 posted on 01/16/2011 10:27:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From: Hebrews 5:1-10

Christ Has Been Made High Priest by God the Father


[1] For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of
men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. [2] He can deal gently
with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. [3] Be-
cause of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of
the people. [4] And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by
God, just as Aaron was.

[5] So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appoin-
ted by him who said to him, “Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee”; [6]
as he says also in another place, “Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of
Melchizedek.”

[7] In the days of the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplica-
tions, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and
he was heard for his godly fear. [8] Although he was a Son, he learned obedience
through what he suffered; [9] and being made perfect he became the source of
eternal salvation to all who obey him, [10] being designated by God a high priest
after the order of Melchizedek.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-10. The central theme of the epistle, broached in 2:17 and taken up again in 4:
14-15, is discussed from here up to the start of chapter 10 — the theme of Christ
as high priest, the high priest who really can free us from all sin. In fact, Christ is
the only perfect Priest: other priests—in both natural religions and the Jewish re-
ligion — are only prefigurements of Christ. The first thing to be emphasized, be-
cause the writer is addressing people of Jewish background, is that Christ’s priest-
hood is on a higher plane than that of the priests of the Old Law. However, the
argument applies not only to the priesthood of Aaron, to whose family all Israelite
priests belonged, but also, indirectly, to all forms of priesthood before Christ. But
there is a basic difference, in that whereas other priests were chosen by men,
Aaron was chosen by God. Sacred Scripture introduces him as Moses’ brother
(cf. Ex 6:20), acting as his interpreter to Pharaoh (because Moses was “slow of
speech”: Ex 4: 10; cf. 7:1-2) and joining him to lead the people out of Egypt (cf.
Ex 4:27-30). After the Israelites left Egypt, God himself instituted the priesthood
of Aaron to minister and carry out divine worship at the tabernacle and later at
the temple in Jerusalem (cf. Ex 28:1-5).

Divine intervention, therefore, brought to a close the period when sacrifice was
offered by the head of the family or the chief of the tribe and when no specific
calling or external ordination rite was connected with priesthood. Thus, for exam-
ple, in the Book of Genesis we read that Cain, and Abel, themselves offered sac-
rifices (cf. Gen 4:35), as did Noah after coming safely through the flood (cf. Gen
8:20); and the patriarchs often offered sacrifices to God in adoration or thanksgi-
ving or to renew their Covenant—for example, Abraham (cf. Gen 12:8; 15:8-17;
22:1-13) and Jacob (cf. Gen 26:25; 33:20), etc.

Although for a considerable time after the institution of the Aaron priesthood,
sacrifices continued to be offered also by private individuals — for example, in the
period of the Judges, the sacrifice of Gideon (Judg 6:18,25-26) or that of Sam-
son’s parents (Judg 13:15-20) — gradually the convictions grew that to be a priest
a person had to have a specific vocation, one which was not given to anyone out-
side males of the line of Aaron (cf. Judg 17:7-13), whom God had chosen from
out of all the people of Israel, identifying him by the sign of his rod sprouting buds
(Num 17:16-24). God himself meted out severe punishment to Korah and his
sons when they tried to set themselves up as rivals of Aaron: they were devoured
by fire from heaven (cf. Num 16); and it was specified in Mosaic legislation time
and time again that only the sons of Aaron could act as priests (cf. Num 3:10;
17:5; 18:7). This priesthood offered the sacrifices of Mosaic worship—the burnt
offerings, cereal offerings, sin offerings and peace offerings (cf. Lev 6). To the de-
scendants of Aaron, assisted by the Levites, was entrusted also the care of the
tabernacle and the protection of the ark of the Covenant. They received their mi-
nistry and had it confirmed by the offering of sacrifice and by anointing of the
man’s head and hands with oil (Ex 29; Lev 8-9; Num 3:3). For all these reasons
Hebrew priests were honored and revered by the people and regarded (not without
reason, because God had ordained them) as on a much higher plane than other
priests particularly those of the peoples of Canaan, the priests of Baal, for exam-
ple. In Christ’s time the high priest was the highest religious authority in Israel;
his words were regarded as oracular statements, and his decisions could have
important political repercussions.

However, Christ came with the very purpose of taking this ancient institution and
transforming it into a new, eternal priesthood. Every Christian priest is, as it were,
Christ’s instrument or an extension of his sacred humanity. Christian priests do
not act in their own name, nor are they mere representatives of the people: they
act in the name of God. “Here we have the priest’s identity: he is direct and daily
instrument of the saving grace which Christ has won for us” (St. J. Escriva, “In
Love with the Church”, 39). It is really Christ who is acting through them by
means of their words, gestures etc. All of this means that Christian priesthood
cannot be separated from the eternal priesthood of Christ. This extension of God’s
providence (in the form of the Old Testament priesthood and the priesthood insti-
tuted by Christ in the New Testament and the mission entrusted to New Testa-
ment priests) should lead us to love and honor the priesthood irrespective of the
human defects and shortcomings of these ministers of God: “To love God and
not venerate his Priests...is not possible” (St J. Escriva, “The Way”, 74).

1a. These words provide a very good short definition of what every priest is.

“The office proper to a priest”, St Thomas Aquinas points out, “is to be a media-
tor between God and the people, inasmuch as he bestows divine things on the
people (he is called “sacerdos” (priest), which means ‘a giver of sacred things’,
“sacra dans” [...]), and again inasmuch as he offers the people’s prayer to God
and in some way makes satisfaction to God for their sins” (”Summa Theologiae”,
III, q.22, a.1).

In this passage of the letter we can detect an echo of the description of Aaron in
the Book of Sirach: “He chose him out of all the living to offer sacrifice to the Lord,
incense and a pleasing odor as a memorial portion, to make atonement for the
people” (Sir 45:16). Four elements characterize the office of the high priest (the
text speaks of the “high” priest in the strict sense, but it is applicable to all
priests —1) his special dignity, because although he is a man he has been spe-
cially chosen by God; 2) the purpose of his mission, which is the good of man-
kind (”to act on behalf of men”); 3) the “material” side of his office, that is, public
divine worship; 4) the specific acts he must perform, the offering of sacrifice at
appropriate times.

In the specific case of priesthood instituted by God—such as that of Aaron or the
new priesthood instituted by Christ—the calling (”taken” or “chosen” from among
men) is not simply an influence the person feels interiorly, or a desire to be a
priest: its divine origin is confirmed by nomination by the proper authority, and
by official consecration.

1b. A priest is “chosen from among men”, that is, he should possess a human
nature. This is a further sign of God’s mercy: to bring about our salvation he uses
someone accessible to us, one who shares our human condition, “so that man
might have someone like himself to have recourse to” (St Thomas, “Commentary
on Heb, ad loc.”). These words also indicate the extent of God’s kindness be-
cause they remind us that the divine Redeemer not only offered himself and
made satisfaction for the sins of all, but desired that “the priestly life which the
divine Redeemer had begun in his mortal body by his prayers and sacrifice
(should not cease). He willed it to continue unceasingly through the ages in his
mystical body, which is the Church; and therefore he instituted a visible priest-
hood to offer everywhere a clean oblation (Mal 1:11), so that all men all over the
world, being diverted from sin, might serve God conscientiously, and of their own
free will” (Pius XII, “Mediator Dei”, 1).

He is “chosen from among men” also in the sense that he is given special con-
secration which is some way marks him off from the rest of the people of God.
St John Chrysostom comments, recalling Jesus triple question to Peter after the
Resurrection (cf. Jn 21:15-17): “When he asked Peter if he loved him, he did not
do so because he needed to know whether his disciple loved him, but because
he wanted to show how great his own love was; thus, when he says, ‘Who then
is the faithful and prudent servant’, he does not say this because he does not
know the answer, but in order to show us how unique and wonderful an honor it
is, as can be deduced from the rewards: ‘he will place him over all his goods.’
And he concludes that the priest ought to be outstanding in holiness (”De Sacer-
dotio”, II, 1-2).

“The priests of the New Testament”, Vatican II reminds us, “are, by their vocation
to ordination, set apart in some way in the midst of the people of God, but this is
not in order that they should be separated from that people or from anyone, but
that they should be completely consecrated to the task for which God chose
them” (”Presbyterorum Ordinis”, 3). This calling, then, constitutes a distinction
but not a separation because it is indissolubly linked to a specific mission: a
priest is “chosen from among men” but for the purpose of acting “on behalf of
men in relation to God”. In this delicate balance between divine call and spiritual
mission to men lies the essence of priesthood. Christians, therefore, should ne-
ver view a priest as “just another person”. “They want to find in the priest the vir-
tues appropriate to any Christian and even any upright man—understanding, jus-
tice, commitment to work (priestly work, in this case), charity, good manners,
social refinement. But the faithful also want to be able to recognize clearly the
priestly character: they expect the priest to pray, not to refuse to administer the
sacraments; they expect him to be open to everyone and not set himself up to
take charge of people or become an aggressive leader of human factions, of
whatever shade (cf. “Presbyterorum Ordinis”, 6). They expect him to bring love
and devotion to the celebration of Mass, to sit in the confessional, to console the
sick and the troubled; to teach sound doctrine to children and adults, to preach
the Word of God and no mere human science which—no matter how well he may
know it—is not the knowledge that saves and brings eternal life; they expect him
to give counsel and be charitable to those in need” (St. J. Escriva, “In Love with
the Church”, 42).

Priests “could not be the servants of Christ unless they were witnesses and dis-
pensers of a life other than that of this earth. On the other hand, they would be
powerless to serve men if they remained aloof from their life and circumstances”
(”Presbyterorum Ordinis”, 3). In this connection, Pope John Paul II has made the
following appeal: “Yes, you are chosen from among men, given to Christ by the
Father, to be in the world, “in the heart of society”. You are appointed to act on
behalf of men (Heb 5:1). The priesthood is the sacrament whereby the Church
is to be seen as the society of the people of God; it is the ‘social’ sacrament.
Priests should ‘convoke’ each of the communities of the people of God, around
them but not for themselves—for Christ!” (”Homily at an Ordination of Priests”, 15
June 1980).

The specific function of the priest has, then, been clearly identified: he is con-
cerned about his brethren but he is not here to solve temporal problems; his role
is only “in relation to God”. “Christian ministerial priesthood is different from any
other priesthood in that it is not an office to which someone is appointed by others
to intercede with God on their behalf; it is a mission to which a man is called by
God (Heb 5: 1-10; 7:24; 9: 11-28) to be towards others a living sign of the pre-
sence of Christ, the only Mediator (1 Tim 2:5), Head and Shepherd of his people
[...]. In other words, Christian priesthood is essentially (this is the only possible
way it can be understood) an eminently sacred mission, both in its origin (Christ)
and in its content (the divine mystery) and by the very manner in which it is con-
ferred (a sacrament)” (A. del Portillo, “On Priesthood”, pp. 59f).

2-3. From the moral qualities a priest needs, these verses single out mercy and
compassion, which lead him, on the one hand, to be gentle to sinners and, at the
same time, to desire to make personal reparation for their sins. The Latin transla-
tion of v. 2a puts the emphasis on the fact that the priest shares in suffering for
sin: he can “suffer along with” (”aeque condolere”) but in just measure on seeing
those who go astray, and, imitating Christ, he can himself perform some of the
penance those sinners should be doing. The original word translated here as
“deal gently” recalls the profound, but serene, sorrow which Abraham felt when
Sarah died (cf. Gen 23:2) and at the same time it alludes to the need for forbea-
rance, generosity and understanding: a priest must be a person who, while rejec-
ting sin, is understanding to the sinner and conscious that it may take him time
to mend his ways. He is also inclined to put the sinner’s intentions in the best
light (cf. Gal 6:1): people do not always sin deliberately; they can sin out of ig-
norance (that is, not realizing the gravity of their actions) and, more often than
not, out of weakness.

The Old Testament makes a clear distinction between sin committed unwittingly
(cf. Lev 4:2-27; Num 14:24, 27-29) and sins of rebelliousness (cf. Num 15:22-31;
Deut 17:12). Further on (cf. Heb 6:4-6; 10:26-27; 12:17), the letter will again refer
to the gravity of sins committed out of malice. Here, however, it is referring to sin,
whether grave or not, committed out of weakness. “Ignorant” and “wayward” are
almost synonymous, for a person who sins out of ignorance is described in He-
brews by a word which means “he who goes astray, he who does not know the
way”. The basic reason why a priest should be understanding and compassio-
nate is his awareness of his own weakness. Thus, the Church puts these words
on his lips in Eucharistic Prayer I: “’nobis quoque peccatoribus’—for ourselves,
too, sinners” (cf. Wis 9:5-6). A priest is compassionate and understanding be-
cause “he himself is beset with weakness”. The word translated as “beset” con-
tains the idea of surrounded or covered by or wrapped as if in a cloak. Pope Pius
XI wrote: “When we see a man exercising this faculty (of forgiving sins), we can-
not but repeat (not out of pharisaical scandal, but with reverent amazement)
those words, ‘Who is this, who even forgives sins?’ (Lk 7:49). It is the Man-God,
who had and has ‘authority on earth to forgive sins’ (Lk 5:24), and has chosen to
communicate it to his priests, and thereby with the generosity of divine mercy to
meet the human conscience’s need of purification. Hence the great consolation
the guilty man receives who experiences remorse and contritely hears the priest
tell him in God’s name, ‘I absolve you from your sins.’ The fact that he hears this
said by someone who himself will need to ask another priest to speak the same
words to him, does not debase God’s merciful gift: it enhances it, for the hand of
God who works this wonder is seen (as operating) by means of a frail creature”
(Pius XII, “Ad Catholici Sacerdotii”).

3. Everyone, including the priest, is a sinner. In the Old Testament rites for the
Day of Atonement (”Yom Kippur”), the high priest, before entering the Holy of
Holies, offered a sin-offering for his own sins (cf. Lev 16:3, 6, 11; Heb 9:6-14); so
too the priests of the New Testament have a duty to be holy, to reject sin, to ask
for forgiveness of their own sins, and to intercede for sinners.

The model the priest should always have before him is Jesus Christ, the eternal
high priest. “The main motive force actuating a priest should be the determination
to attain the closest union with the divine Redeemer [...]. He should continually
keep Christ before his eyes. Christ’s commands, actions and example he should
follow most assiduously, in the conviction that it is not enough for him to submit
to the duties by which the faithful are bound, but that he must at a daily increa-
sing pace pursue the perfection of life which the high dignity of a priest demands”
(Pius XII, “Menti Nostrae”, 7). But, one might object, Christ never had any defect,
never sinned, because his human nature was perfect and totally holy: is he not
therefore too perfect a model for men who when it comes down to it are sinners?
The answer is, No, not at all, for he himself said, “I have given you an example,
that you also should do as I have done to you” (Jn 13:15). Besides, when the text
(v. 2) refers to “weakness” this may refer to two things the weakness of human
nature (of man as creature), and the imperfection resulting from his faults and his
passions. The former kind of defect is one Christ shares with us; the second is
one he does not.

For this very reason, in the case of the priest, consciousness of his sins, plus
his conviction that he has been called by Christ, moves him to be very committed
to his apostolic ministry of reconciliation and penance; and in the first instance
priests perform this ministry for one another. “Priests, who are consecrated by
the anointing of the Holy Spirit and sent by Christ, mortify the works of the flesh
in themselves and dedicate themselves completely to the service of people” (Va-
tican II, “Presbyterorum Ordinis”, 12). As Pope John Paul II has stressed, “the
priest’s celebration of the Eucharist and administration of the other sacraments,
his pastoral zeal, his relationship with the faithful, his communion with this bro-
ther priests, his collaboration with his bishop, his life of prayer — in a word, the
whole of his priestly existence — suffers an inexorable decline if by negligence
or for some other reason he fails to receive the sacrament of Penance at regular
intervals and in a spirit of genuine faith and devotion. If a priest were no longer to
go to confession or properly confess his sins, his priestly being and his priestly
action would feel the effect of this very soon, and it would also be noticed by the
community of which he was the pastor.

“But I also add that even in order to be a good and effective minister of Penance
he priest needs to have recourse to the source of grace and holiness present in
this sacrament. We priests, on the basis of our personal experience, can certain-
ly say that, the more careful we are to receive the sacrament of Penance and to
approach it frequently and with good dispositions, the better we fulfill our own mi-
nistry as confessors and ensure that our penitents benefit from it. And on the
other hand this ministry would lose much of its effectiveness if in some way we
were to stop being good penitents. Such is the internal logic of this great sacra-
ment. It invites all of us priests of Christ to pay renewed attention to our personal
confession” (”Reconciliatio Et Paenitentia”, 31).

What the Pope says here ultimately stems from the fact that “ as ministers of the
sacred mysteries, especially in the sacrifice of the Mass, priests act in a special
way in the person of Christ who gave himself as a victim to sanctify men” (”Pres-
byterorum Ordinis”, 13).

In this way, “Christ the shepherd is present in the priest so as continually to ac-
tualize the universal call to conversion and repentance which prepares for the co-
ming of the Kingdom of heaven (cf. Mt 4:17). He is present in order to make men
understand that forgiveness of sins, the reconciliation of the soul and God, can-
not be the outcome of a monologue, no matter how keen a person’s capacity for
reflection and self-criticism. He reminds us that no one, alone, can calm his own
conscience; that the contrite heart must submit its sins to the Church — institution,
to the man-priest, who in the sacrament of Penance is a permanent objective wit-
ness to the radical need which fallen humanity has of the man-God, the only Just
One, the only Justifier” (A. del Potillo, “On Priesthood”, p. 62).

7-9. This brief summary of Christ’s life stresses his perfect obedience to the
Father’s will, his intense prayer and his sufferings and redemptive death. As in
the hymn to Christ in Philippians 2:6-11, the point is made that Christ set his po-
wer aside and, despite his being the only-begotten Son of God, out of obedience
chose to die on the cross. His death was a true self-offering expressed in that
“loud voice” when he cried out to the Father just before he died, “into thy hands
I commit my spirit” (Lk 23:46). But although Jesus’ obedience was most obvious
on Calvary, it was a constant feature of “the days of his flesh”: he obeyed Mary
and Joseph, seeing in them the authority of the heavenly Father; he was obedient
to political and religious authorities; and he always obeyed the Father, identifying
himself with him to such a degree that he could say, “I have glorified thee on
earth, having accomplished the work which thou gavest me to do [...]. All mine
are thine and thine are mine” (Jn 17:4, 10).

The passage also points to Jesus prayer, the high point of which occurred in
Gethsemane on the eve of his passion. The reference to “loud cries and suppli-
cations” recalls the Gospel account of his suffering: “And being in an agony he
prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling
down upon the ground” (Lk 22:44).

Hebrews 5:7-9 is probably referring not so much to his prayer in the Garden, still
less to any prayer of Christ asking to be delivered from death, but to our Lord’s
constant prayer for the salvation of mankind. “When the Apostle speaks of these
supplications and cries of Jesus,” St John Chrysostom comments, “he does not
mean prayers which he made on his own behalf but prayers for those who would
later believe in him. And, due to the fact that the Jews did not yet have the eleva-
ted concept of Christ that they ought to have had, St Paul says that ‘he was heard’,
just as the Lord himself told his disciples, to console them, ‘If you loved me, you
would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I’
[...]. Such was the respect and reverence shown by the Son, that God the Father
could not but take note and heed his Son and his prayers” (”Hom. on Heb”, 11).

7. “In the days of his flesh”, a reference to the Incarnation. “Flesh” is synony-
mous with mortal life; this is a reference to Christ’s human nature—as in the pro-
logue to St John’s Gospel (elf. Jn 1:14) and many other places (Heb 2:14; Gal
2:20; Phil 1:22-24; 1 Pet 4:1-2) including where mention is made of Jesus being
a servant and capable of suffering (cf. Phil 2:8; Mt 20:27-28). Jesus’ human nature
“in the days of his flesh” is quite different from his divine nature and also from his
human nature after its glorification (cf. 1 Cor 15:50). “It must be said that the word
‘flesh’ is occasionally used to refer to the weakness of the flesh, as it says in 1
Cor 15:50: ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God’. Christ had a weak
and mortal flesh. Therefore it says in the text, ‘In the days of his flesh’, referring
to when he was living in a flesh which seemed to be like sinful flesh, but which
was sinless” (St Thomas Aquinas, “Commentary on Heb”, 5, 1). So, this text
underlines our Lord’s being both Victim and Priest.

“Prayers and supplications”: very fitting in a priest. The two words mean much
the same; together they are a form of words which used to be employed in peti-
tions to the king or some important official. The plural tells us that there were lots
of these petitions. The writer seems to have in mind the picture of the Redeemer
who “going a little farther fell on his face and prayed, ‘My Father, if it be possible,
let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Mt 26:39).
St Thomas comments on this description of Christ’s prayer as follows: “His ac-
tion was indeed one of offering prayers and supplications, that is, a spiritual sacri-
fice: that was what Christ offered. It speaks of prayers in the sense of petitions
because ‘The prayer of a righteous man has great power’ (Jas 5:16); and it speaks
of supplications to emphasize the humility of the one who is praying, who falls on
his knees, as we see happening in the case of him who ‘fell on his face and
prayed’ (Mt 26:39)” (”Commentary on Heb”, 5, 1).

To emphasize the force of Christ’s prayer, the writer adds, “with loud cries and
tears”. According to rabbinical teaching, there were three degrees of prayer,
each stronger than the last—supplications, cries and tears. Christian tradition has
always been touched by the humanity of the Redeemer as revealed in the way
he prays. “Everything that is being said here may be summed up in one word—
humility: that stops the mouths of those who blaspheme against Christ’s divinity
saying that it is completely inappropriate for a God to act like this. For, on the
contrary, the Godhead laid it down that [Christ’s] human nature should suffer all
this, in order to show us the extreme to which he truly became incarnate and as-
sumed a human nature, and to show us that the mystery of salvation was accom-
plished in a real and not an apparent or fictitious manner” (Theodoret of Cyrus,
“lnterpretatio Ep. ad Haebreos, ad loc.”). Christ’s prayer, moreover, teaches us
that prayer must 1) be fervent and 2) involve interior pain. “Christ had both [fervor
and pain], for the Apostle by mentioning ‘tears’ intends to show the interior groa-
ning of him who weeps in this way [...]. But he did not weep on his own account:
he wept for us, who receive the fruit of his passion” (St Thomas, “Commentary
on Heb., ad loc.”).

“He was heard for his godly fear.” St John Chrysostom’s commentary is very ap-
posite: “’He gave himself up for our sins’, he says in Gal 1:4; and elsewhere (cf.
1 Tim 2:6) he adds, ‘He gave himself as a ransom for all’. What does he mean
by this? Do you not see that he is speaking with humility of himself, because of
his mortal flesh? And, nevertheless, because he is the Son, it says that he was
heard for his godly fear” (”Hom. on Heb.”, 8). It is like a loving contention between
Father and Son. The Son wins the Father’s admiration, so generous is his self-
surrender.

And yet Christ’s prayer did not seem to be heeded, for his Father God did not
save him from ignominious death—the cup he had to drink—nor were all the Jews,
for whom he prayed, converted. But it was only apparently so: in fact Christ’s pra-
yer was heard. It is true that, like every one, the idea of dying was repugnant to
him, because he had a natural instinct to live; but, on the other hand, he wished
to die through a deliberate and rational act of his will, hence in the course of the
prayer, he said, “not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk 22:42). Similarly Christ wan-
ted to save all mankind—but he wanted them to accept salvation freely (cf. “Com-
mentary on Heb., ad loc.”).

8. In Christ there are two perfect and complete natures and therefore two different
levels of knowledge—divine knowledge and human knowledge. Christ’s human
knowledge includes 1) the knowledge that the blessed in heaven have, that is,
the knowledge that comes from direct vision of the divine essence; 2) the know-
ledge with which God endowed man before original sin (infused knowledge); and
3) the knowledge which man acquires through experience. This last-mentioned
knowledge could and in fact did increase (cf. Lk 2:52) in Christ’s case. Christ’s
painful experience of the passion, for example, increased this last type of know-
ledge, which is why the verse says that Christ learned obedience through suffe-
ring. There was a Greek proverb which said, “Sufferings are lessons.” Christ’s
teaching and example raise this positive view of suffering onto the supernatural
level. “In ‘suffering there is concealed’ a particular ‘power that draws a person in-
teriorly close to Christ’, a special grace [...]. A result of such a conversion is not
only that the individual discovers the salvific meaning of suffering but above all
that he becomes a completely new person. He discovers a new dimension, as
it were, ‘of his entire life and vocation’” (John Paul II, “Salvifici Doloris”, 26).

In our Lord’s case, his experience of suffering was connected with his generosity
in obedience. He freely chose to obey even unto death (cf. Heb 10:5-9; Rom 5:19;
Phil 2:8), consciously atoning for the first sin, a sin of disobedience. “In his suffe-
ring, sins are canceled out precisely because he alone as the only-begotten Son
could take them upon himself, accept them ‘with that love for the Father which
overcomes’ the evil of every sin; in a certain sense he annihilates this evil in the
spiritual space of the relationship between God and humanity, and fills this space
with good” (”Salvifici Doloris”, 17). Christ “learned obedience” not in the sense
that this virtue developed in him, for his human nature was perfect in its holiness,
but in the sense that he put into operation the infused virtue his human soul al-
ready possessed. “Christ knew what obedience was from all eternity, but he
learned obedience in practice through the severities he underwent particularly in
his passion and death” (St Thomas Aquinas, “Commentary on Heb., ad loc.”).

Christ’s example of obedience is something we should copy. A Christian writer
of the fifth century, Diadochus of Photike, wrote: “The Lord loved (obedience) be-
cause it was the way to bring about man’s salvation and he obeyed his Father
unto the cross and unto death; however, his obedience did not in any sense di-
minish his majesty. And so, having—by his obedience—dissolved man’s disobe-
dience, he chose to lead to blessed and immortal life those who followed the
way of obedience” (”Chapters on Spiritual Perfection”, 41).

9. Obviously Christ as God could not increase in perfection. Nor could his sacred
humanity become any holier, for from the moment of his Incarnation he received
the fullness of grace, that is, he had the maximum degree of holiness a man
could have. In this connection Thomas Aquinas points out that Christ had union
(that is, the personal union to the Son of God gratuitously bestowed on human
nature): clearly this grace is infinite as the person of the Word is infinite. The
other grace is habitual grace which, although it is received in a limited human na-
ture, is yet infinite in its perfection because grace was conferred on Christ as the
universal source of the justification of human nature (cf. “Summa Theologiae”, III,
q. 7, a. 11). In what sense, then, could Christ be “made perfect”? St Thomas pro-
vides the answer: Christ, through his passion, achieved a special glory—the im-
passibility and glorification of his body. Moreover, he attained the same perfec-
tions as we shall participate in when we are raised from the dead in glory, those
of us who believe in him (cf. “Commentary on Heb., ad loc.”). For this reason our
Redeemer could exclaim before his death, “It is finished” (Jn 19:30)—referring not
only to his own sacrifice but also to the fact that he had completely accomplished
the redeeming atonement. Christ triumphed on the cross and attained perfection
for himself and for others. In Hebrews the same verb is used for what is translated
into English as “to be made perfect” and “to finish”. Christ, moreover, by obeying
and becoming a perfect victim, truly pleasing to the Father, is more perfectly posi-
tioned to perfect others. “Obedience” is essentially docility to what God asks of
us and readiness to listen to him (cf. Rom 1:5; 16:26; 2 Cor 10:5; Heb 4:3).
Christ’s obedience is a source of salvation for us; if we imitate him we will truly
form one body with him and he will be able to pass on to us the fullness of his
grace.

“Now, when you find it hard to obey, remember your Lord: ‘factus obediens usque
ad mortem, mortem autem crucis”: obedient even to accepting death, death on a
cross!’” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 628).

10. As the epistle repeatedly teaches, Christ is a high priest “after the order of
Melchizedek”. Two essential characteristics come together here: he is the eter-
nal Son of God, as announced in the messianic Psalm 2:7: “You are my Son, to-
day I have begotten you”; and he is at the same time high priest not according to
the order which God instituted with Aaron but according to the order of Melchize-
dek, also established by God. Further on the letter explains in what sense this
“order of Melchizedek” is superior to that of Levi and Aaron. What it stresses at
this point is the connection between Christ’s priesthood and his divine sonship.
Christ, the Son of God, was sent by the Father as Redeemer and mediator, and
the mediation of Christ, who is God and true man, is exercised by way of priest-
hood. So, in the last analysis Christ is Priest both by virtue of being the Son of
God and by virtue of his Incarnation as man. “The abyss of malice which sin
opens up has been bridged by his infinite charity. God did not abandon men. His
plans foresaw that the sacrifices of the Old Law would be insufficient to repair our
faults and re-establish the unity which had been lost. A man who was God would
have to offer himself up. To help us grasp in some measure this unfathomable my-
stery, we might imagine the Blessed Trinity taking counsel together in their unin-
terrupted intimate relationship of intimate love. As a result of their eternal decision,
the only-begotten Son of God the Father takes on our human condition and bears
the burden of our wretchedness and sorrow, to end up sewn with nails to a piece
of wood” (St J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 95).

It was appropriate that the divine person who became incarnate should be the
Son or Word, for “the Word has a kind of essential kinship not only with rational
nature but also universally with the whole of creation, since the Word contains
the essences of all things created by God, just as man the artist in the concep-
tion of his intellect comprehends the essences of all the products of art [...].
Wherefore all things are said to be made by the Word. Therefore, it was appro-
priate for Word to be joined to creature, that is, to human nature” (St Thomas,
“Summa Contra Gentiles”, IV, 42). Finally, it was fitting that Redemption from
sin should be brought about by way of a sacrifice offered by the same divine per-
son. So it is that Christ, the only-begotten Son, to whom God said, “You are my
son, today I have begotten you”, is also the priest to whom God swears, “Thou
art a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek”.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


15 posted on 01/16/2011 10:29:50 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Mark 2:18-22

A Discussion on Fasting


[18] Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and
said to Him (Jesus): “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees
fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” [19] And Jesus said to them, “Can the wed-
ding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the
bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. [20] The days will come, when the bride-
groom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. [21] No one
sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; if he does, the patch tears
away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. [22] And no one
puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and
the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but new wine is for fresh skins.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

18-22. Using a particular case, Christ’s reply tells about the connection between
the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament the Bridegroom has not yet
arrived; in the New Testament He is present, in the person of Christ. With Him
began the Messianic Times, a new era distinct from the previous one. The Jewish
fasts, therefore, together with their system of religious observances, must be seen
as a way of preparing the people for the coming of the Messiah. Christ shows the
difference between the spirit He has brought and that of the Judaism of His time.
This new spirit will not be something extra, added on to the old; it will bring to life
the perennial teachings contained in the older Revelation. The newness of the
Gospel—just like new wine—cannot fit within the molds of the Old Law.

But this passage says more: to receive Christ’s new teaching people must inward-
ly renew themselves and throw off the straight-jacket of old routines.

19-20. Jesus describes Himself as the Bridegroom (cf. also Luke 12:35; Matthew
25:1-13; John 3:29), thereby fulfilling what the Prophets had said about the relation-
ship between God and His people (cf. Hosea 2:18-22; Isaiah 54:5ff). The Apostles
are the guests at the wedding, invited to share in the wedding feast with the Bride-
groom, in the joy of the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Matthew 22:1-14).

In verse 20 Jesus announces that the Bridegroom will be taken away from them:
this is the first reference He makes to His passion and death (cf. Mark 8:31; John
2:19; 3:14). The vision of joy and sorrow we see here epitomizes our human
condition during our sojourn on earth.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


16 posted on 01/16/2011 10:30:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings


First reading Hebrews 5:1-10 ©
Every high priest has been taken out of mankind and is appointed to act for men in their relations with God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins; and so he can sympathise with those who are ignorant or uncertain because he too lives in the limitations of weakness. That is why he has to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honour on himself, but each one is called by God, as Aaron was. Nor did Christ give himself the glory of becoming high priest, but he had it from the one who said to him: You are my son, today I have become your father, and in another text: You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever. During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation and was acclaimed by God with the title of high priest of the order of Melchizedek.

Psalm Psalm 109:1-4

Gospel Mark 2:18-22 ©
One day when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and said to him, ‘Why is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of fasting while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they could not think of fasting. But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; if he does, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine, fresh skins!’

17 posted on 01/16/2011 10:41:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Monday, January 17, 2011
St. Anthony, Abbot (Memorial)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
Hebrews 5:1-10
Psalm 110:1-4
Mark 2:18-22

O Catholic Church, true mother of Christians, you are right in teaching that God should be adored with an entirely chaste and pure heart. You unite all brothers and sisters to one another in a bond of religion that is stronger and closer than ties of blood.

-- St. Augustine


18 posted on 01/16/2011 10:46:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Monday, January 17, 2011
St. Anthony, Abbot (Memorial)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Gospel:
Hebrews 5:1-10
Psalm 110:1-4
Mark 2:18-22

O Catholic Church, true mother of Christians, you are right in teaching that God should be adored with an entirely chaste and pure heart. You unite all brothers and sisters to one another in a bond of religion that is stronger and closer than ties of blood.

-- St. Augustine


19 posted on 01/16/2011 10:47:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Parents for Life
 
Love both the parent and the child.
 
Pray to end abortion in America

20 posted on 01/16/2011 10:53:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Office of Readings and Invitatory Psalm

Office of Readings

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


Introduction
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.

Hymn
Our limbs refreshed with slumber now,
And sloth cast off, in prayer we bow;
And while we sing thy praises dear,
O Father, be thou present here.
To thee our earliest morning song,
To thee our hearts’ full powers belong;
And thou, O Holy One prevent
Each following action and intent.
As shades at morning flee away,
And night before the star of day;
So each transgression of the night
Be purged by thee, celestial light!
Cut off, we pray Thee, each offence,
And every lust of thought and sense;
That by their lips who thee adore
Thou mayst be praised forevermore.
Grant this, O Father ever One
With Christ, thy sole-begotten Son,
And Holy Ghost, whom all adore,
Reigning and blest forevermore.

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.
Amen.
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 neighbours,
  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.
Amen.
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.
Amen.
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.

Reading Deuteronomy 4:1-8,32-40 ©
Moses speaks to the people
These are the words that Moses spoke beyond Jordan to the whole of Israel:
  ‘Now, Israel, take notice of the laws and customs that I teach you today, and observe them, that you may have life and may enter and take possession of the land that the Lord the God of your fathers is giving you. You must add nothing to what I command you, and take nothing from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God just as I lay them down for you. You can see with your own eyes what the Lord has done at Baal-peor; all the followers of the Baal of Peor have been wiped out from among you by the Lord your God; but all of you who stayed faithful to the Lord your God are still alive today. See, as the Lord my God has commanded me, I teach you the laws and customs that you are to observe in the land you are to enter and make your own. Keep them, observe them, and they will demonstrate to the peoples your wisdom and understanding. When they come to know of all these laws they will exclaim, “No other people is as wise and prudent as this great nation.” And indeed, what great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him? And what great nation is there that has laws and customs to match this whole Law that I put before you today?
  ‘Put this question, then, to the ages that are past, that went before you, from the time God created man on earth: Was there ever a word so majestic, from one end of heaven to the other? Was anything ever heard? Did ever a people hear the voice of the living God speaking from the heart of the fire, as you heard it, and remain alive? Has any god ventured to take to himself one nation from the midst of another by ordeals, signs, wonders, war with mighty hand and outstretched arm, by fearsome terrors – all this that the Lord your God did for you before your eyes in Egypt?
  ‘This he showed you so that you might know that the Lord is God indeed and that there is no other. He let you hear his voice out of heaven for your instruction; on earth he let you see his great fire, and from the heart of the fire you heard his word. Because he loved your fathers and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out from Egypt, openly showing his presence and his great power, driving out in front of you nations greater and more powerful than yourself, and brought you into their land to give it you for your heritage, as it is still today.
  ‘Understand this today, therefore, and take it to heart: the Lord is God indeed, in heaven above as on earth beneath, he and no other. Keep his laws and commandments as I give them to you today, so that you and your children may prosper and live long in the land that the Lord your God gives you for ever.’
Responsory
Hear, O Israel, the precepts of the Lord, and write them in your hearts as in a book, and I will give you a land flowing with milk and honey.
O my people, heed my warning – do but listen to me, O Israel, and I will give you a land flowing with milk and honey.

Reading From the Life of Saint Anthony by Saint Athanasius, bishop
Saint Antony receives his vocation
When Antony was about eighteen or twenty years old, his parents died, leaving him with an only sister. He cared for her as she was very young, and also looked after their home.
  Not six months after his parents’ death, as he was on his way to church for his usual visit, he began to think of how the apostles had left everything and followed the Saviour, and also of those mentioned in the book of Acts who had sold their possessions and brought the apostles the money for distribution to the needy. He reflected too on the great hope stored up in heaven for such as these. This was all in his mind when, entering the church just as the Gospel was being read, he heard the Lord’s words to the rich man: If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor – you will have riches in heaven. Then come and follow me.
  It seemed to Antony that it was God who had brought the saints to his mind and that the words of the Gospel had been spoken directly to him. Immediately he left the church and gave away to the villagers all the property he had inherited, about 200 acres of very beautiful and fertile land, so that it would cause no distraction to his sister and himself. He sold all his other possessions as well, giving to the poor the considerable sum of money he collected. However, to care for his sister he retained a few things.
  The next time he went to church he heard the Lord say in the Gospel: Do not be anxious about tomorrow. Without a moment’s hesitation he went out and gave the poor all that he had left. He placed his sister in the care of some well-known and trustworthy virgins and arranged for her to be brought up in the convent. Then he gave himself up to the ascetic life, not far from his own home. He kept a careful watch over himself and practised great austerity. He did manual work because he had heard the words: If anyone will not work, do not let him eat. He spent some of his earnings on bread and the rest he gave to the poor.
  Having learned that we should always be praying, even when we are by ourselves, he prayed without ceasing. Indeed, he was so attentive when Scripture was read that nothing escaped him and because he retained all he heard, his memory served him in place of books.
  Seeing the kind of life he lived, the villagers and all the good men he knew called him the friend of God, and they loved him as both son and brother.
Responsory
If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.
None of you can be my disciple unless he give up all his possessions; then come, follow me.

Let us pray.
Lord God, you bestowed on Saint Antony the grace of serving you in the wilderness.
  Grant that through his intercession we may deny ourselves and love you above all things.
[We make our prayer] through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

21 posted on 01/17/2011 9:47:55 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Saint Anthony, abbot

Saint Anthony, abbot
Memorial
January 17th

Fra Angelico
Saint Anthony the Abbot Tempted by a Lump of Gold
c. 1436 -- Tempera on panel
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


Called the Patriarch of Monks, St. Anthony (251-356) retired to the desert when he was eighteen years old. He was the first abbot to form a stable rule for his family of monks dedicated to the Divine Service. His talents at spiritual direction were famous, and many people traveled to the desert to seek his advise.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

 

Collect:
Father,
You called Saint Anthony
to renounce the world
and serve You in the solitude of the desert.
By his prayers and example,
may we learn to deny ourselves
and to love You above all things.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Ephesians 6:10-13, 18
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 19:16-26
And behold, one came up to Him[Jesus], saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" And He said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments". He said to him, "Which?" And Jesus said, "You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself". The young man said to Him, "All these I have observed; what do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me". When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.

And Jesus said to His disciples, "Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God". When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."


22 posted on 01/17/2011 10:00:25 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic
Almanac:
Monday, January 17
Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Memorial of St. Anthony of Egypt, abbot. Anthony devoted his life to prayer and fasting. He lived much of his life as a hermit, at one point living 20 years alone. He instructed others of the value and methods of living as a hermit.

23 posted on 01/17/2011 2:30:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Spiritual Bouquet - Meditations by Pade Pio

Spiritual Bouquet
A different meditation each time you click.

 
Meditations by Padre Pio

Some persons when they are with the good, are good; when they are with the bad they follow evil. This is to have half a conscience; it is to act like children who, in the presence of strangers, abuse the occasion to eat things that please their taste, certain that the parents will not reprove them.


24 posted on 01/17/2011 2:52:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: January 17, 2011
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Father, you called St. Anthony to renounce the world and serve you in the solitude of the desert. By his prayers and example, may we learn to deny ourselves and to love you above all things. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Ordinary Time: January 17th

  Memorial of St. Anthony, abbot Old Calendar: St. Anthony, abbot

St. Anthony, the father of monks, retired to the desert at about the age of eighteen in order to live in perfect solitude. He laid the foundations of community life, and gave to his disciples that profound broad and sane instruction, the mature result of solitude and prayer, which forms the surest basis of Christian asceticism.


St. Anthony
Anthony "the Great", the "Father of Monks", ranks with those saints whose life exercised a profound influence upon succeeding generations. He was born in Middle Egypt (about 250) of distinguished parents. After their untimely deaths, he dedicated himself wholly to acts of mortification.   

One day while in church he heard the words of the Gospel: "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give it to the poor" (Matt. 19:21). It seemed as if Christ had spoken to him personally, giving a command he must obey. Without delay he sold his property, gave the proceeds to the poor, and went into the desert (about 270). When overcome by fatigue, his bed was the hard ground. He fasted rigorously, ate only bread and salt, and drank only water. Nor would he take food before sundown; at times he passed two days without any nourishment. Often, too, he spent whole nights in prayer.

The saint suffered repeatedly from diabolical attacks, but these merely made him more steadfast in virtue. He would encourage his disciples in their struggle with the devil with such words: "Believe me; the devil fears the vigils of pious souls, and their fastings, their voluntary poverty, their loving compassion, their humility, but most of all their ardent love of Christ our Lord. As soon as he sees the sign of the Cross, he flees in terror." He died in 356 on Mount Kolzin by the Red Sea, 105 years old. A year later his friend, the fearless bishop and confessor St. Athanasius, wrote his biography, which for centuries became the classic handbook of ascetics. As seen by St. Anthony, the purpose of asceticism is not to destroy the body but to bring it into subjection, re-establishing man's original harmonious integrity, his true God-given nature.

St. Anthony lived in solitude for about twenty years. "His was a perfectly purified soul. No pain could annoy him, no pleasure bind him. In him was neither laughter nor sadness. The sight of the crowd did not trouble him, and the warm greetings of so many men did not move him. In a word, he was thoroughly immune to the vanities of the world, like a man unswervingly governed by reason, established in inner peace and harmony."

Here are a few of his famous sayings to monks. "Let it be your supreme and common purpose not to grow weary in the work you have begun, and in time of trial and affliction not to lose courage and say: Oh, how long already have we been mortifying ourselves! Rather, we should daily begin anew and constantly increase our fervor. For man's whole life is short when measured against the time to come, so short, in fact, that it is as nothing in comparison with eternity. . . . Therefore, my children, let us persevere in our acts of asceticism. And that we may not become weary and disheartened, it is good to meditate on the words of the apostle: 'I die daily.' If we live with the picture of death always before our eyes, we will not sin. The apostle's words tell us that we should so awaken in the morning as though we would not live to evening, and so fall asleep as if there were to be no awakening. For our life is by nature uncertain and is daily meted out to us by Providence. If we are convinced of this and live each day as the apostle suggests, then we will not fall into sin; no desire will enslave us, no anger move us, no treasure bind us to earth; we will await death with unfettered hearts."

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: Amputees; animals; basket makers; basket weavers; brushmakers; butchers; cemetery workers; domestic animals; eczema; epilepsy; epileptics; ergotism (Saint Anthony's fire); erysipelas; gravediggers; hermits; hogs; monks; pigs; relief from pestilence; skin diseases; skin rashes; swine; swineherds.

Symbols: Bell; pig; t-shaped staff; tau cross with a bell on the end; man with a pig at his side.

Things to Do:

  • Read St. Athanasius' account of St. Anthony.

  • Learn more about Western Monasticism.

  • Pray for those in monastic life and pray for a resurgence of vocations to this life.

  • Spend some time contemplating death, considering God's judgments and the thought of eternity.

  • Say a prayer to St. Anthony for vigilance in the fight against temptations, prudence in avoiding dangerous occasions, courage under trial and humility in victory.

25 posted on 01/17/2011 3:02:32 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Lauds -- Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer (Lauds)

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


Introduction
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.

Hymn
Our tongues’ first sound doth thee proclaim.
Our minds to thee first kindle flame:
Ensuing thence, O Holy One,
Be all our acts in thee begun.
As now the dark to light gives way,
And night gives place to dawn of day;
So may the errors of the night
Be shattered by the gift of light.
O hear us, as to thee we pray
That all our faults be cut away;
So may the tongues that sing to thee
Resound thy praise perpetually.
O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son,
Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee
Doth live and reign eternally.

Psalm 41 (42)
Longing for the Lord and his temple
When can I enter and see the face of God?
Like a deer that longs for springs of water,
  so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, the living God:
  when shall I come and stand before the face of God?
My tears are my food, by day and by night,
  and everyone asks, “where is your God?.”
I remember how I went up to your glorious dwelling-place
  and into the house of God:
  the memory melts my soul.
The sound of joy and thanksgiving,
  the crowds at the festival.
Why are you so sad, my soul,
  and anxious within me?
Put your hope in the Lord, I will praise him still,
  my saviour and my God.
My soul is sad within me,
  and so I will remember you
  in the lands of Jordan and Hermon,
  on the mountain of Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
  in your rushing waters:
and all your torrents, all your waves
  have flowed over me.
By day the Lord sends his kindness upon me;
  by night his song is with me,
  a prayer to the God of my life.
I will say to God:
  “You are my support, why have you forgotten me?
  Why must I go in mourning, while the enemy persecutes me?.”
As my bones break,
  my persecutors deride me,
  all the time saying “where is your God?.”
Why are you so sad, my soul,
  and anxious within me?
Put your hope in the Lord, I will praise him still,
  my saviour and my God.
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.
When can I enter and see the face of God?

Canticle Ecclesiasticus 36
A prayer for Jerusalem, the holy city
Show us, Lord, the light of your mercy.
God of all, have mercy on us, take notice of us,
  and show us the light of your mercies.
Make the nations fear you, who have not sought you out,
  make them know that there is no God except you,
  let them tell of your wonders.
Lift up your hand over foreign nations, that they may see your power –
  for just as in their sight you have been sanctified in us,
  so in our sight you will be magnified in them.
Lift up your hand so that they may know, as we know,
  that there is no God but you, Lord.
Bring forth new signs and repeat your wonders;
  glorify your hand, show the strength of your arm.
Gather together all the tribes of Jacob,
  give them back the inheritance they had from the beginning.
Take pity on your people, over whom we invoke your name,
  and on Israel, whom you have made equal to your firstborn.
Take pity on the city you have sanctified,
  Jerusalem, the place of your rest.
Fill Zion with your majesty;
  fill your temple with your glory.
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.
Show us, Lord, the light of your mercy.

Psalm 18 (19)
Praise of God the creator
Blessed are you, Lord, in the vault of heaven.
The skies tell the story of the glory of God,
  the firmament proclaims the work of his hands;
day pours out the news to day,
  night passes to night the knowledge.
Not a speech, not a word,
  not a voice goes unheard.
Their sound is spread throughout the earth,
  their message to all the corners of the world.
At the ends of the earth he has set up
  a dwelling place for the sun.
Like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
  it rejoices like an athlete at the race to be run.
It appears at the edge of the sky,
  runs its course to the sky’s furthest edge.
Nothing can hide from its heat.
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.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the vault of heaven.

Short reading Jeremiah 15:16 ©
When your words came, I devoured them: your word was my delight and the joy of my heart; for I was called by your name, Lord, God of hosts.

Short Responsory
All you righteous, rejoice in the Lord: praise is fitting for loyal hearts.
All you righteous, rejoice in the Lord: praise is fitting for loyal hearts.
Sing a new song to the Lord.
All you righteous, rejoice in the Lord: praise is fitting for loyal hearts.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
All you righteous, rejoice in the Lord: praise is fitting for loyal hearts.

Canticle Benedictus
The Messiah and his forerunner
Blessed be the Lord, for he has come to us and freed us.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
  for he has come to his people and brought about their redemption.
He has raised up the sign of salvation
  in the house of his servant David,
as he promised through the mouth of the holy ones,
  his prophets through the ages:
to rescue us from our enemies
  and all who hate us,
to take pity on our fathers,
  to remember his holy covenant
and the oath he swore to Abraham our father,
  that he would give himself to us,
that we could serve him without fear
 – freed from the hands of our enemies –
in uprightness and holiness before him,
  for all of our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High:
  for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his path,
to let his people know their salvation,
  so that their sins may be forgiven.
Through the bottomless mercy of our God,
  one born on high will visit us
to give light to those who walk in darkness,
  who live in the shadow of death;
  to lead our feet in the path of peace.
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.
Blessed be the Lord, for he has come to us and freed us.

Prayers and Intercessions
Our Saviour has made us into a royal priesthood offering acceptable sacrifices to God. Let us thank him and ask him:
Lord, help us to serve God.
Christ, eternal Priest, you conferred your holy priesthood on your people.
  Grant that we may ceaselessly offer acceptable sacrifices to God.
Lord, help us to serve God.
Be generous with the gifts of your Spirit:
  patience, kindness and gentleness.
Lord, help us to serve God.
Give us the gift of loving you,
  so that we may possess you, for you yourself are love.
Lord, help us to serve God.
Give us the gift of doing good,
  so that we may praise you simply by living.
Lord, help us to serve God.
Grant that we may seek whatever is best for our brethren
  and ease their path to salvation.
Lord, help us to serve God.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
  hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
  Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
  and forgive us our trespasses,
  as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
  but deliver us from evil.

Lord God, you bestowed on Saint Antony the grace of serving you in the wilderness.
  Grant that through his intercession we may deny ourselves and love you above all things.
[We make our prayer] through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all harm; and may he lead us to eternal life.

AMEN


26 posted on 01/17/2011 3:13:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Mark 2:18-22

“The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them.” (Mark 2:20)

Imagine the scene-—Jesus’ creative mind colliding with the more rigid, traditional mindset of some of his peers. We’re used to seeing followers of God fast. Why don’t your disciples? The people were familiar with the covenant of Moses and its call to fasting, but Jesus was introducing a new way. Imagine him answering them: Fasting, when I’m present, would be like trying to listen to a cassette with a CD player. You would be mixing old and new technologies. Let’s enjoy our time together while I’m here, because one day I’m going back to my Father.

So where does that leave us? Jesus has gone back to his Father, but he is also present in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Does that mean we should fast—because he is back in heaven? Or does it mean we shouldn’t—because he is in our hearts?

The answer is both yes and no. Jesus is with us; he hasn’t left us orphans. This means that our lives should be marked by joy and peace and fulfillment. At the same time, we aren’t always with Jesus. We all know what it is like to feel far from the Lord, whether because of unconfessed sin, complacency in prayer, or just the busyness of the day. We may be vessels of the Holy Spirit, but we are earthen vessels, prone to sin, selfishness, doubt, and times of weak faith.

This is why Jesus wants us to fast: so that we can draw closer to him. He knows that as we deny ourselves—in whatever way we choose—we are telling ourselves that we want more of him. We are telling ourselves that the world is not our final home and that we are longing to see Jesus more clearly. Fasting refines us. It softens our hearts. It helps us deepen our faith.

Brothers and sisters, Jesus is with us always, to the “end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). He wants to do so much in our lives. He wants us to enjoy our life with him. All he asks is that we turn our hearts toward him. May we all learn to decrease just a little bit more so that he can increase in us!

“Jesus, I trust that you are always beside me. Help me stay close to you.”

Hebrews 5:1-10; Psalm 110:1-4


27 posted on 01/17/2011 4:46:32 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman

Daily Marriage Tip for January 17, 2011:

“Free at last. Thank God I’m free at last.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.) Marriage might seem to end one’s freedom, but commitment really frees both spouses to go deeper into one relationship than broadly into many. Learn something new about your spouse today.

28 posted on 01/17/2011 5:02:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Secret Harbor ~ Portus Secretioris

17 January 2011

Serenity of Manner and Purity of Soul

Today the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Antony, abbot. The Carthusians, at Matins, reflected on an excerpt from “The Life of Saint Antony” written by Saint Athanasius of Alexandria. Here is that piece.

For nearly twenty years Antony continued training himself in solitude, never going forth, and but seldom seen by any. After this when many were eager and wishful to imitate his discipline, and his acquaintances came and began to cast down and wrench off the door by force, Antony, as from a shrine, came forth initiated in the mysteries and filled with the Spirit of God. Then for the first time he was seen outside the fort by those who came to see him. And they, when they saw him, wondered at the sight, for he had the same habit of body as before, and was neither fat, like a man without exercise, nor lean from fasting and striving with the demons, but he was just the same as they had known him before his retirement. And again his soul was free from blemish, for it was neither contracted as if by grief, nor relaxed by pleasure, nor possessed by laughter or dejection, for he was not troubled when he beheld the crowd, nor overjoyed at being saluted by so many. But he was altogether even as being guided by reason, and abiding in a natural state.

He persuaded many to embrace the solitary life. And thus it happened in the end that cells arose even in the mountains, and the desert was colonized by monks, who came forth from their own people, and enrolled themselves for the citizenship in the heavens and Antony directed them all as a father. One day when he had gone forth because all the monks had assembled to him and asked to hear words from him, he spoke to them in the Egyptian tongue as follows: The Scriptures are enough for instruction, but it is a good thing to encourage one another in the faith, and to stir up with words. Wherefore you, as children, carry that which you know to your father; and I as the elder share my knowledge and what experience has taught me with you. Let this especially be the common aim of all, neither to give way having once begun, nor to faint in trouble, nor to say: We have lived in the discipline a long time: but rather as though making a beginning daily let us increase our earnestness. For the whole life of man is very short, measured by the ages to come, wherefore all our time is nothing compared with eternal life.

And in the world everything is sold at its price, and a man exchanges one equivalent for another; but the promise of eternal life is bought for a trifle. For it is written, "The days of our life in them are threescore years and ten, but if they are in strength, fourscore years, and what is more than these is labor and sorrow." Whenever, therefore, we live full fourscore years, or even a hundred in the discipline, not for a hundred years only shall we reign, but instead of a hundred we shall reign for ever and ever. And though we fought on earth, we shall not receive our inheritance on earth, but we have the promises in heaven; and having put off the body which is corrupt, we shall receive it incorrupt. Wherefore, children, let us not faint nor deem that the time is long, or that we are doing something great, "for the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward." Nor let us think, as we look at the world, that we have renounced anything of much consequence, for the whole earth is very small compared with heaven. Wherefore if it even chanced that we were lords of all the earth and gave it all up, it would be not worthy of comparison with the kingdom of heaven.

Wherefore, children, let us hold fast our discipline, and let us not be careless. For in it the Lord is our fellow-worker, as it is written, "to all that choose the good, God works with them for good." But to avoid being heedless, it is good to consider the word of the Apostle, "I die daily.'' For if we too live as though dying daily, we shall not sin. And the meaning of that saying is, that as we rise day by day we should think that we shall not abide till evening; and again, when about to lie down to sleep, we should think that we shall not rise up. For our life is naturally uncertain, and Providence allots it to us daily. But thus ordering our daily life, we shall neither fall into sin, nor have a lust for anything, nor cherish wrath against any, nor shall we heap up treasure upon earth. But, as though under the daily expectation of death, we shall be without wealth, and shall forgive all things to all men, nor shall we retain at all the desire of women or of any other foul pleasure. But we shall turn from it as past and gone, ever striving and looking forward to the day of Judgment. For the greater dread and danger of torment ever destroys the ease of pleasure, and reinforces the wavering soul. Since we started down the path of virtue, we tend toward the goal.

And let us strive that wrath rule us not nor lust overcome us, for it is written, "The wrath of man works not the righteousness of God. And lust, when it hath conceived, bears sin, and the sin when it is full grown brings forth death.'' Thus living, let us keep guard carefully, and as it is written, "keep our hearts with all watchfulness." For we have terrible and crafty foes -- the evil spirits -- and against them we wrestle, as the Apostle said: “Not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Great is their number in the air around us, and they are not far from us. Now there are great distinctions among them; and concerning their nature and distinctions much could be said, but such a description is for others of greater powers than we possess. But at this time it is pressing and necessary for us only to know their wiles against ourselves.

If, therefore, the devil himself confesses that his power is gone, we ought utterly to despise both him and his demons; and since the enemy with his hounds has but devices of this sort, we, having got to know their weakness, are able to despise them. Wherefore let us not despond after this fashion, nor let us have a thought of cowardice in our heart, nor frame fears for ourselves, saying, I am afraid lest a demon should come and overthrow me; lest he should lift me up and cast me down; or lest rising against me on a sudden he confound me. Such thoughts let us not have in mind at all, nor let us be sorrowful as though we were perishing; but rather let us be courageous and rejoice always, believing that we are safe. Let us consider in our soul that the Lord is with us, who put the evil spirits to flight and broke their power. Let us consider and lay to heart that while the Lord is with us, our foes can do us no harm. For when they come they approach us in a form corresponding to the state in which they discover us, and adapt their delusions to the condition of mind in which they find us.

While Antony was thus speaking all rejoiced; in some the love of virtue increased, in others carelessness was thrown aside, the self-conceit of others was stopped; and all were persuaded to despise the assaults of the Evil One, and marveled at the grace given to Antony from the Lord for the discerning of spirits. So their cells were in the mountains, like filled with holy bands of men who sang psalms, loved reading, fasted, prayed, rejoiced in the hope of things to come, labored in almsgiving, and preserved love and harmony one with another. And truly it was possible, as it were, to behold a land set by itself, filled with piety and justice. For then there was neither the evil-doer, nor the injured, nor the reproaches of the tax-gatherer: but instead a multitude of ascetics; and the one purpose of them all was to aim at virtue. So that anyone beholding the cells again, and seeing such good order among the monks, would lift up his voice and say, 'How goodly are your dwellings, O Jacob, and your tents, O Israel; as shady glens and as a garden by a river; as tents which the Lord has pitched, and like cedars near waters’. Antony, however, according to his custom, returned alone to his own cell increased his discipline, and sighed daily as he thought of the mansions in Heaven, having his desire fixed on them, and pondering over the shortness of man's life.

Antony’s countenance had a great and wonderful grace. This gift also he had from the Saviour. For if he were present in a great company of monks, and anyone who did not know him previously, wished to see him, immediately coming forward he passed by the rest, and hurried to Antony, as though attracted by his appearance. Yet neither in height nor breadth was he conspicuous above others, but in the serenity of his manner and the purity of his soul. For as his soul was free from disturbances, his outward appearance was calm; so from the joy of his soul he possessed a cheerful countenance, and from his bodily movements could be perceived the condition of his soul, as it is written, 'When the heart is merry the countenance is cheerful, but when it is sorrowful it is cast down’. Thus Jacob recognized the counsel Laban had in his heart, and said to his wives, 'The countenance of your father is not as it was yesterday and the day before’. Thus Samuel recognized David, for he had mirthful eyes, and teeth white as milk. Thus Antony was recognized, for he was never disturbed, for his soul was at peace; he was never downcast, for his mind was joyous.
 

29 posted on 01/17/2011 5:40:03 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Our Father Saint Antony

 on January 17, 2011 4:10 PM |
 
anthony.jpg

Saint Antony and Signor Siciliano

Isn't this a wonderful painting of Saint Antony? Flemish Jan Gossaert painted it in Rome in 1508 as the right panel of a diptych. The left panel (not shown) depicts the Mother of God. What interests me is the relationship between Saint Antony and the donor, one Antonio Siciliano.

The Ear of the Heart

Notice the holy abbot's right hand gently touching Signor Siciliano's shoulder. In his left hand Saint Antony holds the book of the Scriptures and his prayer beads. Antony's face is sweet and gentle. His ear is exposed: that ear through which the Word of God entered his mind and descended into his heart.

The donor, in contrast, appears sincere, but stiff; he is looking toward the Madonna on the other panel. His rigid piety lacks the seasoned humanity of the old abbot, tried by temptation and marked by compassion.

Signor Siciliano's dog is wearing a stylish red collar. He is gazing at his master, fascinated by what is going on. Picture yourself in the place of Signor Siciliano. Let the hand of Saint Antony bless and guide you today.

0117anthony.jpg

A Certain Primacy Among the Saints

The liturgy today makes it clear that Saint Antony of the Desert holds a certain primacy among the saints. The Missal gives us a complete set of proper texts; the Lectionary gives us proper readings. Antony is a primary reference, a model of how we are to hear the Word of God, an inspiration in spiritual combat, a radiant icon of holiness for the ages.

No Rest From Spiritual Combat

The feast of Saint Antony, falling between the Christmas festivities and the beginning of Lent, is an invitation to shake off the sluggishness that comes with winter, a bracing reminder that there is no rest from spiritual combat, and that "the monk's life ought at all seasons to bear a Lenten character" (RB 49:1). It is the custom in some monasteries on the feast of Saint Antony to go out to the barn to bless the animals. He is the patron of horses, pigs, cattle, and other domestic animals. Icons of Saint Antony often show his little pet pig nestled in the folds of his tunic.

Ice on the Holy Water

Making a trip to the barn in the mid-January cold may be as much of a blessing for the monks as for the animals. It is a wake-up call. One has to use the aspergillum to break the ice that forms on the Holy Water. One sees the animals shudder when the cold water hits them. These are very physical reminders of a spiritual truth. We cannot afford to become cozy and comfortable in a spirituality of feather comforters for the soul. From time to time we, like the barn animals, need the salutary shock of cold Holy Water splashed in our face!

The Life of Antony

More than forty years ago Trappist Father Marius Granato (+ 10 November 2003) of Spencer introduced me to the Life of Antony by Saint Athanasius. Heady reading for a fifteen year old boy! Shortly thereafter a wise Father told me that one should read the Life of Antony once a year. These seasoned monks knew exactly what they were doing: they were proposing a model of holiness perfectly adapted to the ideals of a youth starting out on the spiritual journey. After all, the Life of Antony begins with an account of his boyhood. He was about "eighteen, or even twenty" when, going into church one day, he heard the Gospel being chanted, and understood that it was Christ speaking to him. "If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow me" (Mt 19:21).

A Book For All Ages

Why counsel an annual reading of the Life of Antony? Because it is a text that, in some way, grows with us. If it is suitable for the eager young seeker, it is just as suitable to the Christian wrestling with the oppressive noon-day devil or with the cunning demons of midlife. For the Christian faced with the onset of old age, it is a comforting book.

0117anthony.jpg

He Never Looked Gloomy

The portrait of Saint Antony at the end of his life shows a man transfigured: "His face," says Saint Athanasius, "had a great and marvelous grace. . . . His soul being free of confusion, he held his outer senses also undisturbed, so that from the soul's joy his face was cheerful as well, and from the movements of the body it was possible to sense and perceive the stable condition of the soul, as it is written, 'When the heart rejoices, the countenance is cheerful." Antony . . . was never troubled, his soul being calm, and he never looked gloomy, his mind being joyous" (Life of Antony, 67).

The Lectionary

The Proper Readings given today in the reformed lectionary provide us with a rich lectio divina:

Spiritual combat (Eph 6:10-11).
Struggle with the powers of darkness (Eph 6:12-13).
Constant prayer in the Spirit (Eph 6:18).
Watchfulness (Eph 6:18).
God as chosen portion and cup (Ps 15:5).
God present and giving counsel, even in the night (Ps 15:7-8).
The voice of Christ calling to disappropriation (Mt 19:21).
The perfect life that leads to treasure in heaven (Mt 19:21).
The camel and the eye of the needle (Mt 19:24).

But With God All Things Are Possible

And finally, there is the very last line of the Gospel, the one line that fills us with an irrepressible hope: "With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible"; (Mt 19:26)." It is this line that sends us to the altar today for the Thanksgiving


30 posted on 01/17/2011 5:45:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Where are the relics of Saint Antony?

 on January 17, 2011 4:19 PM |
0117Antony of Egypt, Acedia.jpg

In 1979, while visiting the Abbey of Chambarand in France, the chaplain, Dom Irénée, was kind enough to drive Father Jacob and me to the magnificent Abbey of Saint-Antoine, a holy place hidden in the heart of the Isère. Yes, the relics of Saint Antony of Egypt are in France!

The abbey, with its church in flamboyant gothic, was built in 1297 to receive the relics of the Father of Monks. In 1777 the abbey was made over to the Order of the Knights of Malta, and in 1896 it was entrusted to Dom Adrien Gréa and his fledgling Canons Regular of the Immaculate Conception. What I remember best of that visit thirty years ago was stopping to pray before the altar containing the relics of Saint Antony. Never would I have imagined the possibility of such a grace!

Here are some of the Proper Texts for the Mass of Saint Antony, Abbot:

Collect

O God, who bestowed on the blessed abbot Antony
the grace of serving you in the desert
by a strange and wonderful way of life,
grant that, through his intercession,
we may renounce ourselves
and love you always above all things.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God forever and ever.

General Intercessions

That the Church in East and West may be blessed
with a new generation of God-seeking men and women,
hungry for the living Word of God
and courageous in spiritual combat,
to the Lord we pray, Christ hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

That the leaders of nations
may be assisted in their efforts to secure a just and lasting peace
by the prayer and penance
of those called to a life hidden with Christ in God,
to the Lord we pray, Christ hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

That, by the intercession of Saint Antony,
the grieving may go away rejoicing,
the angry turned to kindness,
those grown slack strengthened,
and those troubled by doubts pacified,
to the Lord we pray, Christ hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

That we who have assembled to listen to the Word
may, like Saint Antony, rejoice to confess the presence of Christ
and be transformed by His all-powerful and life-giving Spirit,
to the Lord we pray, Christ hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

Collect at the General Intercessions

O God, who by Your Holy Spirit,
so opened the ears of your servant Antony
to the Gospel proclaimed in midst of Your Church,
that nothing of its saving message escaped him,
mercifully grant that we, like him,
may listen attentively to Your Word,
treasure it in quiet hearts,
and pray without ceasing
to withstand the temptations of the evil one
and to give You glory
in the solitude of hearts made pure by Your grace.
Through Christ our Lord.


31 posted on 01/17/2011 5:46:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vespers -- Evening Prayer

Vespers (Evening Prayer)


Introduction
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.

Hymn
Abide with us; the orb of day doth vanish;
Thou Light of Light, the powers of darkness banish:
At evenfall, good Lord, thy people bless;
Shine in our hearts, thou Sun of righteousness.
For this past day let every creature living
Ascribe thee glory, honour and thanksgiving:
Let man, together with the Angel-host
Bless God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Jesu, Good Shepherd, thou who never sleepest,
But o’er thy sheepfold watch and ward who keepest;
The day is spent; it draws to eventide:
With thy disciples, Lord, this night abide.

Psalm 44 (45)
The wedding of the King
You are the fairest of the children of men, and graciousness is poured upon your lips.
My heart cries out on a joyful theme:
  I will tell my poem to the king,
  my tongue like the pen of the swiftest scribe.
You have been given more than human beauty,
  and grace is poured out upon your lips,
  so that God has blessed you for ever.
Strap your sword to your side, mighty one,
  in all your greatness and splendour.
In your splendour go forth, mount your chariot,
  on behalf of truth, kindness and justice.
Let your right hand show your marvels,
  let your arrows be sharp against the hearts of the king’s enemies
 – the peoples will fall before you.
Your throne is firm, O God, from age to age,
  your royal sceptre is a sceptre of justice.
You love uprightness, hate injustice
 – for God, your God has anointed you
  with the oil of gladness, above all your companions.
Myrrh and aloes and cassia anoint your garments.
From ivory palaces the sound of harps delights you.
In your retinue go the daughters of kings.
At your right hand, the queen is adorned with gold of Ophir.
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.
You are the fairest of the children of men, and graciousness is poured upon your lips.

Psalm 44 (45)
The King's bride
Behold, the Bridegroom is coming: go out and meet him.
Listen, my daughter, and understand;
  turn your ears to what I have to say.
Forget your people, forget your father’s house,
  and the king will desire you for your beauty.
  He is your lord, so worship him.
The daughters of Tyre will bring you gifts;
  the richest of your subjects will beg you to look on them.
How great is the king’s daughter, within the palace!
  She is clothed in woven gold.
She will be taken to the king in coloured garments,
  her maidens will escort her to your presence.
In gladness and rejoicing they are brought
  and led to the house of the king.
Instead of your fathers you will have sons:
  you will make them rulers over all the world.
I will remember your name
  from generation to generation.
And so your people will do you honour
  for ever and for ever.
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.
Behold, the Bridegroom is coming: go out and meet him.

Canticle Ephesians 1
God the Saviour
God planned to bring all things together under Christ when the fulness of time had come.
Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  who has blessed us, in Christ,
  with every spiritual blessing in heaven.
In love, he chose us before the creation of the world,
  to be holy and spotless in his sight.
He predestined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ,
  simply because it pleased him to do so.
This he did for the praise of the glory of his grace,
  of his free gift to us in his Beloved,
in whose blood we have gained redemption,
  and the forgiveness of our sins.
This he did according to the riches of his grace,
  which he gave us in abundance,
with all wisdom and discernment,
  revealing to us the mysteries of his will,
  because it pleased him to do so.
In this action he has planned, in the fulfilment of time,
  to bring all things together in Christ,
  from the heavens and from the earth.
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.
God planned to bring all things together under Christ when the fulness of time had come.

Short reading 1 Thessalonians 2:13 ©
We constantly thank God for you because as soon as you heard the message that we brought you as God’s message, you accepted it for what it really is, God’s message and not some human thinking; and it is still a living power among you who believe it.

Short Responsory
Lord, let my prayer come before you.
Lord, let my prayer come before you.
Let it rise like incense before you.
Lord, let my prayer come before you.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Lord, let my prayer come before you.

Canticle Magnificat
My soul rejoices in the Lord
May my soul always proclaim your greatness, O God, my God.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
  and my spirit rejoices in God, my salvation.
For he has shown me such favour –
  me, his lowly handmaiden.
Now all generations will call me blessed,
  because the mighty one has done great things for me.
His name is holy,
  his mercy lasts for generation after generation
  for those who revere him.
He has put forth his strength:
  he has scattered the proud and conceited,
  torn princes from their thrones;
  but lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
  the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel,
  he has remembered his mercy as he promised to our fathers,
  to Abraham and his children for ever.
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.
May my soul always proclaim your greatness, O God, my God.

Prayers and Intercessions
Let us praise Christ, who loves and cares for his Church. Let us call on him trustingly, saying:
Lord, grant the prayers of your people.
Lord Jesus, bring all men to salvation
  and lead them to recognise your truth.
Lord, grant the prayers of your people.
Watch over our Pope N. and our Bishop N.,
  and give them the support of your strength.
Lord, grant the prayers of your people.
Take care of those who long for justice:
  let them pass their lives in happiness and safety.
Lord, grant the prayers of your people.
Lord, be the refuge of the poor
  and their help in tribulation.
Lord, grant the prayers of your people.
To the dead to whom in this life you gave the honour of the priesthood
  grant the gift of celebrating your glory for ever in heaven.
Lord, grant the prayers of your people.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
  hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
  Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
  and forgive us our trespasses,
  as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
  but deliver us from evil.

Lord God, you bestowed on Saint Antony the grace of serving you in the wilderness.
  Grant that through his intercession we may deny ourselves and love you above all things.
[We make our prayer] through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all harm; and may he lead us to eternal life.

AMEN


32 posted on 01/17/2011 5:50:35 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Mark
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Mark 2
18 And the disiples of John and the Pharisees used to fast; and they come and say to him: Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast; but thy disciples do not fast? Et erant discipuli Joannis et pharisæi jejunantes : et veniunt, et dicunt illi : Quare discipuli Joannis et pharisæorum jejunant, tui autem discipuli non jejunant ? και ησαν οι μαθηται ιωαννου και οι των φαρισαιων νηστευοντες και ερχονται και λεγουσιν αυτω δια τι οι μαθηται ιωαννου και οι των φαρισαιων νηστευουσιν οι δε σοι μαθηται ου νηστευουσιν
19 And Jesus saith to them: Can the children of the marriage fast, as long as the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. Et ait illis Jesus : Numquid possunt filii nuptiarum, quamdiu sponsus cum illis est, jejunare ? Quanto tempore habent secum sponsum, non possunt jejunare. και ειπεν αυτοις ο ιησους μη δυνανται οι υιοι του νυμφωνος εν ω ο νυμφιος μετ αυτων εστιν νηστευειν οσον χρονον μεθ εαυτων εχουσιν τον νυμφιον ου δυνανται νηστευειν
20 But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them; and then they shall fast in those days. Venient autem dies cum auferetur ab eis sponsus : et tunc jejunabunt in illis diebus. ελευσονται δε ημεραι οταν απαρθη απ αυτων ο νυμφιος και τοτε νηστευσουσιν εν εκειναις ταις ημεραις
21 No man seweth a piece of raw cloth to an old garment: otherwise the new piecing taketh away from the old, and there is made a greater rent. Nemo assumentum panni rudis assuit vestimento veteri : alioquin aufert supplementum novum a veteri, et major scissura fit. και ουδεις επιβλημα ρακους αγναφου επιρραπτει επι ιματιω παλαιω ει δε μη αιρει το πληρωμα αυτου το καινον του παλαιου και χειρον σχισμα γινεται
22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: otherwise the wine will burst the bottles, and both the wine will be spilled, and the bottles will be lost. But new wine must be put into new bottles. Et nemo mittit vinum novum in utres veteres : alioquin dirumpet vinum utres, et vinum effundetur, et utres peribunt : sed vinum novum in utres novos mitti debet. και ουδεις βαλλει οινον νεον εις ασκους παλαιους ει δε μη ρησσει ο οινος ο νεος τους ασκους και ο οινος εκχειται και οι ασκοι απολουνται αλλα οινον νεον εις ασκους καινους βλητεον

33 posted on 01/17/2011 6:06:14 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
18. And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say to him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples fast not?
19. And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bride-chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
20. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
21. No man also sews a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up takes away from the old, and the rent is made worse.
22. And no man puts new wine into old bottles: else the new wine does burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.

GLOSS. As above, the Master was accused to the disciples for keeping company with sinners in their feasts, so now, on the other hand, the disciples are complained of to the Master for their omission of fasts, that so matter for dissension might arise amongst them. Wherefore it is said, And the disciples of John and the Pharisees used to fast.

THEOPHYL. For the disciples of John being in an imperfect state, continued in Jewish customs.

AUG. But it may be thought that he added Pharisees, because they joined with the disciples of John in saying this to the Lord, whilst in Matthew relates that the disciples of John alone said it: but the words which follow rather show that those who said it spoke not of themselves, but of others. For it goes on, And they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples, &c. For these words show, that the guests who were there came to Jesus, and had said this same thing to the disciples, so that in the words which he uses, they came, he speaks not of those same persons, of whom he had said, And the disciples of John and the Pharisees were fasting. But as they were fasting, those persons who remembered it, come to him. Matthew then says this, And there came to him the disciples of John, saying, because the Apostles also were there, and all eagerly, as each could, objected these things.

CHRYS. The disciples of John, therefore, and of the Pharisees, being jealous of Christ, ask Him, whether He alone of all men with His disciples could, without abstinence and toil, conquer in the fight of the passions.

BEDE; But John did not drink wine and strong drink, because he who has no power by nature, obtains more merit by abstinence. But why should the Lord, to whom it naturally belonged to forgive sins, shun those whom he could make more pure, than those who fast? But Christ also fasted, lest He should break the precept, He ate with sinners, that you might see His grace, and acknowledge His power. It goes on; And Jesus said to them, Can the children, &c.

AUG. Mark here calls them children of the nuptials, whom Matthew calls children of the bridegroom; for we understand the children of the nuptials to be not only those of the bride-groom, but also of the bride.

PSEUD-CHRYS. He then calls Himself a bridegroom, as if about to be betrothed to the Church. For the betrothal is giving an earnest, namely, that of the grace of the Holy Ghost, by which the world believed.

THEOPHYL. He also calls Himself a bridegroom, not only as betrothing to Himself virgin minds, but because the time of His first coming is not a time of sorrow, nor of sadness to believers, neither does it bring with it toil, but rest. For it is without any works of the law, giving rest by baptism, by which we easily obtain salvation without toil. But the sons of the nuptials or of the Bridegroom are the Apostles; because they, by the grace of God, are made worthy of every heavenly blessing, by the grace of God, and partakers of every joy.

PSEUD-CHRYS. But intercourse with Him, He says, is far removed from all sorrow, when He adds, As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. He is sad, from whom some good is far removed; but be who has it present with him rejoices, and is not sad.

But that He might destroy their elation of heart, and show that He intended not His own disciples to be licentious, He adds, But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken, &c. as if He said, The time will come, when they will show their firmness; for when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them, they will fast as longing for His coming, and in order to unite to Him their spirits, cleansed by bodily suffering. He shows also that there is no necessity for His disciples to fast, as having present with them the Bridegroom of human nature, Who every where executes the words of God, and Who gives the seed of life. The sons of the Bridegroom also cannot, because they are infants, be entirely conformed to their Father, the Bridegroom, Who, considering their infancy, deigns to allow them not to fast: but when the Bridegroom is gone, they will fast, through desire of Him; when they have been made perfect, they will be united to the Bridegroom in marriage, and will always feast at the king's banquet.

THEOPHYL. We must also understand, that every man whose works are good is the son of the Bridegroom; he has the Bridegroom with him, even Christ, and fasts not, that is, does no works of repentance, because he does not sin: but when the Bridegroom is taken away by the man's falling into sin, then lie fasts and is penitent, that he may cure his sin.

BEDE; But in a mystical sense, it may thus be expressed; that the disciples of John and the Pharisees fast, because every man who boasts of the works of the law without faith, who follows the traditions of men, and receives the preaching of Christ with his bodily ear, and not by the faith of the heart, keeps aloof from spiritual goods, and wastes away with a fasting soul. But he who is incorporated into the members of Christ by a faithful love cannot fast, because he feasts upon His Body and Blood. It goes on, No one sews a piece of rough that is new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that fills it up takes away from the old, and the rent is made worse.

PSEUD-CHRYS. As if He said, because these are preachers of the New Testament, it is not possible that they should serve old laws; but you who follow old customs, fitly observe the fasts of Moses. But for these, who are about to hand down to men new and wonderful observances, it is not necessary to observe the old traditions, but to be virtuous in mind; some time or other however they will observe fasting with other Virtues. But this fasting is different from time fasting of the law, for that was one of restraint, this of goodwill; on account of the fervor of the Spirit, Whom they cannot yet receive, Wherefore it goes on, And no one puts new wine into old bottles: else the new wine does burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new Wine must be put in new bottles.

BEDE; For He compares His disciples to old bottles, who would burst at spiritual precepts, rather than be held in restraint by them. But they will be new bottles, when after the ascension of the Lord, they are renewed by desiring His consolation, and then new wine will come to the new bottles, that is, the fervor of the Holy Ghost will fill the hearts of spiritual men. A teacher must also take heed not to commit the hidden things of new mysteries to a soul, hardened in old wickedness.

THEOPHYL. Or else the disciples are likened to old garments on account of the infirmity of their minds, on which it was not fitting to impose the heavy command of fasting.

BEDE; Neither was it fitting to sew on a new piece; that is, a portion of doctrine which teaches a general fast from all the joy of temporal delights; for if this be done, the teaching is rent, and agrees not with the old part. But by a new garment is intended good works, which are done externally, and by the new wine, is expressed the fervor of faith, hope, and charity, by which we are reformed in our minds.

Catena Aurea Mark 2
34 posted on 01/17/2011 6:06:35 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex


The Lamentation

Petrus Christus

1455-60
Oil on wood, 98 x 188 cm
Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts, Brussels

35 posted on 01/17/2011 6:07:00 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

The New Joy of the Bridegroom
INTERNATIONAL | SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Memorial of Saint Anthony, abbot (Jan. 17, 2011)

January 17, 2011
Memorial of Saint Anthony, abbot
Father Walter Schu, LC

Mark 2:18-22
The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to him and objected, "Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?" Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins."

Introductory Prayer: Jesus, what a joy and what a gift to have this time to be alone with you! I want to know you more deeply. I want to hope in you more firmly. I want to love you with greater constancy in my daily life. Only you can give me these gifts. Only you can make me a bold and joyful apostle of your Kingdom.

Petition: Lord, help me to experience the new joy that comes from carrying the cross alongside you.

1. The Joy of the Bridegroom The Old Testament prophets, especially Hosea and Isaiah, describe the relationship between Israel and Yahweh as a marriage covenant. Israel is the bride, often an unfaithful one, and Yahweh is the bridegroom. When Christ refers to himself as the bridegroom, he is appropriating a title that had been reserved to God alone. Clearly, Jesus is much more than an ordinary rabbi. What experience do we most associate with a bridegroom and the wedding feast? Joy! “Although it is true that the cross is never absent from an authentically Christian life, it is equally true that the God who meets us on that cross is the same God who created the heavens and the earth, the oceans and the mountains, laughter, sunlight, and every earthly delight” (John Bartunek, LC, The Better Part, p. 365). Christ came to bring us joy, a joy that would last into eternity.

2. Should Christians Fast? Christ says that when the bridegroom is taken away, then his disciples will fast. This is his first reference in the Gospel of Mark to his coming passion. Fasting is a way of sharing in Christ’s sufferings. Fasting, sacrifices, and acts of self-denial are also means to detach ourselves from earthly goods in order to cling more firmly to Christ himself. They make us aware of how much we need God. But these ways of sharing Christ’s cross should not make us glum followers. “Some Christians give the impression that following Christ is a somber affair, or that the Christian life consists above all of dour sacrifices and boring obligations. Joyless, dreary, dull. No wonder their friends want to stay as far away from Christianity as possible!... If our friendship with Christ does not fill us with contagious enthusiasm, we’re probably being a half-hearted friend” (John Bartunek, LC, The Better Part, p. 365).

3. “Behold, I Make All Things New.”  The movie The Passion of the Christ puts this phrase from Revelation on Christ’s lips when he meets his mother Mary as he carries the cross to Calvary. Christ’s “narrow gate” of the cross leads to a radically new way of life. It brings an abundance of joy, a new vigor, interior peace. The new wine of the life of grace that Christ pours out on his followers must change not only their way of life, but even their internal attitudes and consciousness. As St. Teresa of Avila once put it, “A sad saint is a bad saint.” What obstacles in my life do I need to overcome in order to follow Christ with greater joy and to radiate that joy to others?

Conversation with Christ: Thank you, Lord, for the new life you came to bring — your own divine life of grace inside me and each of your followers who is faithful to you. Help me to share that joy with others. I long to be a true apostle of your joy.

Resolution: Today I will forget about myself and seek only to help make those around me joyful.


36 posted on 01/17/2011 7:22:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Making Do Isn’t Enough for Your Spirit!

January 17th, 2011 by Monsignor Dennis Clark, Ph.D.

Heb 5:1-10 / Mk 2:18-22

Making do is an admirable and most practical skill that can at times mean the difference between survival and disaster.  Many is the family that avoided starvation by discovering how to make do with whatever was at hand.  Indeed, many gourmet dishes, sweetbreads for example, have their origins with impoverished peasants who found a way to convert disgusting throwaways into succulent morsels.  In more instances than one could count, the habit of making do is a manifestation of both courage and character.  It says to the world, “We will survive, we will not be destroyed.”

There are, however, limits to the virtues of making do. It can skew our perspective and cause us to settle for too little: Sometimes just surviving isn’t enough. Sometimes what appears to be survival isn’t that at all, but just a long, slow death. That’s what Jesus had in mind when He said that trying to put new wine into old wineskins doesn’t work.

There are times when we need to start afresh, and that is especially true when it comes to our inner lives. Simple patchwork, just holding things together, isn’t good enough. We need, as Jesus said, to be born again, not physically, but spiritually. For each of us that rebirth will take a somewhat different shape, because our personal histories are different. But in every case, the rebirth will involve a radical opening of our spirits to the Holy Spirit of God.

When it comes to what you’re really about, don’t settle for just making do. Open your heart to the Spirit and get a whole new life!


37 posted on 01/17/2011 7:30:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body


<< Monday, January 17, 2011 >> St. Anthony
Saint of the Day
 
Hebrews 5:1-10
View Readings
Psalm 110:1-4 Mark 2:18-22
 

STOP THE LEAKS

 
"No one sews a patch of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he should do so, the very thing he has used to cover the hole would pull away — the new from the old — and the tear would get worse." —Mark 2:21
 

We are cracked "vessels" because of our sins (see 2 Cor 4:7). A person with unrepented sin is unable to hold the Holy Spirit, Who cannot be contained in the broken cistern (see Jer 2:13) of an earthly lifestyle. The living waters of the Holy Spirit leak out of the cracks of a person living a sinful lifestyle, and even can "burst" that life (Mk 2:22). The coming of the Holy Spirit into someone's life can tear that person apart if they do not change their lifestyle accordingly.

In a loose analogy, this "tearing apart" of a life is seen when a person without God's wisdom wins the lottery. All of a sudden, an immense amount of money flows into the life of a person who is not prepared to handle the new lifestyle. Many new problems suddenly appear. Thieves attempt to steal. New "friends" badger the individual for money. A lack of discipline which was never tested by opportunity now becomes a major problem. Before long, the money has dwindled as if placed into "a bag with holes" (Hg 1:6), yet the new problems remain and compound the old ones.

The new lifestyle of a Spirit-filled disciple of Jesus is a serious matter. An earthly, carnal, "old," lifestyle is completely incompatible with the life in the Spirit (Mk 2:22; see also Rm 8:5-8; Gal 5:17). Don't wait for the test of discipleship. Stop the leaks! Repent now and be "filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:4).

 
Prayer: Father, I won't delay deeper conversion to You (Sir 5:8). Beginning today, I will turn ten times the more to seek You (Bar 4:28).
Promise: Jesus "became the Source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him." —Heb 5:9
Praise: Although a hermit, St. Anthony never refused anyone who came to him for prayers or advice.

38 posted on 01/17/2011 7:56:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Compline -- Night Prayer

Compline (Night Prayer)


Introduction
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.

This is an excellent moment for an examination of conscience. In a communal celebration of Compline, one of the penitential acts given in the Missal may be recited.


Hymn
Christ, thou who art the light and day,
Who chasest nightly shades away,
Thyself the Light of Light confessed,
And promiser of radiance blest:
O holy Lord, we pray to thee,
Throughout the night our guardian be;
In thee vouchsafe us to repose,
All peaceful till the night shall close.
O let our eyes due slumber take,
Our hearts to thee forever wake:
And let thy right hand from above
Shield us who turn to thee in love.
O strong defender, hear our prayers,
Repel our foes and break their snares,
And govern thou thy servants here,
Those ransomed with thy life-blood dear.
Almighty Father, this accord
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord,
Who with the Holy Ghost and thee
Doth reign through all eternity.

Psalm 85 (86)
A poor man's prayer in time of trouble
You, Lord God, are slow to anger, abounding in love.
Turn your ear to me, Lord, and hear me,
  for I am poor and destitute.
Keep my life safe, for I am faithful;
  O God, save your servant, who trusts in you.
Take pity upon me, O Lord,
  for I call to you all the day long.
Make your servant’s heart glad,
  for to you, O Lord, I have raised it.
For you, Lord, are gentle and mild:
  you are kind to all those who call on you.
Let your ears hear my prayer, O Lord!
  Turn to the voice of my pleading!
In my time of trouble I call on you,
  for you, O Lord, will hear me.
No other god is like you, O Lord,
  and nothing compares with your works.
All people – all nations you made –
  will come and worship before you;
  they will give glory to your name.
For you are great, you work wonders:
  you alone are God.
O Lord, teach me your paths,
  and I will come to your truth.
Make my heart simple and guileless,
  so that it honours your name.
I will proclaim you, Lord my God,
  and give you praise with all my heart.
I will give glory to your name for ever,
  for your great kindness is upon me:
  you have rescued me from the deepest depths.
O God, the proud rise against me,
  in the meetings of the powerful they seek my life:
  they do not keep you in their sight.
And you, Lord, are a God of compassion,
  full of mercies, patient and true.
Look upon me, have mercy upon me,
  give your strength and protection to your servant:
  your servant, the child of your handmaid.
Give me a sign of your goodness,
  let my enemies see it and be confounded;
because you, O Lord, have helped me and given me comfort.
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.
You, Lord God, are slow to anger, abounding in love.

Reading 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 ©
God chose us to win salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that, alive or dead, we should still live united to him.

Short Responsory
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
You have redeemed us, Lord, God of faithfulness.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Canticle Nunc Dimittis
Keep us safe, Lord, while we are awake, and guard us as we sleep, so that we can keep watch with Christ and rest in peace.
Now, Master, you let your servant go in peace.
  You have fulfilled your promise.
My own eyes have seen your salvation,
  which you have prepared in the sight of all peoples.
A light to bring the Gentiles from darkness;
  the glory of your people Israel.
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.
Keep us safe, Lord, while we are awake, and guard us as we sleep, so that we can keep watch with Christ and rest in peace.

Let us pray.
Give our bodies rest, Lord, to restore them; and let the seeds sown by our labours today grow and yield an eternal harvest.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

May the almighty Lord grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.

AMEN


Alma Redemptoris Mater
Kind mother of our Redeemer,
  the way to heaven for us, now and always,
  come to our help as we fall and strive to rise.
All nature stood still in wonder
  when you gave flesh
  to your own flesh’s Creator.
Virgin at Gabriel’s greeting,
  Virgin now and always –
  take pity on us sinners.
Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli
porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti,
natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem,
Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore,
sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.

39 posted on 01/17/2011 8:04:27 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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