COMMON OF DOCTORS OF THE CHURCH

Office of Readings



Invitatory
The Invitatory opens the first Office of the day. If Morning Prayer is the first Office of the day, begin below.

Lord, open my lips.
 - And my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Psalm 95 is the traditional Invitatory Psalm. Psalm 24, 67, or 100 may be substituted.

Antiphon: Come, let us worship the Lord, fount of all wisdom (alleluia).





Office of Readings

God, come to my assistance.
 - Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 -  as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.
Amen. (Alleluia.)


HYMN

This is the feast day of the Lord’s true witness,
Who on this day received the glory due him.
Let all creation celebrate his goodness,
Cherish his memory.

Prudent in judgment, gentle toward all others,
Open, unselfish in the love he offered.
All of his days the Gospel was his wisdom,
Christ his true teacher.

Brother was he to all the world’s forgotten;
Lonely and ill, they came to him for healing.
God gave him power, gifts for our salvation:
Love, health, and pardon.

One, then, in songs of praise we sing his glory,
Calling to mind the peace and joy God gave him,
Asking his prayers to help us in life's battle,
All through the ages.

Glory and praise be to our God forever,
Radiant in splendor, awesome in his power
Guiding creation onward toward fulfillment,
One God, Three Persons.
Text: Iste Confessor, 8th Century; Melody: Herr Deinen Zorn 11.11.11.5; Music: Johann Crueger, 1653


PSALMODY

Antiphon 1: If anyone wishes to be first, he must become the last and the servant of all.

O Lord, your strength gives joy to the King;
how your saving help makes him glad!
You have granted him his heart's desire;
you have not refused the prayer of his lips.

You came to meet him with the blessings of success,
you have set on his head a crown of pure gold.
He asked you for life and this you have given,
days that will last from age to age.

Your saving help has given him glory.
You have laid upon him majesty and splendor,
you have granted your blessings to him forever.
You have made him rejoice with the joy of your presence.

The king has put his trust in the Lord:
through the mercy of the Most High he shall stand firm.
O Lord, arise in your strength;
we shall sing and praise your power. Glory...

Antiphon 1 If anyone wishes to be first, he must become the last and the servant of all.


Antiphon 2 When the prince of pastors comes again, you will receive from him an unfading crown of glory.

                     I
It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your truth in the watches of the night,
on the ten-stringed lyre and the lute,
with the murmuring sound of the harp.

Your deeds, O Lord, have made me glad;
for the work of your hands I shout with joy.
O Lord, how great are your works!
How deep are your designs!
The foolish man cannot know this
and the fool cannot understand.

Though the wicked spring up like grass
and all who do evil thrive,
they are doomed to be eternally destroyed.
But you, Lord, are eternally on high.

Antiphon 2 When the prince of pastors comes again, you will receive from him an unfading crown of glory.


Antiphon 3 My good and faithful servant, come and share your master's joy.

                  II
See how your enemies perish;
all doers of evil are scattered.

To me you give the wild ox's strength;
you anoint me with the purest oil.
My eyes looked in triumph on my foes;
my ears heard gladly of their fall.
The just will flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a Lebanon cedar.

Planted in the house of the Lord
they will flourish in the courts of our God,
still bearing fruit when they are old,
still full of sap, still green,
to proclaim that the Lord is just.
In him, my rock, there is no wrong.

Antiphon 3 My good and faithful servant, come and share your master's joy.


You will hear the word from my mouth.
- You will tell others what I have said.


FIRST READING

Ordinary Time       Advent and Lent       Easter

First Reading - Ordinary Time

From the book of Sirach      39:1-10

The wisdom of the man who is learned in the Scriptures

The man who devotes himself
  to the study of the law of the Most High
Explores the wisdom of the men of old
  and occupies himself with the prophecies;
He treasures the discourses of famous men,
  and goes to the heart of involved sayings;
He studies obscure parables,
  and is busied with the hidden meanings of the sages.

He is in attendance on the great,
  and has entrance to the ruler.
He travels among the peoples of foreign lands
  to learn what is good and evil among men.

His care is to seek the Lord, his Maker,
  to petition the Most High,
To open his lips in prayer,
  to ask pardon for his sins.

Then, if it pleases the Lord Almighty,
  he will be filled with the spirit of understanding;
He will pour forth his words of wisdom
  and in prayer give thanks to the Lord,
Who will direct his knowledge and his counsel,
  as he meditates upon his mysteries.
He will show the wisdom of what he has learned
  and glory in the law of the Lord's covenant.

Many will praise his understanding;
  his fame can never be effaced;
Unfading will be his memory,
  through all generations his name will live;
Peoples will speak of his wisdom,
  and in assembly sing his praises.


RESPONSORY      Sirach 15:5-6
In the midst of the Church he spoke with eloquence;
- The Lord has rewarded him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding.

The Lord has rewarded him with joy and gladness.
- The Lord has rewarded him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding.



First Reading - Advent and Lent

From the book of Wisdom      7:7-16, 22b-30

The joy of the just united with God

I prayed, and prudence was given me;
  I pleaded and the spirit of Wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to scepter and throne,
And deemed riches nothing in comparison with her,
  nor did I liken any priceless gem to her;
Because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand,
  and before her, silver is to be accounted mire.
Beyond health and comeliness I loved her,
  And I chose to have her rather than the light,
  because the splendor of her never yields to sleep.

Yet all good things together came to me in her company,
  and countless riches at her hands;
And I rejoiced in them all, because Wisdom is their leader,
  though I had not known that she is the mother of these.
Simply I learned about her, and ungrudgingly do I share -
  her riches I do not hide away;
For to men she is an unfailing treasure;
  those who gain this treasure win the friendship of God,
  to whom the gifts they have from discipline commend them.

Now God grant I speak suitably
  and value these endowments at their worth:
For he is the guide of Wisdom
  and the director of the wise.
For both we and our words are in his hand,
  as well as all prudence and knowledge of crafts.

For in her is a spirit
  intelligent, holy, unique,
Manifold, subtle, agile,
  clear, unstained, certain,
Not baneful, loving the good, keen,
  unhampered, beneficent, kindly,
Firm, secure, tranquil,
  all-powerful, all-seeing,
And pervading all spirits,
  though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle.
For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion,
  and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.

For she is an aura of the might of God
  and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty;
  therefore nought that is sullied enters into her.
For she is the refulgence of eternal light,
  the spotless mirror of the power of God,
  the image of his goodness.

And she, who is one, can do all things,
  and renews everything while herself perduring;
And passing into holy souls from age to age,
  she produces friends of God and prophets.
For there is nought God loves, be it not one who dwells with Wisdom.
For she is fairer than the sun
  and surpasses every constellation of the stars.
Compared to light, she takes precedence;
  for that, indeed, night supplants,
  but wickedness prevails not over Wisdom.


RESPONSORY      Wisdom 7:7-8; James 1:5
I prayed for understanding, and it was given to me;
- I pleaded for wisdom, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
I valued her more than all earthly power and glory.

If anyone of you lacks wisdom, he has only to turn to God in prayer,
and it will be given to him,
for God gives gernerously to all and turns no one away.
I prayed for understanding, and it was given to me;
- I pleaded for wisdom, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
I valued her more than all earthly power and glory.



First Reading - Easter

From the first letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians      2:1-16

We proclaim the mystery of God's wisdom

When I came to you, brothers, proclaiming the mystery of God,  I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. I came to you in weakness  and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive (words of) wisdom,  but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.  

Yet we do speak a wisdom to those who are mature, but not a wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away. Rather, we speak God's wisdom,  mysterious, hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory, and which none of the rulers of this age  knew; for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written:

  "What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,
  and what has not entered the human heart,
  what God has prepared for those who love him."

This God has revealed to us through the Spirit.For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God. Among human beings, who knows what pertains to a person except the spirit of the person that is within? Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God.

We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God. And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.   

Now the natural person  does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgment  by anyone. For "who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?" But we have the mind of Christ.


RESPONSORY      1 Corinthians 1:21, 23, 25
Through the foolishness of what we preach,
God was pleased to save those who have believed,
- for what we preach is a crucified Christ, alleluia.

For God's foolishness is wiser than man's wisdom,
and God's weakness stronger than man's strength.
- For what we preach is a crucified Christ, alleluia.



SECOND READING

From the Mirror of Faith by William of Thierry, abbot
(PL 180, 384)

Seek the understanding of faith from the Holy Spirit

When in your life of faith you are confronted with the deeper mysteries it is natural to become a little frightened. When this happens, take heart faithful Christian. Do not raise objections, but ask with loving submission, “How can these things be?” Let your question be a prayer, an expression of love and self-surrender to God. Let it be an expression of your humble desire not to penetrate his sublime majesty, but to find salvation through the saving deeds of God our Savior.

Then the Angel of good counsel will reply: When the Paraclete comes, whom I shall send you from the Father, he will remind you of everything and teach you all truth. Even as no one knows a man’s secret thoughts except his own spirit within him, so no one comprehends the mysteries of God except the Spirit of God.

Hasten therefore to receive the Holy Spirit. He is with you when you call upon him; you can call upon him only because he is already present. But when he comes in answer to your prayer, he comes with an abundance of divine blessings; he is the river whose stream gives joy to the city of God.

If when he comes he finds you humble, silent and trembling at the words of God, he will rest upon you and reveal what God the Father has hidden from the wise and the prudent of this world. You will then begin to understand the things holy Wisdom could have told his disciples on earth, but which they were unable to bear until the Spirit of truth came who was to teach them all truth. For this reason we cannot hope to learn from the lips of any man truths that Truth himself could not convey. As he himself has told us: God is Spirit. As those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth, so those who wish to know him must seek understanding of their faith and perception of its pure and simple truth only in the Holy Spirit.

In the darkness and ignorance of this life, the Holy Spirit enlightens the poor in spirit. He is the love that draws them on, the sweetness that attracts them, the way in which a man approaches God. He is the love of the lover. He is devotion. He is piety. From one degree of faith to the next he is ever revealing to believers the justice of God, so that grace follows grace, and the faith that comes from hearing yields to a faith enlightened by understanding. RESPONSORY      Matthew 13:52; Proverbs 14:33
When a teacher of the law becomes a disciple of the kingdom of heaven,
- he is like the head of a household
who is able to take from the storeroom treasures new and old (alleluia).

Wisdom makes its home in a discerning heart,
and it can even teach those who are foolish. - he is like the head of a household
who is able to take from the storeroom treasures new and old (alleluia).


Alternative:

From the dogmatic constitution on Divine Revelation of the Second Vatican Council
(Dei Verbum, nn. 7-8)

How God's revelation is handed on

Christ the Lord, in whom the whole revelation of the most high God is brought to completion, commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel to all mankind. The Gospel, promised through the prophets, was fulfilled in his own person and promulgated by his own lips. The apostles were to proclaim it as the source of all saving truth and all moral discipline, and in so doing to communicate the gifts of God to men.

This command was faithfully carried out. First, by the apostles, who in their preaching by word of mouth, their example and their instructions handed on what they had received from Christ's lips, from his life among them and from his actions, or had learnt from the prompting of the Holy spirit; then, by those apostles and apostolic men who committed the message of salvation to writing, under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit.

To ensure that the Gospel might remain always alive and whole within the Church, the apostles left bishops as their successors, and made over to them their own position of responsibility as teachers. What was handed on by the apostles comprises all that makes for holy living among God's people and the increase of their faith. so, in its teaching, life and worship the Church perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that it is, and all that it believes.

This tradition received from the apostles develops within the Church under the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit. Understanding of the realities and the words handed down grows through contemplation and study by the faithful as they ponder them in their hearts, through the deep insight into spiritual things that they come to experience, and through the preaching of those who, with succession in the episcopate, have received the sure charism of truth. Thus the Church throughout the ages is always advancing toward the fullness of divine truth, until the words of God are brought to completion within it.

The writings of the holy Fathers of the Church testify to the life-giving presence of this tradition, as its riches flow into the life and practice of the Church, in its belief and in its prayer.

Through the same tradition the complete canon of the sacred books is made known, and Holy Scripture itself is understood in greater depth and becomes continuously alive and active. In this way God, who spoke in times past, continues to converse for ever with the bride of his beloved Son; and the Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospel reechoes in the Church, and through the Church in the world also, guides the faithful into all truth, and causes the word of Christ to dwell among them in all its abundance.


RESPONSORY      1 Peter 1:25; Luke 1:2
The word of the Lord endures for ever.
- This same word, the Gospel, has been proclaimed to you (alleluia).

The message has been handed on to us
by those who were with the Lord from the beginning.
As the ministers of his word,
they gave witness
to all they had seen.
- This same word, the Gospel, has been proclaimed to you (alleluia).


On solemnities and feasts, the TE DEUM is said.


PRAYER
Lord God,
you filled Saint N. with heavenly wisdom.
By his help may we remain true to his teaching
and put it into practice.
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.


Let us praise the Lord.
- And give him thanks.



 
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