WEEK 6 - FRIDAY
Office of Readings
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 praise the Lord; in him is all our delight.
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.
Praise the Holy Trinity,
Holy God, Mighty God,
God Immortal, be adored.
To Jesus Christ give glory,
God’s co-eternal Son;
As members of His Body
we live in Him as one.
Now praise the Holy Spirit,
poured forth upon the earth;
Who sanctifies and guides us,
Confirmed in our rebirth.
Melody: Mainz 76.76 with Refrain; Text: Omer Westendorf, 1961
Lord, in your anger, do not punish me.
A sinner in extreme danger prays earnestly to God
All his friends were standing at a distance. (Luke 23:49)
O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger;
do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.
Your arrows have sunk deep in me;
your hand has come down upon me.
Through your anger all my body is sick:
through my sin, there is no health in my limbs.
My guilt towers higher than my head;
it is a weight too heavy to bear. Glory...
Lord, in your anger, do not punish me.
Antiphon 2 Lord, you know all my longings.
My wounds are foul and festering,
the result of my own folly.
I am bowed and brought to my knees.
I go mourning all the day long.
All my frame burns with fever;
all my body is sick.
Spent and utterly crushed,
I cry aloud in anguish of heart.
O Lord, you know all my longing:
my groans are not hidden from you.
My heart throbs, my strength is spent;
the very light has gone from my eyes.
My friends avoid me like a leper;
those closest to me stand afar off.
Those who plot against my life lay snares;
those who seek my ruin speak of harm,
planning treachery all the day long. Glory...
Lord, you know all my longings.
Antiphon 3 I will confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not abandon me, for you are my Savior.
But I am like the deaf who cannot hear,
like the dumb unable to speak.
I am like a man who hears nothing
in whose mouth is no defense.
I count on you, O Lord:
it is you, Lord God, who will answer.
I pray: Do not let them mock me,
those who triumph if my foot should slip."
For I am on the point of falling
and my pain is always before me.
I confess that I am guilty
and my sin fills me with dismay.
My wanton enemies are numberless
and my lying foes are many.
They repay me evil for good
and attack me for seeking what is right.
O Lord, do not forsake me!
My God, do not stay afar off!
Make haste and come to my help,
O Lord, my God, my savior! Glory...
Better a little with fear of the Lord
than a great fortune with anxiety.
Better a dish of herbs where love is
than a fatted ox and hatred with it.
The Lord overturns the house of the proud,
but he preserves intact the widow's landmark.
The wicked man's schemes are an abomination to the Lord,
but the pure speak what is pleasing to him.
The Lord is far from the wicked,
but the prayer of the just he hears.
The fear of the Lord is training for wisdom,
and humility goes before honors.
Man may make plans in his heart,
but what the tongue utters is from the Lord.
All the ways of a man may be pure in his own eyes,
but it is the Lord who proves the spirit.
Entrust your works to the Lord,
and your plans will succeed.
The Lord has made everything for his own ends,
even the wicked for the evil day.
Every proud man is an abomination to the Lord;
I assure you that he will not go unpunished.
By kindness and piety guilt is expiated,
and by the fear of the Lord man avoids evil.
When the Lord is pleased with a man's ways,
he makes even his enemies be at peace with him.
Better a little with virtue,
than a large income with injustice.
In his mind a man plans his course,
but the Lord directs his steps.
He who mocks the poor blasphemes his Maker;
he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
RESPONSORY Deuteronomy 6:12; 15:33
Never forget the Lord, who led you out of Egypt;
- you shall fear the Lord, your God,
and you shall serve him alone.
The fear of the Lord is a training in wisdom,
and humility is the path to honors.
- You shall fear the Lord, your God,
and you shall serve him alone.
From the Tractates on the first letter of John by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Tract. 4: Pl 35, 2008-2009)
Our heart longs for God
We have been promised that we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. By these words, the tongue has done its best; now we must apply the meditation of the heart. Although they are the words of Saint John, what are they in comparison with the divine reality? and how can we, so greatly inferior to John in merit, add anything of our own? Yet we have received, as John has told us, an anointing by the Holy One which teaches us inwardly more than our tongue can speak. Let us turn to this source of knowledge, and because at present you cannot see, make it your business to desire the divine vision.
The entire life of a good Christian is in fact an exercise of holy desire. You do not yet see what you long for, but the very act of desiring prepares you, so that when he comes you may see and be utterly satisfied.
Suppose you are going to fill some holder or container, and you know you will be given a large amount. then you set about stretching your sack or wineskin or whatever it is. Why? Because you know the quantity you will have to put in it and your eyes tell you there is not enough room. By stretching it, therefore, you increase the capacity of the sack, and this is how God deals with us. Simply by making us wait he increases our desire, which in turn enlarges the capacity of our soul, making it able to receive what is to be given to us.
So, my brethren, let us continue to desire, for we shall be filled. Take not of Saint Paul stretching as it were his ability to receive what is to come: Not that I have already obtained this, he said, or am made perfect. Brethren, I do not consider that I have already obtained it. We might ask him, “If you have not yet obtained it, what are you doing in this life?” This one thing I do, answers Paul, forgetting what lies behind, and stretching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the prize to which I am called in the life above. Not only did Paul say he stretched forward, but he also declared that he pressed on toward a chosen goal. He realized in fact that he was still short of receiving what no eye has seen, nor ear has heard, nor the heart of man conceived.
Such is our Christian life. By desiring heaven we exercise the powers of our soul. Now this exercise will be effective only to the extent that we free ourselves from desires leading to infatuation with this world. Let me return to the example I have already used, of filling an empty container. God means to fill each of you with what is good; so cast out what is bad! If he wishes to fill you with honey and you are full of sour wine, where is the honey to go? The vessel must be emptied of its contents and then be cleansed. Yes, it must be cleansed even if you have to work hard and scour it. It must be made fit for the new thing, whatever it may be.
We may go on speaking figuratively of honey, gold or wine – but whatever we say we cannot express the reality we are to receive. The name of that reality is God. But who will claim that in that one syllable we utter the full expanse of our heart’s desire? Therefore, whatever we say is necessarily less than the full truth. We must extend ourselves toward the measure of Christ so that when he comes he may fill us with his presence. Then we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
RESPONSORY Psalm 37:4-5
Take delight in the Lord,
- and he will give you your heart's desire.
Commit your life to the Lord and trust in him.
- And he will give you your heart's desire.
O God, who teach us that you abide
in hearts that are just and true,
grant that we may be so fashioned by your grace
as to become a dwelling pleasing to you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Let us praise the Lord.
- And give him thanks.
The English translation of Psalm Responses, Alleluia Verses, Gospel Verses from Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL); the English translation of Antiphons, Invitatories, Responsories, Intercessions, Psalm 95, the Canticle of the Lamb, Psalm Prayers, Non-Biblical Readings from The Liturgy of the Hours © 1973, 1974, 1975, ICEL; excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, ICEL. All rights reserved. Used with permission.