Universalis
Thursday 28 August 2014    (other days)
Saint Augustine, Bishop, Doctor
 (Thursday of week 21 in Ordinary Time)

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 our aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help us.
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
Eternal Father, through your Word
You gave new life to Adam’s race,
And call us now to live in light,
New creatures by your saving grace.
To you who stooped to all who sin
We render homage and give praise:
To Father, Son and Spirit blest
Whose loving gift is endless days.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 17 (18)
Thanksgiving
The word of the Lord is a shield for all who make him their refuge.
The Lord’s ways are pure;
  the words of the Lord are refined in the furnace;
  the Lord protects all who hope in him.
For what God is there, but our Lord?
  What help, but in the Lord our God?
God, who has wrapped me in his strength
  and set me on the perfect path,
who has made my feet like those of the deer,
  who has set me firm upon the heights,
who trains my hands for battle,
  teaches my arms to bend a bow of bronze.
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.
The word of the Lord is a shield for all who make him their refuge.

Psalm 17 (18)
Lord, your right hand upheld me.
You have given me the shield of your salvation;
  your right hand holds me up;
  by answering me, you give me greatness.
You have stretched the length of my stride,
  my feet do not weaken.
I pursue my enemies and surround them;
  I do not turn back until they are no more.
I smash them to pieces, they cannot stand,
  they fall beneath my feet.
You have wrapped me round with strength for war,
  and made my attackers fall under me.
You turned my enemies’ backs on me,
  you destroyed those who hated me.
They cried out, but there was no-one to save them;
  they cried to the Lord, but he did not hear.
I have ground them up until they are dust in the wind,
  trodden them down like the mud of the street.
You have delivered me from the murmurings of the people
  and placed me at the head of the nations.
A people I do not even know serves me –
  at a mere rumour of my orders, they obey.
The children of strangers beg for my favour;
  they hide away and tremble where they hide.
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, your right hand upheld me.

Psalm 17 (18)
Long life to the Lord! Praised be the God who saves me.
The Lord lives, my blessed Helper.
  Let the God of my salvation be exalted.
God, you give me my revenge,
  you subject peoples to my rule,
  you free me from my enraged enemies.
You raise me up from those who attack me,
  you snatch me from the grasp of the violent.
And so I will proclaim you among the nations, Lord,
  and sing to your name.
Time and again you save your king,
  you show your loving kindness to your anointed,
  to David and his descendants 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.
Long life to the Lord! Praised be the God who saves me.

Uncover my eyes, Lord,
and I will consider the wonders of your Law.

First Reading
Jeremiah 3:1-5,19-4:4 ©
If a man divorces his wife
and she leaves him
to marry someone else,
may she still go back to him?
Has not that piece of land
been totally polluted?
And you, who have prostituted yourself with so many lovers,
you would come back to me? – it is the Lord who speaks.
Lift your eyes to the bare heights and look!
Is there a single place where you have not offered your body?
You waited by the roadside for clients
like an Arab in the desert.
You have polluted the country
with your prostitution and your vices:
this is why the showers have been withheld,
the late rains have not come.
And you maintained a prostitute’s bold front,
never thinking to blush.
Even then did you not cry to me, “My father!
You, the friend of my youth!
Will he keep his resentment for ever,
will he maintain his wrath to the end?”
That was what you said, and still you went on sinning,
you were so obstinate.
And I was thinking:
How I wanted to rank you with my sons,
and give you a country of delights,
the fairest heritage of all the nations!
I had thought you would call me: My father,
and would never cease to follow me.
But like a woman betraying her lover,
the House of Israel has betrayed me –
it is the Lord who speaks.
A noise is heard on the bare heights:
the weeping and entreaty of the sons of Israel,
because they have gone so wildly astray,
and forgotten the Lord their God.
‘Come back, disloyal sons,
I want to heal your disloyalty.’
‘We are here, we are coming to you,
for you are the Lord our God.
The heights are a delusion after all,
so is the tumult of the mountains.
‘The Lord our God is, after all,
the saving of Israel.
The Thing of Shame has devoured what our ancestors worked for
since our youth
(their flocks and herds, their sons and daughters).
Let us lie down in our shame, let our dishonour be our covering,
for we have sinned against the Lord our God
(we and our ancestors since our youth until today;
and we have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God).’
‘If you wish to come back, Israel – it is the Lord who speaks –
it is to me you must return.
Do away with your abominations
and you will have no need to avoid me.
If you swear, “As the Lord lives!”
truthfully, justly, honestly,
the nations will bless themselves by you,
and glory in you.
For thus speaks the Lord
to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem:
Clean your ground thoroughly,
sow nothing among thorns.
Circumcise yourselves for the Lord; off with the foreskin of your hearts
(men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem),
lest my wrath should leap out like a fire,
and burn with no one to quench it,
in return for the wickedness of your deeds.’
Responsory
If our crimes are witness against us, then, Lord, for your name’s sake, act! Yes, our apostasies have been many, we have sinned against you.
If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive? Yes, our apostasies have been many, we have sinned against you.

Second Reading
The Confessions of Saint Augustine, bishop
O Eternal Truth, true love and beloved eternity
Urged to reflect upon myself, I entered under your guidance the innermost places of my being; but only because you had become my helper was I able to do so. I entered, then, and with the vision of my spirit, such as it was, I saw the incommutable light far above my spiritual ken and transcending my mind: not this common light which every carnal eye can see, nor any light of the same order; but greater, as though this common light were shining much more powerfully, far more brightly, and so extensively as to fill the universe. The light I saw was not the common light at all, but something different, utterly different, from all those things. Nor was it higher than my mind in the sense that oil floats on water or the sky is above the earth; it was exalted because this very light made me, and I was below it because by it I was made. Anyone who knows truth knows this light.
  O eternal Truth, true Love, and beloved Eternity, you are my God, and for you I sigh day and night. As I first began to know you, you lifted me up and showed me that, while that which I might see exists indeed, I was not yet capable of seeing it. Your rays beamed intensely on me, beating back my feeble gaze, and I trembled with love and dread. I knew myself to be far away from you in a region of unlikeness, and I seemed to hear your voice from on high: “I am the food of the mature: grow, then, and you shall eat me. You will not change me into yourself like bodily food; but you will be changed into me”.
  Accordingly I looked for a way to gain the strength I needed to enjoy you, but I did not find it until I embraced the mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who is also God, supreme over all things and blessed for ever. He called out, proclaiming I am the Way and Truth and the Life, nor had I known him as the food which, though I was not yet strong enough to eat it, he had mingled with our flesh, for the Word became flesh so that your Wisdom, through whom you created all things, might become for us the milk adapted to our infancy.
Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved you!
Lo, you were within,
  but I outside, seeking there for you,
  and upon the shapely things you have made
  I rushed headlong – I, misshapen.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
They held me back far from you,
  those things which would have no being,
  were they not in you.
You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;
  you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;
  you lavished your fragrance, I gasped; and now I pant for you;
  I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst;
  you touched me, and I burned for your peace.
Responsory
Let Truth, the Light of my heart, speak to me, and not the voice of my own darkness. I wandered far away, yet I remembered you. See, now I return to your fountain, with longing and a burning thirst.
I myself am not the goal of my own existence. Left to myself, I lived in sin, bringing death upon myself. In you I have discovered life. See, now I return to your fountain, with longing and a burning thirst.

Let us pray.
Lord God, renew your Church
  with the Spirit of wisdom and love
  which you gave so fully to Saint Augustine.
Lead us by that same Spirit to seek you,
  the only fountain of true wisdom
  and the source of everlasting love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.

The psalms and canticles here are our own translation. The Grail translation of the psalms, which is used liturgically in most of the English-speaking world, cannot be displayed on the Web for copyright reasons. The Universalis downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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