Universalis
Monday 23 September 2019    (other days)
Saint Pius of Pietrelcina 
 on Monday of week 25 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
O God of truth, prepare our minds
To hear and heed your holy word;
Fill every heart that longs for you
With your mysterious presence, Lord.
Almighty Father, with your Son
And blessed Spirit, hear our prayer:
Teach us to love eternal truth
And seek its freedom everywhere.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 6
A prayer for relief from affliction
Lord, save me in your merciful love.
Lord, do not condemn me in your fury:
  do not destroy me in your anger.
Take pity on me, Lord, for I am sick;
  heal me, Lord, for my bones are in disarray.
My spirit is deeply disturbed,
  and you, Lord – how long?
Turn to me, Lord, rescue my spirit:
  in your pity, save me.
If I die, how can I praise you?
  Can anyone in the underworld proclaim your name?
I struggle and groan,
  soak my bed with weeping night after night;
my eyes are troubled with sadness:
  I grow older as my enemies watch.
Leave me, all who do evil,
  for the Lord has heard my voice as I wept.
The Lord listened to my prayer,
  granted me what I asked.
Let my enemies be ashamed and confounded:
  let shame and confusion overtake them soon.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
  and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
  is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Lord, save me in your merciful love.

Psalm 9A (9)
Thanksgiving for victory
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed in times of distress.
I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
  I will tell of your wonders.
I will rejoice in you and triumph,
  make music to your name, O Most High.
Because my enemies are in full retreat;
  they stumble and perish at your presence.
For you have given judgement in my favour,
  upheld my case,
  taken your seat on the throne of judgement.
You have rebuked the nations,
  condemned the wicked,
  wiped out their name for ever and for ever.
My enemies are no more;
  their land is a desert for ever.
You have demolished their cities,
  their very memory is wiped away.
But the Lord will reign for ever:
  he has made his throne his judgement-seat.
He himself will judge the whole world in justice,
  judge the peoples impartially.
The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed,
  a refuge in good times and in bad.
Let them put their hope in you, those who know your name;
  for you, Lord, have never abandoned those who seek you.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
  and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
  is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed in times of distress.

Psalm 9A (9)
I will recount all your praise at the gates of the city of Sion.
Sing to the Lord who dwells in Zion,
  proclaim to the nations his loving care.
For he has remembered the poor and avenged them with blood:
  he has not forgotten the cry of the weak.
Take pity on me, Lord:
  see how my enemies torment me.
You raise me up from the gates of death,
  and I will proclaim your praise at the gates of the daughter of Zion;
  I will rejoice in your salvation.
The nations have fallen into the pit that they made,
  into the very trap that they set: their feet are caught fast.
The Lord’s justice shines forth:
  the sinner is trapped by his very own action.
Sinners will go down to the underworld,
  and all nations that forget God.
For the weak will not always be forgotten:
  the hope of the weak will never perish.
Rise up, Lord, let men not be complacent:
  let the nations come before you to be judged.
Put fear into them, Lord:
  let them know that they are only men.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
  and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
  is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
I will recount all your praise at the gates of the city of Sion.

℣. Teach me to observe your law.
℟. I will keep it with all my heart.

First Reading
Ezekiel 34:1-6,11-16,23-31 ©
Israel, the Lord’s flock
The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them:
  Shepherds, the Lord says this: Trouble for the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shepherds ought to feed their flock, yet you have fed on milk, you have dressed yourselves in wool, you have sacrificed the fattest sheep, but failed to feed the flock. You have failed to make weak sheep strong, or to care for the sick ones, or bandage the wounded ones. You have failed to bring back strays or look for the lost. On the contrary, you have ruled them cruelly and violently. For lack of a shepherd they have scattered, to become the prey of any wild animal; they have scattered far. My flock is straying this way and that, on mountains and on high hills; my flock has been scattered all over the country; no one bothers about them and no one looks for them.
  For the Lord says this: I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view. As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep, so shall I keep my sheep in view. I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness. I shall bring them out of the countries where they are; I shall gather them together from foreign countries and bring them back to their own land. I shall pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in every inhabited place in the land. I shall feed them in good pasturage; the high mountains of Israel will be their grazing ground. There they will rest in good grazing ground; they will browse in rich pastures on the mountains of Israel. I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest – it is the Lord who speaks. I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong. I shall watch over the fat and healthy. I shall be a true shepherd to them.
  I mean to raise up one shepherd, my servant David, and to put him in charge of them and he will pasture them; he will pasture them and be their shepherd. I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be their ruler. I, the Lord, have spoken. I shall make a covenant of peace with them; I shall rid the country of wild animals. They will be able to live safely in the wilderness and go to sleep in the woods. I shall settle them round my hill; I shall send rain at the proper time; it will be a fertile rain. The trees of the countryside will yield their fruit and the earth its produce; they will feel safe on their own farms. And men will learn that I am the Lord when I break their yoke-straps and release them from their captors. No more will they be a prey to foreign countries, no more will they be eaten by wild animals in this country. They will live without fear and no one will disturb them again. I shall make splendid vegetation grow for them; no more will they suffer from famine in this land; no more will they have to bear the insults of other nations. And men will learn that I, their God, am with them and that they, the House of Israel, are my people – it is the Lord who speaks. And you, my sheep, are the flock I shall pasture, and I am your God – it is the Lord who speaks.
Responsory
Ez 34:12-14; Jn 10:10
℟. I shall rescue my sheep from wherever they have been scattered during mist and darkness, and bring them back to their own land.* I shall feed them in good pastures.
℣. I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.* I shall feed them in good pastures.

Second Reading
From the letters of St Pius of Pietrelcina
Stones of the eternal dwelling
With unceasing blows of healing chisel and careful stripping away, the divine Artificer seeks to prepare stones to build an eternal dwelling – as our mother, the holy Catholic Church, full of tenderness, sings in the hymn of the office for the dedication of a church. And that is true.
  Every soul destined for eternal glory can be considered most aptly as a stone for building an eternal edifice. The builder who seeks to put up a dwelling in the best way should first polish the stones that will be used in the construction. He does this with blows of hammer and chisel. In the same way, our heavenly Father works on chosen souls who, from all eternity, by his supreme wisdom and providence, have been destined for building up the eternal dwelling.
  The soul, if it wants to reign with Christ in eternal glory, must be polished with hammer and chisel strokes, which the divine Artificer uses to prepare the stones, that is, the chosen souls. What are these hammer and chisel strokes? Darkness, my sister, fears, temptations, sadness of spirit and spiritual fears, which reek like a sickness, and bodily discomfort.
  Give thanks to the infinite piety of the eternal Father who, in this way, leads your soul to salvation. Why not glory in these benevolent conditions from the best of all fathers? Open your heart to the celestial doctor of souls and, full of confidence, surrender yourselves into his most holy arms: as a chosen one, he leads you to follow Jesus closely on Mount Calvary. With joy and emotion in my soul I ponder how grace is working in you.
  Do not forget that the Lord has arranged everything your souls experience. Do not fear causing God harm or injury. It’s enough that you know that in your whole life you have never offended the Lord who, on the contrary, has been honoured more and more.
  If this benevolent Spouse of your soul hides from you, he does so not, as you think, because he wants to take revenge on your wickedness, but because it tests your fidelity and constancy even more, and, besides, heals you of some diseases not considered as such by carnal eyes, that is to say, those diseases and faults to which not even the just person is immune. Indeed, Scripture says in the book of Proverbs: “Seven times a righteous man falls”.
  Believe me, if I did not see you so afflicted, I would not be as happy, because I would think that the Lord wanted to give you fewer gems. Get rid of, as temptations, the doubts that assail you. Also expel the doubts with regards to the purpose of your life: to do that is not to listen to the divine summons, and to resist the sweet invitations of the Bridegroom. All these things do not come from a good spirit but from a bad one. These are diabolical ploys that try to separate you from perfection or, at least, hinder the journey towards it. Do not lose heart!
  Whenever Jesus shows himself, give him thanks. If he hides, give him thanks: all are touches of his love. I wish you to give up your spirit with Jesus on the cross, when he says: “It is accomplished”.
ResponsoryEph 2, 21-22
℟. In Christ Jesus the whole building is bonded together and grows* into a holy temple in the Lord.
℣. In him, you are also being built into a house where God lives, in the Spirit,* into a holy temple in the Lord.

Let us pray.
Almighty and eternal God,
  who, by a singular grace, allowed the priest Saint Pio to participate in the cross of your Son,
  and by means of his ministry renewed the wonders of your mercy,
grant, through his intercession,
  that, constantly united to the passion of Christ,
  we may happily arrive at the glory of the resurrection.
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.
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 apps and programs do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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