Universalis
Wednesday 22 October 2014    (other days)

 or Wednesday of week 29 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
Bright as fire in darkness,
Sharper than a sword,
Lives throughout the ages
God’s eternal word.
Father, Son and Spirit,
Trinity of might,
Compassed in your glory,
Give the world your light.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 17 (18)
Thanksgiving for salvation and victory
I love you, Lord, my strength.
I will love you, Lord, my strength:
  Lord, you are my foundation and my refuge,
  you set me free.
My God is my help: I will put my hope in him,
  my protector, my sign of salvation,
  the one who raises me up.
I will call on the Lord – praise be to his name –
  and I will be saved from my enemies.
The waves of death flooded round me,
  the torrents of Belial tossed me about,
the cords of the underworld wound round me,
  death’s traps opened before me.
In my distress I called on the Lord,
  I cried out to my God:
from his temple he heard my voice,
  my cry to him came to his ears.
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 love you, Lord, my strength.

Psalm 17 (18)
The Lord saved me because he loved me.
The earth moved and shook,
  at the coming of his anger the roots of the mountains rocked
  and were shaken.
Smoke rose from his nostrils,
  consuming fire came from his mouth,
  from it came forth flaming coals.
He bowed down the heavens and descended,
  storm clouds were at his feet.
He rode on the cherubim and flew,
  he travelled on the wings of the wind.
He made dark clouds his covering;
  his dwelling-place, dark waters and clouds of the air.
The cloud-masses were split by his lightnings,
  hail fell, hail and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered from the heavens,
  the Most High let his voice be heard,
  with hail and coals of fire.
He shot his arrows and scattered them,
  hurled thunderbolts and threw them into confusion.
The depths of the oceans were laid bare,
  the foundations of the globe were revealed,
at the sound of your anger, O Lord,
  at the onset of the gale of your wrath.
He reached from on high and took me up,
  he lifted me from the many waters.
He snatched me from my powerful enemies,
  from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me.
They attacked me in my time of trouble,
  but the Lord was my support.
He led me to the open spaces,
  he was my deliverance, for he held me in favour.
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 saved me because he loved me.

Psalm 17 (18)
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.
The Lord rewards me according to my uprightness,
  he repays me according to the purity of my hands,
for I have kept to the paths of the Lord
  and have not departed wickedly from my God.
For I keep all his decrees in my sight,
  and I will not reject his judgements;
I am stainless before him,
  I have kept myself away from evil.
And so the Lord has rewarded me according to my uprightness,
  according to the purity of my hands in his sight.
You will be holy with the holy,
  kind with the kind,
with the chosen you will be chosen,
  but with the crooked you will show your cunning.
For you will bring salvation to a lowly people
  but make the proud ashamed.
For you light my lamp, O Lord;
  my God brings light to my darkness.
For with you I will attack the enemy’s squadrons;
  with my God I will leap over their wall.
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, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.

All were astonished by the gracious words
that came from his lips.

First ReadingEsther 4:17 ©
All Israel cried out with all their might, for they were faced with death.
  Queen Esther also took refuge with the Lord in the mortal peril which had overtaken her. She took off her sumptuous robes and put on sorrowful mourning. Instead of expensive perfumes she covered her head with ashes. She humbled her body severely with fasting. She threw herself on the ground, together with her servants from morning to night and she said:
‘God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
I am alone and have no helper but you
and am about to take my life in my hands.
‘I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you saved Noah from the waters of the flood.
I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that to Abraham with his three hundred and eighteen men,
you gave victory over nine kings.
‘I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you freed Jonah from the belly of the whale.
I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you freed Ananiah, Azariah and Mishael from the fiery furnace.
‘I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you saved Daniel from the lions’ den.
I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you took pity on Hezekiah, king of the Jews,
when he was condemned to death and prayed to you for his life.
‘I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that when Anna begged you from the depths of her heart,
you gave her a child.
I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you rescue all who are pleasing in your sight,
for ever.
‘Lord, my God, come to my help, for I am alone,
I have no-one but you.
You know that your servant loathes the bed of the uncircumcised.
You know I have not eaten at the table of the abominations
nor drunk the wine of libations.
‘You know I have not found pleasure
from the day of my promotion until now
except in you, Lord.
‘You know, God, that I loathe the symbol of my high position
that is bound round my brow.
I loathe it as if it were a filthy rag
and do not wear it on my days of leisure.
‘And now support me, for I am an orphan.
Put persuasive words into my mouth when I face the lion.
Let me find favour in his eyes:
change his feeling into hatred for our enemy,
that the latter and all like him may be brought to their end.
‘But free us from the power of our enemies;
turn our mourning into rejoicing
and bring our sufferings to an end.
Make an example of those who attack us.
‘Come, Lord, appear!’
Responsory
King of gods, almighty Lord, give me courage: put the right words into my mouth.
Lord, give us time for repentance and do not shut the mouths of those who praise you; put the right words into my mouth.

Second Reading
St Augustine's letter to Proba
You will find no prayer that is not already contained in the Lord's Prayer
Here are some examples.
  When one prays: Be glorified among all nations as thou art glorified among us, and Let your prophets be proved true, what else is one asking than Hallowed be thy name?
  When the psalmist says: Bring us back, O God of hosts, let your face shine on us and we shall be saved what else is he saying than Thy kingdom come?
  When he says: Direct my steps according to your word, so that iniquity has no dominion over me what else is he saying than Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven?
  When in the book of Proverbs it is said: give me neither poverty nor riches, grant me only my share of food what else is this than Give us this day our daily bread?
  When the psalmist says Lord, remember David and how he served you or O Lord, if I have done this, if there is iniquity in my hands, if I have rewarded with evil those that did evil to me what else is this than Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us?
  When he says: Deliver me from my enemies, O my God, and defend me from those that rise up against me what else is this than Deliver us from evil?
  And if you go over all the words of holy prayers, I think you will find nothing which cannot be comprised and summed up in the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer. So when we pray we are free to use different words to any extent, but we must ask the same things: in this we have no choice.
  It is our duty to ask these things without hesitation for ourselves and for our friends, for strangers and even for our enemies; although of course our emotions may differ according to the persons being prayed for and their closeness or their distance from us.
  Now you have the answers to two questions: what sort of person you should be when you pray, and what sort of things you should pray for. These answers have not come from my teaching but from the teaching of him who has condescended to teach us all.
  We must seek a blessed life and we must ask God to grant it to us. What a blessed life might mean is something that many people have had many arguments about; but why should we go to many people or listen to many arguments? God’s own Scriptures have summed it up exactly: Blessed is the people whose God is the Lord. How are we to be part of that people, to look on God and live with him for ever? As St Paul says, The only purpose of this instruction is that there should be love coming out of a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a sincere faith.
  For “a clear conscience” we may read “hope.” Faith, hope, and charity, therefore, lead to God the man who prays, the man, that is, who believes, hopes, and desires, and is guided as to what he should ask from the Lord by studying the Lord’s Prayer.
Responsory
Lord, listen to my prayers and let my cry for help reach you, for you, O God, do not despise the prayers of the helpless.
Listen attentively to the voice of my pleading, for you, O God, do not despise the prayers of the helpless.

Let us pray.
Almighty, ever-living God,
  make us ever obey you willingly and promptly.
Teach us how to serve you
  with sincere and upright hearts
  in every sphere of life.
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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