Universalis
Friday 29 May 2015    (other days)
Saint Ursula Ledóchowska
 (Friday of week 8 in Ordinary Time)

Office of Readings

If you have already recited the Invitatory Psalm today, you should use the alternative opening.


Lord, open our lips.
  And we shall praise your name.
Invitatory PsalmPsalm 66 (67)
The Lord is the king of virgins: come, let us adore him.
(repeat antiphon*)
O God, take pity on us and bless us,
  and let your face shine upon us,
so that your ways may be known across the world,
  and all nations learn of your salvation.
(repeat antiphon*)
Let the peoples praise you, O God,
  let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and rejoice,
  for you judge the peoples with fairness
  and you guide the nations of the earth.
(repeat antiphon*)
Let the peoples praise you, O God,
  let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has produced its harvest:
  may God, our God, bless us.
May God bless us,
  may the whole world revere him.
(repeat antiphon*)
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 the king of virgins: come, let us adore him.*

* If you are reciting this on your own, you can choose to say the antiphon once only at the start of the psalm and not repeat it.


Hymn
When God of old came down from heaven,
In power and wrath he came.
Before his feet the clouds were riven,
Half darkness and half flame;
But when he came the second time,
He came in power and love.
Softer than gale at morning prime
Hovered his holy Dove.
The fires that rushed on Sinai down
In sudden torrents dread,
Now gently light, a glorious crown,
On every sainted head.
And when the Spirit of our God
Came down his flock to find,
A voice from heaven was heard abroad,
A rushing, mighty wind.
It fills the Church of God, it fills
The sinful world around;
Only in stubborn hearts and wills
No place for it is found.
Come Lord, come Wisdom, Love and Power,
Open our ears to hear.
Let us not miss the accepted hour!
Save, Lord, by love or fear.

Psalm 54 (55)
Against a faithless friend
Do not reject my plea, O God, for wicked men assail me.
Open your ears, O God, to my prayer,
  and do not hide when I call on you:
  turn to me and answer me.
My thoughts are distracted and I am disturbed
  by the voice of my enemy and the oppression of the wicked.
They let loose their wickedness on me,
  they persecute me in their anger.
My heart is tied in a knot
  and the terrors of death lie upon me;
fear and trembling cover me;
  terror holds me tight.
I said, “Will no-one give me wings like a dove?
  I shall fly away and rest.
I shall flee far away
  and remain all alone.
I shall wait for him who will save me
  from the stormy wind and the tempest.”
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.
Do not reject my plea, O God, for wicked men assail me.

Psalm 54 (55)
The Lord will free us from the hand of our enemies and from those who wish us harm.
Scatter them, Lord, and separate their tongues,
  for I see violence and conflict in the city.
By day and by night they circle it
  high on its battlements.
Within it are oppression and trouble;
  scheming and fraud fill its squares.
For if my enemy had slandered me,
  I think I could have borne it.
And if the one who hated me had trampled me,
  perhaps I could have hidden.
But you – a man just like me,
  my companion and my friend!
We had happy times together,
  we walked together in the house of God.
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 will free us from the hand of our enemies and from those who wish us harm.

Psalm 54 (55)
Entrust your cares to the Lord and he will support you.
Let death break in upon them!
  Let them go down alive to the underworld,
  for wickedness shares their home.
As for me, I will call upon God,
  and the Lord will rescue me.
Evening, morning, noon – I shall watch and groan,
  and he will hear my voice.
He will redeem my soul
  and give it peace from those who attack me –
  for very many are my enemies.
God will hear and will bring them low,
  God, the eternal.
They will never reform:
  they do not fear God.
That man – he stretched out his hand against his allies:
  he corrupted his own covenant.
His face was smoother than butter,
  but his heart was at war;
his words were softer than oil,
  but they were sharp as drawn swords.
Throw all your cares on the Lord
  and he will give you sustenance.
  He will not let the just be buffeted for ever.
No – but you, Lord, will lead the wicked
  to the gaping mouth of destruction.
The men of blood and guile
  will not live half their days.
But I, Lord, will put my trust in 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.
Entrust your cares to the Lord and he will support you.

My son, attend to my wisdom,
and turn your ears to my words of prudence.

First ReadingJob 12:1-25 ©
Job spoke next. He said:
Doubtless, you are the voice of the people,
  and when you die, wisdom will die with you!
I can reflect as deeply as ever you can,
  I am no way inferior to you.
  And who, for that matter, has not observed as much?
A man becomes a laughing-stock to his friends
  if he cries to God and expects an answer.
  The blameless innocent incurs only mockery.
‘Add insult to injury,’ think the prosperous
  ‘strike the man now that he is staggering!’
And yet, the tents of brigands are left in peace,
  and those who challenge God live in safety,
  and make a god of their two fists!
If you would learn more, ask the cattle,
  seek information from the birds of the air.
The creeping things of earth will give you lessons,
  and the fishes of the sea will tell you all.
There is not one such creature but will know
  this state of things is all of God’s own making.
He holds in his power the soul of every living thing,
  and the breath of each man’s body.
The ear is a judge of speeches, is it not,
  just as the palate can tell one food from another?
Wisdom is found in the old,
  and discretion comes with great age.
But in him there is wisdom, and power, too,
  and decision no less than discretion.
What he destroys, none can rebuild;
  whom he imprisons, none can release.
Is there a drought? He has checked the waters.
  Do these play havoc with the earth? He has let them loose.
In him is strength, in him resourcefulness,
  beguiler and beguiled are both alike his slave.
He robs the country’s counsellors of their wits,
  turns judges into fools.
His hands untie the belt of kings,
  and bind a rope about their loins.
He makes priests walk barefoot,
  and overthrows the powers that are established.
He strikes the cleverest speakers dumb,
  and robs old men of their discretion.
He pours contempt on the nobly born,
  and unties the girdle of the strong.
He robs the depths of their darkness,
  brings deep shadow to the light.
He builds a nation up, then strikes it down,
  or makes a people grow, and then destroys it.
He strips a country’s leaders of their judgement,
  and leaves them to wander in a trackless waste,
to grope about in unlit darkness,
  and totter like a man in liquor.
Responsory
In God there is wisdom, and power, too, and decision no less than discretion. What he destroys, none can rebuild; whom he imprisons, none can release.
Once he has decided, who can change his mind? Whatever he plans, he carries out. What he destroys, none can rebuild; whom he imprisons, none can release.

Second Reading
The Moral Reflections on Job by Pope St Gregory the Great
The interior witness
He who is mocked by his friend as I am will call on God, and God will answer him. Often the frail mind, when it gains a good reputation among people for the good actions it has performed, dissipates itself in outward delights, thus putting to one side what it inwardly desires and sprawling happily in the luxury of hearing good things said about it.It is not becoming blessed that makes it happy, but being called blessed by other people. As it longs for the applause, so it abandons the very thing it was beginning to be. What made it deserving of praise in God ended up separating this weak soul from God.
  Sometimes, on the other hand, the soul perseveres in good works with constancy, and yet is buffeted by derision; it does great things but receives only abuse for them. In the end he who might have come out of himself, given praise, is thrown back into himself by insults. Thus he establishes himself more firmly in God, since outside there is no rest for him. All his hope is fixed in his creator and amongst external ridicule and abuse he wants only the good opinion of the interior witness. The further he is pushed out of human favour, the closer a neighbour he becomes to God. He pours himself out in prayer and, under attack from without, is refined with a more perfect purity so as to enter more deeply into all that is interior.
  So it is well said that He who is mocked by his friend as I am will call on God, and God will answer him. The good may be reproached by the wicked, yet they are showing them whom to seek as witness of their actions. While the soul is strengthening itself in prayer, it is uniting itself within itself in the hearing of the Most High by the very act which severs it from the approval of those around it.
  But that “mocked by his friend as I am” is important. Some people are indeed downcast at the ridicule of their fellow-men, but not as Job was: they are not the kind of men to be heard by the ears of God. When the ridicule they receive comes from their sin and not their virtue, they will get no virtuous merit from that derision.
  For the righteous man’s simplicity is laughed to scorn. It is the wisdom of this world to conceal one’s feelings behind pretence and veil one’s meaning with words, to show things that are false to be true and to show what is true to be fallacious.
  It is the wisdom of the righteous, on the other hand, to have no pretence, to use words to mean and not to hide meaning, to love the truth as it is and to avoid falsehood; to do good free of charge and to bear evil more gladly than to do evil; to treat a bad reputation resulting from faithfulness and truth as a reward and not a curse. But this simplicity of the righteous is laughed at, because the virtue of purity is considered to be folly by the wise of this world. Whatever is done in innocence seems to them to have been done in foolishness, and whatever act is commended by faithfulness seems nothing but weakness in the sight of worldly wisdom.
Responsory
I hate the paths of falsehood. Your word is a lamp for my steps, and a light for my path.
Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the message of eternal life. Your word is a lamp for my steps, and a light for my path.

Let us pray.
Merciful Father, you called St Ursula to follow your Son,
  sent into the world to proclaim the good news and give his life for all peoples.
Grant that by following her example and through her prayers
  we too may work together for the salvation of our brothers and sisters.
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.
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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