Universalis
Friday 31 October 2014    (other days)

 or Friday of week 30 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
God has spoken by his prophets,
Spoken his unchanging word,
Each from age to age proclaiming
God the One, the righteous Lord.
Mid the world’s despair and turmoil,
one firm anchor holdeth fast:
God is King, his throne eternal,
God the first and God the last.
God has spoken by Christ Jesus,
Christ, the everlasting Son,
Brightness of the Father’s glory,
With the Father ever one;
Spoken by the Word incarnate,
God of God, ere time began,
Light of Light, to earth descending,
Man, revealing God to man.

Psalm 37 (38)
The plea of a sinner in great peril
Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.
Lord, do not rebuke me in your wrath,
  do not ruin me in your anger:
for I am pierced by your arrows
  and crushed beneath your hand.
In the face of your anger
  there is no health in my body.
There is no peace for my bones,
  no rest from my sins.
My transgressions rise higher than my head:
  a heavy burden, they weigh me down.
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 punish me, Lord, in your rage.

Psalm 37 (38)
O Lord, you know all my longing.
My wounds are corruption and decay
  because of my foolishness.
I am bowed down and bent,
  bent under grief all day long.
For a fire burns up my loins,
  and there is no health in my body.
I am afflicted, utterly cast down,
  I cry out from the sadness of my heart.
Lord, all that I desire is known to you;
  my sighs are not hidden from you.
My heart grows weak, my strength leaves me,
  and the light of my eyes – even that has gone.
My friends and my neighbours
  keep far from my wounds.
Those closest to me keep far away,
  while those who would kill me set traps,
  those who would harm me make their plots:
  they plan mischief all through the day.
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.
O Lord, you know all my longing.

Psalm 37 (38)
I confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not forsake me, my saviour.
But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
  like one who is dumb, I do not open my mouth.
I am like someone who cannot hear,
  in whose mouth there is no reply.
For in you, Lord, I put my trust:
  you will listen to me, Lord, my God.
For I have said, “Let them never triumph over me:
  if my feet stumble, they will gloat.”
For I am ready to fall:
  my suffering is before me always.
For I shall proclaim my wrongdoing:
  I am anxious because of my sins.
All the time my enemies live and grow stronger;
  they are so many, those who hate me without cause.
Returning evil for good they dragged me down,
  because I followed the way of goodness.
Do not abandon me, Lord:
  my God, do not leave me.
Hurry to my aid,
  O Lord, my saviour.
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 confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not forsake me, my saviour.

My eyes are weary with longing for your salvation
and for your words of justice.

First ReadingWisdom 8:1-21 ©
Wisdom deploys her strength from one end of the earth to the other,
ordering all things for good.
She it was I loved and searched for from my youth;
I resolved to have her as my bride,
I fell in love with her beauty.
Her closeness to God lends lustre to her noble birth,
since the Lord of All has loved her.
Yes, she is an initiate in the mysteries of God’s knowledge,
making choice of the works he is to do.
If in this life wealth be a desirable possession,
what is more wealthy than Wisdom whose work is everywhere?
Or if it be the intellect that is at work,
where is there a greater than Wisdom, designer of all?
Or if it be virtue you love,
why, virtues are the fruit of her labours,
since it is she who teaches temperance and prudence,
justice and fortitude;
nothing in life is more serviceable to men than these.
Or if you are eager for wide experience,
she knows the past, she forecasts the future;
she knows how to turn maxims, and solve riddles;
she has foreknowledge of signs and wonders,
of the unfolding of the ages and the times.
I therefore determined to take her to share my life,
knowing she would be my counsellor in prosperity,
my comfort in cares and sorrow.
Through her, I thought, I shall be acclaimed where people gather
and honoured, while still a youth, among the elders.
I shall be reckoned shrewd when I sit in judgement,
in presence of the great I shall be admired.
They will wait on my silences,
and pay attention when I speak;
if I speak at some length, they will lay their hand on their lips.
By means of her, immortality shall be mine,
I shall leave an everlasting memory to my successors.
I shall govern peoples and nations will be subject to me;
at the sound of my name fearsome despots will be afraid;
I shall show myself kind to my people and valiant in battle.
When I go home I shall take my ease with her,
for nothing is bitter in her company,
when life is shared with her there is no pain,
gladness only, and joy.
Inwardly revolving these thoughts,
and considering in my heart
that immortality is found in being kin to Wisdom
pure contentment in her friendship,
inexhaustible riches in what she does,
intelligence in the cultivation of her society,
and renown in the fellowship of her conversation,
I went in all directions seeking by what means I might make her mine.
I was a boy of happy disposition,
I had received a good soul as my lot,
or rather, being good, I had entered an undefiled body;
but knowing I could not master Wisdom but by the gift of God
– a mark itself of understanding, to know whose the bounty was –
I turned to the Lord.
Responsory
I prayed, and understanding was given me; I entreated, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I esteemed her more than sceptres and thrones.
If there is any one of you who needs wisdom, he must ask God, who gives to all freely and ungrudgingly: it will be given to him. I entreated, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I esteemed her more than sceptres and thrones.

Second Reading
A tractate by St Baldwin of Canterbury
The word of God is alive and active
The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts like any double-edged sword but more finely. These words tell us how much power and wisdom there is in the word of God for those who seek Christ, who is the word and the power and the wisdom of God. This word, with the Father from the beginning and co-eternal with him, came at its own chosen time, was revealed to them, was proclaimed by them, and was humbly received in faith by its believers. A word, therefore, in the Father; a word in the mouth; and a word in the heart.
  This word of God is alive. The Father gave it life coming from itself just as the Father’s own life comes from himself. The word is not just alive, therefore, it is life, as it said itself: I am the way, the truth, and the life. Since the word is life, the word is alive to give life. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life to anyone he chooses. He gives life, as when he calls the dead man out of the tomb, saying Lazarus, come forth.
  When this word is preached, the voice of its preaching which is heard outwardly calls forth a voice of power that is heard inwardly, that voice by which the dead are restored to life and their praise raises up sons for Abraham. So this word is alive in the heart of the Father, alive in the mouth of the preacher, and alive in the hearts of those who believe and love. If a word is alive in this way, how can it not also be active?
  The word is active in creating, active in guiding the world, active in redeeming the world. What could be more active? What could be more powerful? Who shall tell of his powerful deeds? Who shall proclaim the praises of the Lord? It is active when it works, it is active when it is preached. For it does not come back empty-handed: wherever it is sent, it prospers.
  It is active and cuts finer than a double-edged sword when it is believed and loved. For what is impossible to the believer? What is hard for the lover? When this word speaks, its words transfix the heart like a flight of sharp arrows, like nails hammered deep into its very essence. This word is sharper than a double-edged sword in that it cuts deeper than any strength or power, it is finer than anything made by human ingenuity, sharper than any human wisdom or learned speech.
Responsory
The source of wisdom is the word of God in the heavens; her ways are the eternal laws.
To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; her ways are the eternal laws.

Let us pray.
Lord God, deepen our faith,
  strengthen our hope,
  enkindle our love;
and so that we may obtain what you promise,
  make us love what you command.
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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