Universalis
Thursday 20 August 2020    (other days)
Saint Bernard, Abbot, Doctor 
 on Thursday of week 20 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
Where true love is dwelling, God is dwelling there:
Love’s own loving Presence love does ever share.
Love of Christ has made us out of many one;
In our midst is dwelling God’s eternal Son.
Give him joyful welcome, love him and revere:
Cherish one another with a love sincere.

Psalm 43 (44)
In time of defeat

Their own arm did not bring them victory: this was won by your right hand and the light of your face.
Our own ears have heard, O God,
  and our fathers have proclaimed it to us,
  what you did in their days, the days of old:
how with your own hand you swept aside the nations
  and put us in their place,
  struck them down to make room for us.
It was not by their own swords that our fathers took over the land,
  it was not their own strength that gave them victory;
but your hand and your strength,
  the light of your face,
  for you were pleased in them.
You are my God and my king,
  who take care for the safety of Jacob.
Through you we cast down your enemies;
  in your name we crushed those who rose against us.
I will not put my hopes in my bow,
  my sword will not bring me to safety;
for it was you who saved us from our afflictions,
  you who set confusion among those who hated us.
We will glory in the Lord all the day,
  and proclaim your name for all ages.
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.
Their own arm did not bring them victory: this was won by your right hand and the light of your face.

Psalm 43 (44)

If you return to the Lord, then he will not hide his face from you.
But now, God, you have spurned us and confounded us,
  so that we must go into battle without you.
You have put us to flight in the sight of our enemies,
  and those who hate us plunder us at will.
You have handed us over like sheep sold for food,
  you have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for no money,
  not even profiting by the exchange.
You have made us the laughing-stock of our neighbours,
  mocked and derided by those who surround us.
The nations have made us a by-word,
  the peoples toss their heads in scorn.
All the day I am ashamed,
  I blush with shame
as they reproach me and revile me,
  my enemies and my persecutors.
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.
If you return to the Lord, then he will not hide his face from you.

Psalm 43 (44)

Arise, Lord, do not reject us for ever.
All this happened to us,
  but not because we had forgotten you.
We were not disloyal to your covenant;
  our hearts did not turn away;
  our steps did not wander from your path;
and yet you brought us low,
  with horrors all about us:
  you overwhelmed us in the shadows of death.
If we had forgotten the name of our God,
  if we had spread out our hands before an alien god —
would God not have known?
  He knows what is hidden in our hearts.
It is for your sake that we face death all the day,
  that we are reckoned as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake, Lord, why do you sleep?
  Rise up, do not always reject us.
Why do you turn away your face?
  How can you forget our poverty and our tribulation?
Our souls are crushed into the dust,
  our bodies dragged down to the earth.
Rise up, Lord, and help us.
  In your mercy, redeem 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.
Arise, Lord, do not reject us for ever.

℣. Let your face shine on your servant, Lord.
℟. Teach me your decrees.

First ReadingIsaiah 11:1-16 ©
A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse,
a scion thrusts from his roots:
on him the spirit of the Lord rests,
a spirit of wisdom and insight,
a spirit of counsel and power,
a spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
(The fear of the Lord is his breath.)
He does not judge by appearances,
he gives no verdict on hearsay,
but judges the wretched with integrity,
and with equity gives a verdict for the poor of the land.
His word is a rod that strikes the ruthless,
his sentences bring death to the wicked.
Integrity is the loincloth round his waist,
faithfulness the belt about his hips.
The wolf lives with the lamb,
the panther lies down with the kid,
calf and lion feed together,
with a little boy to lead them.
The cow and the bear make friends,
their young lie down together.
The lion eats straw like the ox.
The infant plays over the cobra’s hole;
into the viper’s lair
the young child puts his hand.
They do no hurt, no harm,
on all my holy mountain,
for the country is filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters swell the sea.
That day, the root of Jesse
shall stand as a signal to the peoples.
It will be sought out by the nations
and its home will be glorious.
That day, the Lord will raise his hand once more
to ransom the remnant of his people,
left over from the exile of Assyria, of Egypt,
of Pathros, of Cush, of Elam,
of Shinar, of Hamath, of the islands of the sea.
He will hoist a signal for the nations
and assemble the outcasts of Israel;
he will bring back the scattered people of Judah
from the four corners of the earth.
Then Ephraim’s jealousy will come to an end
and Judah’s enemies be put down;
Ephraim will no longer be jealous of Judah
nor Judah any longer the enemy of Ephraim.
They will sweep down westwards on the Philistine slopes,
together they will pillage the sons of the East,
extend their sway over Edom and Moab,
and make the Ammonites their subjects.
And the Lord will dry up the gulf of the Sea of Egypt
with the heat of his breath,
and stretch out his hand over the River,
and divide it into seven streams,
for men to cross dry-shod,
to make a pathway for the remnant of his people
left over from the exile of Assyria,
as there was for Israel
when it came up out of Egypt.
Responsory
℟. You shall go out in joy, and be led forth in peace;* the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
℣. There will be a highway for the remnant which is left of my people, as there was for Israel when they came up from the land of Egypt;* the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Second Reading
From a sermon of St Bernard of Clairvaux

I love because I love, I love that I may love

Love is sufficient of itself, it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself. It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in its practice. I love because I love, I love that I may love. Love is a great thing so long as it continually returns to its fountainhead, flows back to its source, always drawing from there the water which constantly replenishes it. Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal it may be. For when God loves, all he desires is to be loved in return; the sole purpose of his love is to be loved, in the knowledge that those who love him are made happy by their love of him.
  The Bridegroom’s love, or rather the love which is the Bridegroom, asks in return nothing but faithful love. Let the beloved, then, love in return. Should not a bride love, and above all, Love’s bride? Could it be that Love not be loved?
  Rightly then does she give up all other feelings and give herself wholly to love alone; in giving love back, all she can do is to respond to love. And when she has poured out her whole being in love, what is that in comparison with the unceasing torrent of that original source? Clearly, lover and Love, soul and Word, bride and Bridegroom, creature and Creator do not flow with the same volume; one might as well equate a thirsty man with the fountain.
  What then of the bride’s hope, her aching desire, her passionate love, her confident assurance? Is all this to wilt just because she cannot match stride for stride with her giant, any more than she can vie with honey for sweetness, rival the lamb for gentleness, show herself as white as the lily, burn as bright as the sun, be equal in love with him who is Love? No. It is true that the creature loves less because she is less. But if she loves with her whole being, nothing is lacking where everything is given. To love so ardently then is to share the marriage bond; she cannot love so much and not be totally loved, and it is in the perfect union of two hearts that complete and total marriage consists. Or are we to doubt that the soul is loved by the Word first and with a greater love?
Responsory
℟. How abundant are your treasures of loving-kindness, O Lord,* which you give to those who fear you.
℣. They delight in the abundance of your house, they drink the waters of contentment* which you give to those who fear you.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  you made Saint Bernard burn with zeal for your house,
  and gave him grace to enkindle and enlighten others in your Church.
Grant that by his prayer
  we may be filled with the same spirit
  and always live as children of the light.
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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