Universalis
Monday 20 October 2014    (other days)
Monday 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
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.

Give me understanding, and I will follow your law.
I will keep it wholeheartedly.

First ReadingEsther 3:1-15 ©
Shortly afterwards, King Ahasuerus singled out Haman son of Hammedatha, from the land of Agag, for promotion. He raised him in rank and precedence above all his colleagues, the other officers of state, and gave orders that all the officials employed at the Chancellery were to bow down and prostrate themselves before Haman. Mordecai refused either to bow or prostrate himself. ‘Why do you flout the royal command?’ the officials of the Chancellery asked Mordecai. They asked him this day after day, but he took no notice of them. In the end they reported the matter to Haman, wishing to see whether Mordecai would persist in his attitude, since he had told them he was a Jew. When Haman had seen for himself that Mordecai did not bow or prostrate himself before him, he was seized with fury. Having been told what race Mordecai belonged to, he could not be content with murdering Mordecai but made up his mind to wipe out all the members of Mordecai’s race, the Jews, throughout the empire of Ahasuerus.
  In the first month, that is the month of Nisan, of the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast the pur (that is, the lot) before Haman for the day and the month. The lot falling on the twelfth month, which is Adar, Haman said to King Ahasuerus, ‘There is a certain unassimilated nation scattered among the other nations throughout the provinces of your realm; their laws are different from those of all the other nations and they ignore the royal edicts; hence it is not in the king’s interests to tolerate them. If it please the king to decree their destruction, I am prepared to pay ten thousand talents of silver to the king’s receivers, to be credited to the royal treasury.’
  The king then took his signet ring off his hand and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the persecutor of the Jews. ‘Keep the money,’ he said ‘and you can have the people too; do what you like with them.’
  Then on the thirteenth day of the first month the royal scribes were summoned, and copies were made of the orders addressed by Haman to the king’s satraps, to the governors ruling each province and to the principal officials of each people, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language. The edict was signed in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with his ring, and letters were sent by runners to every province of the realm ordering the destruction, slaughter and annihilation of all Jews, young and old, women and children, on the one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is Adar, and the seizing of their possessions.
  The text of this decree, to be promulgated as law in each province, was published to the various peoples, so that each might be ready for the day aforementioned. At the king’s command, the runners set out with all speed; the decree was first promulgated in the citadel of Susa.
  While the king and Haman gave themselves up to feasting and drinking, consternation reigned in the city of Susa.
Responsory
Lord, Lord, King and Master of all things, everything is subject to your power and there is no-one who can withstand your will. Deliver us for the sake of your name.
Hear my supplication and turn our grief into rejoicing. Deliver us for the sake of your name.

Second Reading
A letter to Proba by St Augustine
Let us turn our mind to the task of prayer at appointed hours
Let us always desire the happy life from the Lord God and always pray for it. But for this very reason we turn our mind to the task of prayer at appointed hours, since that desire grows lukewarm, so to speak, from our involvement in other concerns and occupations. We remind ourselves through the words of prayer to focus our attention on the object of our desire; otherwise, the desire that began to grow lukewarm may grow chill altogether and may be totally extinguished unless it is repeatedly stirred into flame.
  Therefore, when the Apostle says: Let your petitions become known before God, this should not be taken in the sense that they are in fact becoming known to God who certainly knew them even before they were made, but that they are becoming known to us before God through submission and not before men through boasting.
  Since this is the case, it is not wrong or useless to pray even for a long time when there is the opportunity. I mean when it does not keep us from performing the other good and necessary actions we are obliged to do. But even in these actions, as I have said, we must always pray with that desire. To pray for a longer time is not the same as to pray by multiplying words, as some people suppose. Lengthy talk is one thing, a prayerful disposition which lasts a long time is another. For it is even written in reference to the Lord himself that he spent the night in prayer and that he prayed at great length. Was he not giving us an example by this? In time, he prays when it is appropriate, and in eternity, he hears our prayers with the Father.
  The monks in Egypt are said to offer frequent prayers, but these are very short and hurled like swift javelins. Otherwise their watchful attention, a very necessary quality for anyone at prayer, could be dulled and could disappear through protracted delays. They also clearly demonstrate through this practice that a person must not quickly divert such attention if it lasts, just as one must not allow it to be blunted if it cannot last.
  Excessive talking should be kept out of prayer but that does not mean that one should not spend much time in prayer so long as a fervent attitude continues to accompany his prayer. To talk at length in prayer is to perform a necessary action with an excess of words. To spend much time in prayer is to knock with a persistent and holy fervour at the door of the one whom we beseech. This task is generally accomplished more through sighs than words, more through weeping than speech. He places our tears in his sight, and our sighs are not hidden from him, for he has established all things through his Word and does not seek human words.
Responsory
Lord my God, I call for help by day; I cry at night before you. Let my prayer reach your presence.
Your name, your memory are all my soul desires. Let my prayer reach your presence.

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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