Wednesday 3 September 2014    (other days)
Saint Gregory the Great, Pope, Doctor
 (Wednesday of week 22 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.

Deus, in adiutórium meum inténde.
  Dómine, ad adiuvándum me festína.
Glória Patri et Fílio*
  et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio et nunc et semper*
  et in sǽcula sæculórum.
Amen. Allelúia.
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.

I. Quando Officium lectionis dicitur noctu vel summo mane:
O sator rerum, reparátor ævi,
Christe, rex regum, metuénde censor,
tu preces nostras paritérque laudes
súscipe clemens.
Noctis en cursu tibi vota laudum
pángimus; præsta tibi sint ut apta,
nosque concéntu réfove perénni,
lúminis auctor.
Da dies nobis probitáte faustos
mortis ignáram tribuéndo vitam,
semper ut nostros tua sit per actus
glória perpes.
Ure cor nostrum, pius ure lumbos
igne divíno vigilésque nos fac,
semper ardéntes mánibus lucérnas
ut teneámus.
Æqua laus summum célebret Paréntem
teque, Salvátor, pie rex, per ævum;
Spíritus Sancti résonet per omnem
glória mundum. Amen.
II. Quando Officium lectionis dicitur diurno tempore:
Christe, lux vera, bónitas et vita,
gáudium mundi, píetas imménsa,
qui nos a morte vívido salvásti
sánguine tuo,
Insere tuum, pétimus, amórem
méntibus nostris, fídei refúnde
lumen ætérnum, caritátis auge
Procul a nobis pérfidus absístat
Satan, a tuis víribus confráctus;
Sanctus assístat Spíritus, a tua
sede demíssus.
Glória Deo sit ætérno Patri,
sit tibi semper, Genitóris Nate,
cum quo per cuncta Spíritus æquális
sǽcula regnat. Amen.
O God, creation’s secret force,
yourself unmoved, all motion’s source,
who from the morn till evening ray
through all its changes guide the day:
Grant us, when this short life is past,
the glorious evening that shall last;
that, by a holy death attained,
eternal glory may be gained.
To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One,
may every tongue and nation raise
an endless song of thankful praise!
St Ambrose of Milan

Psalmus 38:2-7
Ægrotantis deprecatio
Vanitati creatura subiecta est ... propter eum qui subiecit eam in spe” (Rom 8, 20).
Ipsi intra nos gémimus, exspectántes redemptiónem córporis nostri.
2Dixi: «Custódiam vias meas,*
  ut non delínquam in lingua mea;
ponam ori meo custódiam,*
  donec consístit peccátor advérsum me».
3Tacens obmútui et sílui absque ullo bono,*
  et dolor meus renovátus est.
4Concáluit cor meum intra me,*
  et in meditatióne mea exársit ignis.
5Locútus sum in lingua mea:*
  «Notum fac mihi, Dómine, finem meum;
et númerum diérum meórum quis est,*
  ut sciam quam brevis sit vita mea».
6Ecce paucórum palmórum fecísti dies meos,*
  et spátium vitæ meæ tamquam níhilum ante te.
Etenim univérsa vánitas omnis homo constitútus est.*
  7Etenim ut imágo pertránsit homo.
Etenim vánitas est et concitátur;*
  thesaurízat et ignórat quis congregábit ea.
Glória Patri et Fílio*
  et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio et nunc et semper*
  et in sǽcula sæculórum.
Ipsi intra nos gémimus, exspectántes redemptiónem córporis nostri.
Psalm 38 (39)
A prayer in sickness
We groan inwardly and await the redemption of our bodies.
I said, “I will watch my ways,
  I will try not to sin in my speech.
I will set a guard on my mouth,
  for as long as my enemies are standing against me.”
I stayed quiet and dumb, spoke neither evil nor good,
  but my pain was renewed.
My heart grew hot within me,
  and fire blazed in my thoughts.
Then I spoke out loud:
  “Lord, make me know my end.
Let me know the number of my days,
  so that I know how short my life is to be.”
All the length of my days is a handsbreadth or two,
  the expanse of my life is as nothing before you.
For in your sight all men are nothingness:
  man passes away, like a shadow.
Nothingness, although he is busy:
  he builds up treasure, but who will collect it?
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.
We groan inwardly and await the redemption of our bodies.

Psalmus 38:8-14
Exáudi oratiónem meam, Dómine; pércipe lácrimas meas.
8Et nunc quæ est exspectátio mea, Dómine?*
  Spes mea apud te est.
9Ab ómnibus iniquitátibus meis érue me,*
  oppróbrium insipiénti ne ponas me.
10Obmútui et non apériam os meum,*
  quóniam tu fecísti.
11Amove a me plagas tuas:*
  ab ictu manus tuæ ego deféci.
12In increpatiónibus, propter iniquitátem, corripuísti hóminem,†
  et tabéscere fecísti sicut tínea desiderabília eius.*
  Etenim vánitas omnis homo.
13Exáudi oratiónem meam, Dómine,*
  et clamórem meum áuribus pércipe.
Ad lácrimas meas ne obsurdéscas,†
  quóniam ádvena ego sum apud te,*
  peregrínus sicut omnes patres mei.
14Avértere a me, ut refrígerer,*
  priúsquam ábeam et non sim ámplius.
Glória Patri et Fílio*
  et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio et nunc et semper*
  et in sǽcula sæculórum.
Exáudi oratiónem meam, Dómine; pércipe lácrimas meas.
Psalm 38 (39)
Lord, hear my prayer: do not be deaf to my tears.
What, now, can I look forward to, Lord?
  My hope is in you.
Rescue me from all my sins,
  do not make me a thing for fools to laugh at.
I have sworn to be dumb, I will not open my mouth:
  for it is at your hands that I am suffering.
Aim your blows away from me,
  for I am crushed by the weight of your hand.
You rebuke and chastise us for our sins.
Like the moth you consume all we desire
 – for all men are nothingness.
Listen, Lord, to my prayer:
  turn your ear to my cries.
Do not be deaf to my weeping,
  for I come as a stranger before you,
  a wanderer like my fathers before me.
Turn away from me, give me respite,
  before I leave this world,
  before I am no more.
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.
Lord, hear my prayer: do not be deaf to my tears.

Psalmus 51:3-11
Contra calumniatorem
Qui gloriatur, in Domino glorietur” (1 Cor 1, 31).
Ego autem sperávi in misericórdia Dei in ætérnum.
3Quid gloriáris in malítia,*
  qui potens es iniquitáte?
4Tota die insídias cogitásti;*
  lingua tua sicut novácula acúta, qui facis dolum.
5Dilexísti malítiam super benignitátem,†
  mendácium magis quam loqui æquitátem.*
  6Dilexísti ómnia verba perditiónis, lingua dolósa.
7Proptérea Deus déstruet te in finem;†
  evéllet te et emigrábit te de tabernáculo*
  et radícem tuam de terra vivéntium.
8Vidébunt iusti et timébunt*
  et super eum ridébunt:
«9Ecce homo, qui non pósuit Deum refúgium suum,†
  sed sperávit in multitúdine divitiárum suárum*
  et præváluit in insídiis suis».
10Ego autem sicut virens olíva in domo Dei.†
  Sperávi in misericórdia Dei*
  in ætérnum et in sǽculum sǽculi.
11Confitébor tibi in sǽculum, quia fecísti;†
  et exspectábo nomen tuum, quóniam bonum est,*
  in conspéctu sanctórum tuórum.
Glória Patri et Fílio*
  et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio et nunc et semper*
  et in sǽcula sæculórum.
Ego autem sperávi in misericórdia Dei in ætérnum.
Psalm 51 (52)
Against calumny
I trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.
Why do you take pride in your malice,
  you expert in evil-doing?
All day long you plan your traps,
  your tongue is sharp as a razor –
  you master of deceit!
You have chosen malice over kindness;
  you speak lies rather than the truth;
  your tongue is in love with every deceit.
For all this, in the end God will destroy you.
  He will tear you out and expel you from your dwelling,
  uproot you from the land of the living.
The upright will see and be struck with awe:
  they will deride the evil-doer.
“Here is the man who did not make God his refuge,
  but put his hope in the abundance of his riches
  and in the power of his stratagems.”
But I flourish like an olive in the palace of God.
  I hope in the kindness of God,
  for ever, and through all ages.
I shall praise you for all time for what you have done.
  I shall put my hope in your name and in its goodness
  in the sight of your chosen ones.
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.
I trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.

℣. Sustínuit ánima mea in verbo eius.
℟. Sperávit ánima mea in Dómino.
My soul waits for his word;
my soul puts its hope in the Lord.

Lectio prior
De libro Ieremíæ prophétæ 26, 1-15
Ieremias in periculo mortis versatur propter oraculum de ruina templi
1In princípio regni Ióachim fílii Iosíæ regis Iudæ factum est verbum istud a Dómino dicens: 2«Hæc dicit Dóminus: Sta in átrio domus Dómini et loquéris ad omnes civitátes Iudæ, de quibus véniunt, ut adórent in domo Dómini, univérsos sermónes, quos ego mandávi tibi ut loquáris ad eos: noli subtráhere verbum, 3si forte áudiant et convertántur unusquísque a via sua mala, et pæníteat me mali, quod cógito fácere eis propter malítiam óperum eórum. 4Et dices ad eos: Hæc dicit Dóminus: Si non audiéritis me, ut ambulétis in lege mea, quam dedi vobis, 5ut audiátis sermónes servórum meórum prophetárum, quos ego misi ad vos de nocte consúrgens et dírigens, et non audístis, 6dabo domum istam sicut Silo et urbem hanc dabo in maledictiónem cunctis géntibus terræ».
  7Et audiérunt sacerdótes et prophétæ et omnis pópulus Ieremíam loquéntem verba hæc in domo Dómini. 8Cumque complésset Ieremías loquens ómnia, quæ præcéperat ei Dóminus, ut loquerétur ad univérsum pópulum, apprehendérunt eum sacerdótes et prophétæ et omnis pópulus dicens: «Morte moriáris! 9Quare prophetásti in nómine Dómini dicens: “Sicut Silo erit domus hæc, et urbs ista desolábitur, eo quod non sit habitátor?”».
  Et congregátus est omnis pópulus advérsus Ieremíam in domo Dómini. 10Et audiérunt príncipes Iudæ verba hæc et ascendérunt de domo regis in domum Dómini et sedérunt in intróitu portæ domus Dómini Novæ. 11Et locúti sunt sacerdótes et prophétæ ad príncipes et ad omnem pópulum dicéntes: «Iudícium mortis est viro huic, quia prophetávit advérsus civitátem istam, sicut audístis áuribus vestris». 12Et ait Ieremías ad omnes príncipes et ad univérsum pópulum dicens: «Dóminus misit me, ut prophetárem ad domum istam et ad civitátem hanc ómnia verba, quæ audístis. 13Nunc ergo bonas fácite vias vestras et ópera vestra et audíte vocem Dómini Dei vestri, et pænitébit Dóminum mali, quod locútus est advérsum vos. 14Ego autem ecce in mánibus vestris sum, fácite mihi, quod bonum et rectum est in óculis vestris; 15verúmtamen scitóte et cognóscite quod si occidéritis me, sánguinem innocéntem tradétis contra vosmetípsos et contra civitátem istam et habitatóres eius; in veritáte enim misit me Dóminus ad vos, ut lóquerer in áuribus vestris ómnia verba hæc».
First Reading
Jeremiah 26:1-15 ©
At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word was addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord, ‘The Lord says this: Stand in the court of the Temple of the Lord. To all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the Temple of the Lord you must speak all the words I have commanded you to tell them; do not omit one syllable. Perhaps they will listen and each turn from his evil way: if so, I shall relent and not bring the disaster on them which I intended for their misdeeds. Say to them, “The Lord says this: If you will not listen to me by following my Law which I put before you, by paying attention to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send so persistently to you, without your ever listening to them, I will treat this Temple as I treated Shiloh, and make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.”’
  The priests and prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah say these words in the Temple of the Lord. When Jeremiah had finished saying everything that the Lord had ordered him to say to all the people, the priests and prophets seized hold of him and said, ‘You shall die! Why have you made this prophecy in the name of the Lord, “This Temple will be like Shiloh, and this city will be desolate, and uninhabited”?’ And the people were all crowding round Jeremiah in the Temple of the Lord. Hearing of this, the officials of Judah went up from the royal palace to the Temple of the Lord and took their seats at the entry of the New Gate of the Temple of the Lord.
  The priests and prophets then addressed the officials and all the people, ‘This man deserves to die, since he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.’ Jeremiah, however, replied to the people as follows:
  ‘The Lord himself sent me to say all the things you have heard against this Temple and this city. So now amend your behaviour and actions, listen to the voice of the Lord your God: if you do, he will relent and not bring down on you the disaster he has pronounced against you. For myself, I am as you see in your hands. Do whatever you please or think right with me. But be sure of this, that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood on yourselves, on this city and on its citizens, since the Lord has truly sent me to you to say all these words in your hearing.’
Ier 26, 15 a; Mt 27, 24 b
℟. Scitóte et cognóscite quod si occidéritis me,* Sánguinem innocéntem tradétis contra vosmetípsos et contra civitátem istam.
℣. Pilátus lavit manus coram turba, dicens: Innocens ego sum a sánguine hoc.* Sánguinem.
You may put me to death, but be sure of this, you will be bringing innocent blood on yourselves and on this city.
Pilate washed his hands in front of the crowd and said, I am innocent of this man’s blood, but be sure of this, you will be bringing innocent blood on yourselves and on this city.

Lectio altera
Ex Homíliis sancti Gregórii Magni papæ in Ezechiélem (Lib. 1, 11, 4-6: CCL 142, 170-172)
Pro Christi amore in eius eloquia nec mihi parco
Fili hóminis, speculatórem dedi te dómui Israel. Notándum quod eum quem Dóminus ad prædicándum mittit speculatórem esse denúntiat. Speculátor quippe semper in altitúdine stat, ut quidquid ventúrum est longe prospíciat. Et quisquis pópuli speculátor pónitur, in alto debet stare per vitam, ut possit prodésse per providéntiam.
  O quam dura mihi sunt ista quæ loquor, quia memetípsum loquéndo fério, cuius neque lingua, ut dignum est, prædicatiónem tenet, neque, inquántum tenére súfficit, vita séquitur linguam.
  Ego reum me esse non ábnego, torpórem meum atque neglegéntiam vídeo. Erit fortásse apud pium iúdicem impetrátio véniæ ipsa cognítio culpæ. Et quidem in monastério pósitus valébam et ab otiósis linguam restríngere, et in intentióne oratiónis pæne contínue mentem tenére. At postquam cordis úmerum sárcinæ pastoráli suppósui, collígere se ad semetípsum assídue non potest ánimus, quia ad multa partítur.
  Cogor namque modo Ecclesiárum, modo monasteriórum causas discútere, sæpe singulórum vitas actúsque pensáre. Modo quædam cívium negótia sustinére, modo de irruéntibus barbarórum gládiis gémere, et commísso gregi insidiántes lupos timére. Modo rerum curam súmere, ne desint subsídia eis ipsis quibus disciplínæ régula tenétur, modo raptóres quosdam æquanímiter pérpeti, modo eis sub stúdio servátæ caritátis obviáre.
  Cum ítaque ad tot et tanta cogitánda scissa ac dilaniáta mens dúcitur, quando ad semetípsam rédeat, ut totam se in prædicatióne cólligat, et a proferéndi verbi ministério non recédat? Quia autem necessitáte loci sæpe viris sæculáribus iungor, nonnúmquam mihi linguæ disciplínam reláxo. Nam si in assíduo censúræ meæ rigóre me téneo, scio quia ab infirmióribus fúgior, eósque ad hoc quod áppeto numquam traho. Unde fit ut eórum sæpe et otiósa patiénter áudiam. Sed quia ipse quoque infírmus sum, in otiósis sermónibus paulísper tractus, libénter iam ea loqui incípio, quæ audíre cœ́peram invítus; et ubi tædébat cádere, libet iacére.
  Quis ergo ego vel qualis speculátor sum, qui non in monte óperis sto, sed adhuc in valle infirmitátis iáceo? Potens vero est humáni géneris creátor et redémptor, indígno mihi et vitæ altitúdinem et linguæ efficáciam donáre, pro cuius amóre in eius elóquio nec mihi parco.
Second Reading
A sermon of St Gregory the Great
For the love of Christ I do not spare myself in preaching him
‘Son of man, I have appointed you as watchman to the house of Israel.’ Note that Ezekiel, whom the Lord sent to preach his word, is described as a watchman. Now a watchman always takes up his position on the heights so that he can see from a distance whatever approaches. Likewise whoever is appointed watchman to a people should live a life on the heights so that he can help them by taking a wide survey.
  These words are hard to utter, for when I speak it is myself that I am reproaching. I do not preach as I should nor does my life follow the principles I preach so inadequately.
  I do not deny that I am guilty, for I see my torpor and my negligence. Perhaps my very recognition of failure will win me pardon from a sympathetic judge. When I lived in a monastic community I was able to keep my tongue from idle topics and to devote my mind almost continually to the discipline of prayer. Since taking on my shoulders the burden of pastoral care, I have been unable to keep steadily recollected because my mind is distracted by many responsibilities.
  I am forced to consider questions affecting churches and monasteries and often I must judge the lives and actions of individuals; at one moment I am forced to take part in certain civil affairs, next I must worry over the incursions of barbarians and fear the wolves who menace the flock entrusted to my care; now I must accept political responsibility in order to give support to those who preserve the rule of law; now I must bear patiently the villainies of brigands, and then I must confront them, yet in all charity.
  My mind is sundered and torn to pieces by the many and serious things I have to think about. When I try to concentrate and gather all my intellectual resources for preaching, how can I do justice to the sacred ministry of the word? I am often compelled by the nature of my position to associate with men of the world and sometimes I relax the discipline of my speech. If I preserved the rigorously inflexible mode of utterance that my conscience dictates, I know that the weaker sort of men would recoil from me and that I could never attract them to the goal I desire for them. So I must frequently listen patiently to their aimless chatter. Because I am weak myself I am drawn gradually into idle talk and I find myself saying the kind of thing that I didn’t even care to listen to before. I enjoy lying back where I once was loath to stumble.
  Who am I — what kind of watchman am I? I do not stand on the pinnacle of achievement, I languish rather in the depths of my weakness. And yet the creator and redeemer of mankind can give me, unworthy though I be, the grace to see life whole and power to speak effectively of it. It is for love of him that I do not spare myself in preaching him.
℟. E fonte Scripturárum morália et mýstica próferens, fluénta Evangélii in pópulos derivávit;* Et defúnctus adhuc lóquitur.
℣. Velut áquila perlústrans mundum, amplitúdine caritátis maióribus et mínimis próvidet.* Et defúnctus.
Gregory’s teaching on morals and on the mystical life sprang from the source of holy scripture; through him the living water of the gospel flowed out to all nations, and he who now is dead still speaks to us.
As an eagle’s glance encompasses the earth beneath it, Gregory’s boundless charity encompasses all men, both great and small, and he who now is dead still speaks to us.

  Deus, qui pópulis tuis indulgéntia cónsulis et amóre domináris, da spíritum sapiéntiæ, intercedénte beáto Gregório papa, quibus dedísti régimen disciplínæ, ut de proféctu sanctárum óvium fiant gáudia ætérna pastórum. Per Dóminum.
Let us pray.
God our Father, your rule is a rule of love,
  your providence is full of mercy for your people.
Through the intercession of Saint Gregory
  grant the spirit of wisdom to those you have placed in authority,
  so that the spiritual growth of the people may bring eternal joy to the pastors.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.

Benedicámus Dómino.
– Deo grátias.
Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.

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