Wednesday 25 November 2015    (other days)
Wednesday of week 34 in Ordinary Time
 or Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin, Martyr

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

Ps 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.

Ps 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.

Ps 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 Epístola secúnda beáti Petri apóstoli 2, 1-9
Falsi doctores
Caríssimi: 1Fuérunt vero et pseudoprophétæ in pópulo, sicut et in vobis erunt magístri mendáces, qui introdúcent sectas perditiónis et eum, qui emit eos, Dominatórem negántes superdúcent sibi célerem perditiónem. 2Et multi sequéntur eórum luxúrias, propter quos via veritátis blasphemábitur; 3et in avarítia fictis verbis de vobis negotiabúntur. Quibus iudícium iam olim non cessat, et perdítio eórum non dormítat.
  4Si enim Deus ángelis peccántibus non pepércit, sed rudéntibus inférni detráctos in tártarum trádidit in iudícium reservátos; 5et origináli mundo non pepércit, sed octávum Noe iustítiæ præcónem custodívit dilúvium mundo impiórum indúcens; 6et civitátes Sódomæ et Gomórræ in cínerem rédigens eversióne damnávit, exémplum ponens eórum, quæ sunt ímpiis futúra; 7et iustum Lot oppréssum a nefandórum luxúria conversatiónis éruit: 8aspéctu enim et audítu iustus hábitans apud eos, de die in diem ánimam iustam iníquis opéribus cruciábat. 9Novit Dóminus pios de tentatióne erípere, iníquos vero in diem iudícii puniéndos reserváre.
First Reading2 Peter 2:1-9 ©
As there were false prophets in the past history of our people, so you too will have your false teachers, who will insinuate their own disruptive views and disown the Master who purchased their freedom. They will destroy themselves very quickly; but there will be many who copy their shameful behaviour and the Way of Truth will be brought into disrepute on their account. They will eagerly try to buy you for themselves with insidious speeches, but for them the Condemnation, pronounced so long ago, is at its work already, and Destruction is not asleep. When angels sinned, God did not spare them: he sent them down to the underworld and consigned them to the dark underground caves to be held there till the day of Judgement. Nor did he spare the world in ancient times: it was only Noah he saved, the preacher of righteousness, along with seven others, when he sent the Flood over a disobedient world. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, these too he condemned and reduced to ashes; he destroyed them completely, as a warning to anybody lacking reverence in the future; he rescued Lot, however, a holy man who had been sickened by the shameless way in which these vile people behaved – for that holy man, living among them, was outraged in his good soul by the crimes that he saw and heard of every day. These are all examples of how the Lord can rescue the good from the ordeal, and hold the wicked for their punishment until the day of Judgement.
Mt 7, 15; 24, 11. 24
℟. Atténdite a falsis prophétis, qui véniunt ad vos in vestiméntis óvium,* Intrínsecus autem sunt lupi rapáces.
℣. Multi pseudoprophétæ surgent et dabunt signa et sedúcent multos.* Intrínsecus.
Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep, while underneath they are ravenous wolves.
Many false prophets will arise and produce great signs to lead many astray, while underneath they are ravenous wolves.

Lectio altera
Ex Homíliis sancto Macário epíscopo attribútis (Hom. 28: PG 34, 710-711)
Væ animæ, si non habuerit Christum in se habitantem!
Quemádmodum olim Deus infénsus Iudǽis trádidit Ierúsalem in spectáculum hóstibus, et domináti sunt in eos qui óderant illos, nec erat ámplius ibi festum neque oblátio, sic étiam irátus ánimæ, propter transgressiónem mandáti, trádidit eam hóstibus, qui cum sic seduxíssent eam, pénitus eam deformárunt.
  Et quemádmodum domus, si cáreat dómino inhabitánte, ténebras, probrum ac contuméliam índuit, sordibúsque ac stércore replétur; sic quoque ánima destitúta Dómino suo, cum ángelis in se tripudiánte, ténebris peccáti, turpitúdine affectiónum atque omni ignomínia replétur.
  Væ viæ, si nemo in ea ámbulet, nec áudiat in ea vocem hóminis! quia receptáculum est bestiárum. Væ ánimæ, si non ámbulet in ea Dóminus, atque voce sua fuget ex ea spiritáles nequítiæ béstias! Væ dómui, si non dóminus eam inhábitet! Væ terræ, si carúerit, qui exérceat eam, colóno! Væ navi, si destituátur gubernatóre, quóniam flúctibus et tempestáte maris iactáta perit! Væ ánimæ, cum verum gubernatórem Christum in se non habúerit! quóniam in acérbo tenebrárum mari degens et flúctibus affectiónum quassáta, atque a spirítibus nequam velut hiemáli tempestáte iactáta, tandem intéritum conséquitur.
  Væ ánimæ, si carúerit, qui éxcolat illam diligénter, Christo, ut bonos fructus Spíritus prodúcere possit! quia, cum sit desérta, spinis ac tríbulis plena, tandem exustiónem ignis pro fructu prodúcit ac conséquitur. Væ ánimæ, si non habúerit Dóminum suum Christum in se habitántem! quia, cum sit desérta, ac fetóre affectiónum scáteat, diversórium exsístit vitiórum.
  Quemádmodum enim colónum, si accíngat se ad excoléndam terram, opórtet instruménta atque induménta ad cultúram accómmoda súmere; ita Christus, rex ille cæléstis ac verus agrícola, véniens ad desolátam per vítium humanitátem, assúmpto córpore ac pro instruménto crucem portándo, excóluit ánimam desértam, et ex ea decérpsit spinas et tríbulos pravórum spirítuum, et lólia peccáti evúlsit, atque omne fenum peccatórum eius igni combússit; cumque sic exercuísset illam ligno crucis, plantávit in ea pulchérrimum hortum Spíritus, omnis géneris suavíssimum et gratíssimum fructum Deo velut Dómino producéntem.
Second Reading
A sermon said to be by St Macarius
Woe to the souls where Christ does not dwell!
When God was displeased with the Jews, he delivered Jerusalem to the enemy, and they were conquered by those who hated them; there were no more sacrifices or feasts. Likewise angered at a soul who had broken his commands, God handed it over to its enemies, who corrupted and totally dishonoured it. When a house has no master living in it, it becomes dark, vile and contemptible, choked with filth and disgusting refuse. So too is a soul which has lost its master, who once rejoiced there with his angels. This soul is darkened with sin, its desires are degraded, and it knows nothing but shame.
  Woe to the path that is not walked on, or along which the voices of men are not heard, for then it becomes the haunt of wild animals. Woe to the soul if the Lord does not walk within it to banish with his voice the spiritual beasts of sin. Woe to the house where no master dwells, to the field where no farmer works, to the pilotless ship, storm-tossed and sinking. Woe to the soul without Christ as its true pilot; drifting in the darkness, buffeted by the waves of passion, storm-tossed at the mercy of evil spirits, its end is destruction. Woe to the soul that does not have Christ to cultivate it with care to produce the good fruit of the Holy Spirit. Left to itself, it is choked with thorns and thistles; instead of fruit it produces only what is fit for burning. Woe to the soul that does not have Christ dwelling in it; deserted and foul with the filth of the passions, it becomes a haven for all the vices. When a farmer prepares to till the soil he must put on clothing and use tools that are suitable. So Christ, our heavenly king, came to till the soil of mankind devastated by sin. He assumed a body and, using the cross as his ploughshare, cultivated the barren soul of man. He removed the thorns and thistles which are the evil spirits and pulled up the weeds of sin. Into the fire he cast the straw of wickedness. And when he had ploughed the soul with the wood of the cross, he planted in it a most lovely garden of the Spirit, that could produce for its Lord and God the sweetest and most pleasant fruit of every kind.
Io 15, 1. 5 a. 9 a
℟. Ego sum vitis vera, et vos pálmites;* Qui manet in me, et ego in eo, hic fert fructum multum.
℣. Sicut diléxit me Pater, et ego diléxi vos.* Qui manet.
I am the true vine, you are the branches; he who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love; he who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit.

  Excita, quæsumus, Dómine, tuórum fidélium voluntátes, ut, divíni óperis fructum propénsius exsequéntes, pietátis tuæ remédia maióra percípiant. Per Dóminum.
Let us pray.
Lord, strengthen the wills of your people
  to be more active in doing good works,
and so gain from your loving-kindness
  more abundant healing.
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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