Monday 25 May 2015    (other days)
Saint Gregory VII, Pope
 or Monday of week 8 in Ordinary Time
 or Saint Mary Magdalen of Pazzi, Virgin
 or Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest, Doctor

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.

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.

When God of old came down from heaven,
In power and wrath he came.
Before his feet the clouds were riven,
Half darkness and half flame;
But when he came the second time,
He came in power and love.
Softer than gale at morning prime
Hovered his holy Dove.
The fires that rushed on Sinai down
In sudden torrents dread,
Now gently light, a glorious crown,
On every sainted head.
And when the Spirit of our God
Came down his flock to find,
A voice from heaven was heard abroad,
A rushing, mighty wind.
It fills the Church of God, it fills
The sinful world around;
Only in stubborn hearts and wills
No place for it is found.
Come Lord, come Wisdom, Love and Power,
Open our ears to hear.
Let us not miss the accepted hour!
Save, Lord, by love or fear.

Psalm 72 (73)
Why should the just suffer?
How good God is to Israel, to those who are pure of heart.
How good God is to the upright,
  to those who are pure of heart!
But as for me, my feet nearly stumbled,
  my steps were on the point of going astray,
as I envied the boasters and sinners,
  envied their comfort and peace.
For them there are no burdens,
  their bellies are full and sleek.
They do not labour, like ordinary men;
  they do not suffer, like mortals.
They wear their pride like a necklace,
  their violence covers them like a robe.
Wickedness oozes from their very being,
  the thoughts of their hearts break forth:
they deride, they utter abominations,
  and from their heights they proclaim injustice.
They have set their mouth in the heavens,
  and their tongue traverses the earth.
Thus they sit in their lofty positions,
  and the flood-waters cannot reach them.
They ask, “How can God know?
  Does the Most High have any understanding?”
Behold, then, the wicked, always prosperous:
  their riches growing for ever.
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.
How good God is to Israel, to those who are pure of heart.

Psalm 72 (73)
Their rejoicing will be turned to weeping, their joy to sorrow.
I said, “It was pointless to purify my heart,
  to wash my hands in innocence –
for still I suffered all through the day,
  still I was punished every morning.”
If I had said, “I will speak like them,”
  I would have betrayed the race of your children.
I pondered and tried to understand:
  my eyes laboured to see –
until I entered God’s holy place
  and heard how they would end.
For indeed you have put them on a slippery surface
  and have thrown them down in ruin.
How they are laid waste!
  How suddenly they fall and perish in terror!
You spurn the sight of them, Lord,
  as a dream is abandoned when the sleeper awakes.
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.
Their rejoicing will be turned to weeping, their joy to sorrow.

Psalm 72 (73)
All those who abandon you shall perish; but to be near God is my happiness.
My heart was sore, my being was troubled –
  I was a fool, I knew nothing;
  I was like a dumb beast before you.
But still I stay with you:
  you hold my right hand.
You lead me according to your counsel,
  until you raise me up in glory.
For who else is for me, in heaven?
  On earth, I want nothing when I am with you.
My flesh and heart are failing,
  but it is God that I love:
  God is my portion for ever.
Behold, those who abandon you will perish:
  you have condemned all who go whoring away from you.
But for myself, I take joy in clinging to God,
  in putting my trust in the Lord, my God,
to proclaim your works at the gates of the daughters of Zion.
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.
All those who abandon you shall perish; but to be near God is my happiness.

How sweet is the taste of your sayings, O Lord,
sweeter than honey in my mouth.

First ReadingJob 2:1-13 ©
Once again the Sons of God came to attend on the Lord, and among them was Satan. So the Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you been?’ ‘Round the earth,’ he answered ‘roaming about.’ So the Lord asked him, ‘Did you notice my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth: a sound and honest man who fears God and shuns evil. His life continues blameless as ever; in vain you provoked me to ruin him.’ ‘Skin for skin!’ Satan replied. ‘A man will give away all he has to save his life. But stretch out your hand and lay a finger on his bone and flesh; I warrant you, he will curse you to your face.’ ‘Very well,’ the Lord said to Satan ‘he is in your power. But spare his life.’ So Satan left the presence of the Lord.
  He struck Job down with malignant ulcers from the sole of his foot to the top of his head. Job took a piece of pot to scrape himself, and went and sat in the ash-pit. Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you now still mean to persist in your blamelessness? Curse God, and die.’ ‘That is how foolish women talk’ Job replied. ‘If we take happiness from God’s hand, must we not take sorrow too?’ And in all this misfortune Job uttered no sinful word.
  The news of all the disasters that had fallen on Job came to the ears of three of his friends. Each of them set out from home – Eliphaz of Teman, Bildad of Shuah and Zophar of Naamath – and by common consent they decided to go and offer him sympathy and consolation. Looking at him from a distance, they could not recognise him; they wept aloud and tore their garments and threw dust over their heads. They sat there on the ground beside him for seven days and seven nights. To Job they spoke never a word, so sad a sight he made.
Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger: your arrows have sunk deep in me. Through your anger all my body is sick.
Friends and neighbours avoid me like a leper. Through your anger all my body is sick.

Second Reading
A letter of Pope St Gregory VII
The Church free, chaste, and catholic
We ask and beseech you in the Lord Jesus, who redeemed us by his death, to consider diligently and to understand why and how we should suffer the distresses and afflictions which we suffer at the hands of the enemies of the Christian religion.
  Ever since by God’s providence Mother Church set me upon the apostolic throne, deeply unworthy and, as God is my witness, unwilling though I was, my greatest concern has been that holy Church, the bride of God, our lady and mother, should return to her true glory and stand free, chaste, and catholic. But because this entirely displeased the ancient enemy he has armed his members against us in order to turn everything upside down.
  He has accordingly done such things against us, or rather against the apostolic see, as he has not been able to do from the time of the Emperor Constantine the Great. And truly it is no wonder, for the nearer the time of Antichrist approaches, the more violently he strives to destroy the Christian religion.
  So now, my dearly beloved brothers, listen carefully to what I say to you. All who in the whole world bear the name of Christian and truly understand the Christian faith know and believe that Saint Peter, the prince of the apostles, is the father of all Christians and their first shepherd after Christ, and that the holy Roman Church is the mother and mistress of all the Churches. If, then, you believe and unshakeably hold this, such as I am, your brother and unworthy master, I ask and command you by Almighty God to help and succour your father and mother, if through them you would have the absolution of all your sins, and blessing and grace in this world and in the world to come.
  May Almighty God, from whom all good things come, always enlighten your minds and make them fruitful in love of himself and of your neighbour, that you may by your unwavering devotion make your father and mother your debtors and that you may attain to their fellowship free from shame. Amen.
The Lord enhanced his reputation with kings. He gave him commandments for his people, and showed him a vision of his own glory.
The Lord chose him to be his servant, to be the shepherd of Israel his possession, and showed him a vision of his own glory.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  give your Church that spirit of fortitude and zeal for justice
  with which you so richly endowed Pope Saint Gregory.
Let your Church rebuke everything sinful
  and carry out, in the freedom of charity,
  all that is right and true.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.

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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