Universalis
Wednesday 25 May 2016    (other days)
Saint Gregory VII, Pope 
 or Wednesday 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.


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, 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

Psalm 102 (103)
Praise of the compassionate Lord
My soul, give thanks to the Lord, and never forget all his blessings.
My soul, bless the Lord!
  All that is in me, bless his holy name.
My soul, bless the Lord!
  Never forget all he has done for you.
The Lord, who forgives your wrongdoing,
  who heals all your weaknesses.
The Lord, who redeems your life from destruction,
  who crowns you with kindness and compassion.
The Lord, who fills your age with good things,
  who renews your youth like an eagle’s.
The Lord, who gives fair judgements,
  who gives judgement in favour of the oppressed.
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.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord, and never forget all his blessings.

Psalm 102 (103)
As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him.
The Lord is compassion and kindness,
  full of patience, full of mercy.
He will not fight against you for ever:
  he will not always be angry.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve;
  he does not pay us back for our wrongdoing.
As high as the sky above the earth,
  so great is his kindness to those who fear him.
As far as east is from west,
  so far he has put our wrongdoing from us.
As a father cares for his children,
  so the Lord cares for those who fear him.
For he knows how we are made,
  he remembers we are nothing but dust.
Man – his life is like grass,
  he blossoms and withers like flowers of the field.
The wind blows and carries him away:
  no trace of him remains.
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.
As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him.

Psalm 102 (103)
Give thanks to the Lord, all his works.
The Lord has been kind from the beginning;
  to those who fear him his kindness lasts for ever.
His justice is for their children’s children,
  for those who keep his covenant,
  for those who remember his commandments
  and try to perform them.
The Lord’s throne is high in the heavens
  and his rule shall extend over all.
Bless the Lord, all his angels,
  strong in your strength, doers of his command,
  bless him as you hear his words.
Bless the Lord, all his powers,
  his servants who do his will.
Bless the Lord, all he has created,
  in every place that he rules.
My soul, bless the Lord!
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.
Give thanks to the Lord, all his works.

Teach me the way of your precepts, O Lord,
and I will reflect on the wonders you have wrought.

First ReadingJob 7:1-21 ©
Is not man’s life on earth nothing more than pressed service,
  his time no better than hired drudgery?
Like the slave, sighing for the shade,
  or the workman with no thought but his wages,
months of delusion I have assigned to me,
  nothing for my own but nights of grief.
Lying in bed I wonder, ‘When will it be day?’
  Risen I think, ‘How slowly evening comes!’
  Restlessly I fret till twilight falls.
Vermin cover my flesh, and loathsome scabs;
  my skin is cracked and oozes pus.
Swifter than a weaver’s shuttle my days have passed,
  and vanished, leaving no hope behind.
Remember that my life is but a breath,
  and that my eyes will never again see joy.
The eye that once saw me will look on me no more,
  your eyes will turn my way, and I shall not be there.
As a cloud dissolves and is gone,
  so he who goes down to Sheol never ascends again.
He never comes home again,
  and his house knows him no more.
No wonder then if I cannot keep silence;
  in the anguish of my spirit I must speak,
  lament in the bitterness of my soul.
Am I the Sea, or the Wild Sea Beast,
  that you should keep me under watch and guard?
If I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,
  my couch will soothe my pain’,
you frighten me with dreams
  and terrify me with visions.
Strangling I would welcome rather,
  and death itself, than these my sufferings.
I waste away, my life is not unending;
  leave me then, for my days are but a breath.
What is man that you should make so much of him,
  subjecting him to your scrutiny,
that morning after morning you should examine him
  and at every instant test him?
Will you never take your eyes off me
  long enough for me to swallow my spittle?
Suppose I have sinned, what have I done to you,
  you tireless watcher of mankind?
Why do you choose me as your target?
  Why should I be a burden to you?
Can you not tolerate my sin,
  nor overlook my fault?
It will not be long before I lie in earth;
  then you will look for me, but I shall be no more.
Responsory
℟. Vermin cover my flesh, and loathsome scabs; my skin is cracked and festering.* Lord, remember that my life is but a breath.
℣. Swifter than a weaver’s shuttle my days have passed, leaving no hope behind.* Lord, remember that my life is but a breath.

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.
Responsory
℟. 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.
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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