Universalis
Friday 21 February 2020    (other days)
Friday of week 6 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saint Peter Damian, Bishop, 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
God has spoken by his prophets,
Spoken his unchanging word,
Each from age to age proclaiming
God the One, the righteous Lord.
Mid the world’s despair and turmoil,
one firm anchor holdeth fast:
God is King, his throne eternal,
God the first and God the last.
God has spoken by Christ Jesus,
Christ, the everlasting Son,
Brightness of the Father’s glory,
With the Father ever one;
Spoken by the Word incarnate,
God of God, ere time began,
Light of Light, to earth descending,
Man, revealing God to man.

Psalm 37 (38)
The plea of a sinner in great peril

Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.
Lord, do not rebuke me in your wrath,
  do not ruin me in your anger:
for I am pierced by your arrows
  and crushed beneath your hand.
In the face of your anger
  there is no health in my body.
There is no peace for my bones,
  no rest from my sins.
My transgressions rise higher than my head:
  a heavy burden, they weigh me down.
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.
Do not punish me, Lord, in your rage.

Psalm 37 (38)

O Lord, you know all my longing.
My wounds are corruption and decay
  because of my foolishness.
I am bowed down and bent,
  bent under grief all day long.
For a fire burns up my loins,
  and there is no health in my body.
I am afflicted, utterly cast down,
  I cry out from the sadness of my heart.
Lord, all that I desire is known to you;
  my sighs are not hidden from you.
My heart grows weak, my strength leaves me,
  and the light of my eyes – even that has gone.
My friends and my neighbours
  keep far from my wounds.
Those closest to me keep far away,
  while those who would kill me set traps,
  those who would harm me make their plots:
  they plan mischief all through the day.
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.
O Lord, you know all my longing.

Psalm 37 (38)

I confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not forsake me, my saviour.
But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
  like one who is dumb, I do not open my mouth.
I am like someone who cannot hear,
  in whose mouth there is no reply.
For in you, Lord, I put my trust:
  you will listen to me, Lord, my God.
For I have said, “Let them never triumph over me:
  if my feet stumble, they will gloat.”
For I am ready to fall:
  my suffering is before me always.
For I shall proclaim my wrongdoing:
  I am anxious because of my sins.
All the time my enemies live and grow stronger;
  they are so many, those who hate me without cause.
Returning evil for good they dragged me down,
  because I followed the way of goodness.
Do not abandon me, Lord:
  my God, do not leave me.
Hurry to my aid,
  O Lord, my saviour.
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 confess my guilt to you, Lord; do not forsake me, my saviour.

℣. My eyes yearn for your saving help.
℟. I await the promise of your justice.

First Reading
Proverbs 15:8-9,16-17,25-26,29,33,16:1-9,17:5 ©

Man’s position before God

The sacrifice of the wicked is abhorrent to the Lord,
  dear to him is the prayer of honest men.
The conduct of the wicked is abhorrent to the Lord,
  but he loves the man who makes virtue his goal.
Better to have little and with it fear of the Lord
  than to have treasure and with it anxiety.
Better a dish of herbs when love is there
  than a fattened ox and hatred to go with it.
The Lord pulls down the house of the proud,
  but he keeps the widow’s boundaries intact.
Wicked scheming is abhorrent to the Lord,
  but words that are kind are pure.
The Lord stands far from the wicked,
  but he listens to the prayers of the virtuous.
The fear of the Lord is a school of wisdom,
  humility goes before honour.
Man’s heart makes the plans,
  the Lord gives the answer.
A man’s conduct may strike him as pure,
  the Lord, however, weighs the motives.
Commend what you do to the Lord,
  and your plans will find achievement.
The Lord made everything for its own purpose,
  yes, even the wicked for the day of disaster.
The arrogant heart is abhorrent to the Lord,
  be sure it will not go unpunished.
By kindliness and loyalty atonement is made for sin;
  with the fear of the Lord goes avoidance of evil.
Let the Lord be pleased with a man’s way of life
  and he makes his very enemies into friends.
Better have little and with it virtue,
  than great revenues and no right to them.
A man’s heart plans out his way
  but it is the Lord who makes his steps secure.
To mock the poor is to insult his creator,
  he who laughs at distress shall not go unpunished.
Responsory
Dt 6:12-13; Pr 15:33
℟. Take heed lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.* You shall fear the Lord your God, and you shall serve him alone.
℣. The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility goes before honour.* You shall fear the Lord your God, and you shall serve him alone.

Second Reading
From a treatise by St Augustine on the first epistle of John

Our heart longs for God

We have been promised that we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. By these words, the tongue has done its best; now we must apply the meditation of the heart. Although they are the words of Saint John, what are they in comparison with the divine reality? And how can we, so greatly inferior to John in merit, add anything of our own? Yet we have received, as John has told us, an anointing by the Holy One which teaches us inwardly more than our tongue can speak. Let us turn to this source of knowledge, and because at present you cannot see, make it your business to desire the divine vision.
  The entire life of a good Christian is in fact an exercise of holy desire. You do not yet see what you long for, but the very act of desiring prepares you, so that when he comes you may see and be utterly satisfied.
  Suppose you are going to fill some holder or container, and you know you will be given a large amount. Then you set about stretching your sack or wineskin or whatever it is. Why? Because you know the quantity you will have to put in it and your eyes tell you there is not enough room. By stretching it, therefore, you increase the capacity of the sack, and this is how God deals with us. Simply by making us wait he increases our desire, which in turn enlarges the capacity of our soul, making it able to receive what is to be given to us.
  So, my brethren, let us continue to desire, for we shall be filled. Take note of Saint Paul stretching as it were his ability to receive what is to come: Not that I have already obtained this, he said, or am made perfect. Brethren, I do not consider that I have already obtained it.
  We might ask him, “If you have not yet obtained it, what are you doing in this life?” This one thing I do, answers Paul, forgetting what lies behind, and stretching forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the prize to which I am called in the life above. Not only did Paul say he stretched forward, but he also declared that he pressed on towards a chosen goal. He realised in fact that he was still short of receiving what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived.
  Such is our Christian life. By desiring heaven we exercise the powers of our soul. Now this exercise will be effective only to the extent that we free ourselves from desires leading to infatuation with this world. Let me return to the example I have already used, of filling an empty container. God means to fill each of you with what is good; so cast out what is bad! If he wishes to fill you with honey and you are full of sour wine, where is the honey to go? The vessel must be emptied of its contents and then be cleansed. Yes, it must be cleansed even if you have to work hard and scour it. It must be made fit for the new thing, whatever it may be.
  We may go on speaking figuratively of honey, gold or wine – but whatever we say we cannot express the reality we are to receive. The name of that reality is God. But who will claim that in that one syllable we utter the full expanse of our heart’s desire? Therefore, whatever we say is necessarily less than the full truth. We must extend ourselves towards the measure of Christ so that when he comes he may fill us with his presence. Then we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
Responsory
℟. If you find your delight in the Lord,* he will grant your heart’s desire.
℣. Commit your life to the Lord and trust in him:* he will grant your heart’s desire.

Let us pray.
To those who love you, Lord,
  you promise to come with your Son
  and make your home within them.
Come, then, with your purifying grace
  and make our hearts a place where you can dwell.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of 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 apps and programs do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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