Universalis
Wednesday 23 September 2020    (other days)
Saint Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) 
 on Wednesday of week 25 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.


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
Bright as fire in darkness,
Sharper than a sword,
Lives throughout the ages
God’s eternal word.
Father, Son and Spirit,
Trinity of might,
Compassed in your glory,
Give the world your light.
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 17 (18)
Thanksgiving for salvation and victory

I love you, Lord, my strength.
I will love you, Lord, my strength:
  Lord, you are my foundation and my refuge,
  you set me free.
My God is my help: I will put my hope in him,
  my protector, my sign of salvation,
  the one who raises me up.
I will call on the Lord – praise be to his name –
  and I will be saved from my enemies.
The waves of death flooded round me,
  the torrents of Belial tossed me about,
the cords of the underworld wound round me,
  death’s traps opened before me.
In my distress I called on the Lord,
  I cried out to my God:
from his temple he heard my voice,
  my cry to him came to his ears.
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 love you, Lord, my strength.

Psalm 17 (18)

The Lord saved me because he loved me.
The earth moved and shook,
  at the coming of his anger the roots of the mountains rocked
  and were shaken.
Smoke rose from his nostrils,
  consuming fire came from his mouth,
  from it came forth flaming coals.
He bowed down the heavens and descended,
  storm clouds were at his feet.
He rode on the cherubim and flew,
  he travelled on the wings of the wind.
He made dark clouds his covering;
  his dwelling-place, dark waters and clouds of the air.
The cloud-masses were split by his lightnings,
  hail fell, hail and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered from the heavens,
  the Most High let his voice be heard,
  with hail and coals of fire.
He shot his arrows and scattered them,
  hurled thunderbolts and threw them into confusion.
The depths of the oceans were laid bare,
  the foundations of the globe were revealed,
at the sound of your anger, O Lord,
  at the onset of the gale of your wrath.
He reached from on high and took me up,
  he lifted me from the many waters.
He snatched me from my powerful enemies,
  from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me.
They attacked me in my time of trouble,
  but the Lord was my support.
He led me to the open spaces,
  he was my deliverance, for he held me in favour.
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.
The Lord saved me because he loved me.

Psalm 17 (18)

You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.
The Lord rewards me according to my uprightness,
  he repays me according to the purity of my hands,
for I have kept to the paths of the Lord
  and have not departed wickedly from my God.
For I keep all his decrees in my sight,
  and I will not reject his judgements;
I am stainless before him,
  I have kept myself away from evil.
And so the Lord has rewarded me according to my uprightness,
  according to the purity of my hands in his sight.
You will be holy with the holy,
  kind with the kind,
with the chosen you will be chosen,
  but with the crooked you will show your cunning.
For you will bring salvation to a lowly people
  but make the proud ashamed.
For you light my lamp, O Lord;
  my God brings light to my darkness.
For with you I will attack the enemy’s squadrons;
  with my God I will leap over their wall.
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.
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.

℣. You will hear the word from my mouth.
℟. You will speak to them in my name.

First ReadingEzekiel 37:1-14 ©

A vision of Israel's death and resurrection

The hand of the Lord was laid on me, and he carried me away by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley, a valley full of bones. He made me walk up and down among them. There were vast quantities of these bones on the ground the whole length of the valley; and they were quite dried up. He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘You know, Lord.’ He said, ‘Prophesy over these bones. Say, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this to these bones: I am now going to make the breath enter you, and you will live. I shall put sinews on you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you with skin and give you breath, and you will live; and you will learn that I am the Lord.”’ I prophesied as I had been ordered. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a sound of clattering; and the bones joined together. I looked, and saw that they were covered with sinews; flesh was growing on them and skin was covering them, but there was no breath in them. He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man. Say to the breath, “The Lord says this: Come from the four winds, breath; breathe on these dead; let them live!”’ I prophesied as he had ordered me, and the breath entered them; they came to life again and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense army.
  Then he said, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying, “Our bones are dried up, our hope has gone; we are as good as dead.” So prophesy. Say to them, “The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.”’
Responsory
Ez 37:12-13; Jn 11:25
℟. I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people,* and you will know that I am the Lord.
℣. I am the resurrection and the life. If anyone believes in me, even though he die, yet shall he live;* and you will know that I am the Lord.

Second Reading
From the letters of St Pius of Pietrelcina

Stones of the eternal dwelling

With unceasing blows of healing chisel and careful stripping away, the divine Artificer seeks to prepare stones to build an eternal dwelling – as our mother, the holy Catholic Church, full of tenderness, sings in the hymn of the office for the dedication of a church. And that is true.
  Every soul destined for eternal glory can be considered most aptly as a stone for building an eternal edifice. The builder who seeks to put up a dwelling in the best way should first polish the stones that will be used in the construction. He does this with blows of hammer and chisel. In the same way, our heavenly Father works on chosen souls who, from all eternity, by his supreme wisdom and providence, have been destined for building up the eternal dwelling.
  The soul, if it wants to reign with Christ in eternal glory, must be polished with hammer and chisel strokes, which the divine Artificer uses to prepare the stones, that is, the chosen souls. What are these hammer and chisel strokes? Darkness, my sister, fears, temptations, sadness of spirit and spiritual fears, which reek like a sickness, and bodily discomfort.
  Give thanks to the infinite piety of the eternal Father who, in this way, leads your soul to salvation. Why not glory in these benevolent conditions from the best of all fathers? Open your heart to the celestial doctor of souls and, full of confidence, surrender yourselves into his most holy arms: as a chosen one, he leads you to follow Jesus closely on Mount Calvary. With joy and emotion in my soul I ponder how grace is working in you.
  Do not forget that the Lord has arranged everything your souls experience. Do not fear causing God harm or injury. It’s enough that you know that in your whole life you have never offended the Lord who, on the contrary, has been honoured more and more.
  If this benevolent Spouse of your soul hides from you, he does so not, as you think, because he wants to take revenge on your wickedness, but because it tests your fidelity and constancy even more, and, besides, heals you of some diseases not considered as such by carnal eyes, that is to say, those diseases and faults to which not even the just person is immune. Indeed, Scripture says in the book of Proverbs: “Seven times a righteous man falls”.
  Believe me, if I did not see you so afflicted, I would not be as happy, because I would think that the Lord wanted to give you fewer gems. Get rid of, as temptations, the doubts that assail you. Also expel the doubts with regards to the purpose of your life: to do that is not to listen to the divine summons, and to resist the sweet invitations of the Bridegroom. All these things do not come from a good spirit but from a bad one. These are diabolical ploys that try to separate you from perfection or, at least, hinder the journey towards it. Do not lose heart!
  Whenever Jesus shows himself, give him thanks. If he hides, give him thanks: all are touches of his love. I wish you to give up your spirit with Jesus on the cross, when he says: “It is accomplished”.
ResponsoryEph 2, 21-22
℟. In Christ Jesus the whole building is bonded together and grows* into a holy temple in the Lord.
℣. In him, you are also being built into a house where God lives, in the Spirit,* into a holy temple in the Lord.

Let us pray.
Almighty and eternal God,
  who, by a singular grace, allowed the priest Saint Pio to participate in the cross of your Son,
  and by means of his ministry renewed the wonders of your mercy,
grant, through his intercession,
  that, constantly united to the passion of Christ,
  we may happily arrive at the glory of the resurrection.
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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