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PSALM 40 – BEATUS QUI INTELLIGIT

PSALM 40 – BEATUS QUI INTELLIGIT

THE HAPPINESS OF HIM THAT SHALL BELIEVE IN CHRIST; NOTWITHSTANDING THE HUMILITY AND POVERTY IN WHICH HE SHALL COME: THE MALICE OF HIS ENEMIES, ESPECIALLY OF THE TRAITOR JUDAS.

Unto the end, a psalm for David himself.

Blessed is he that understandeth concerning the needy and the poor: the Lord will deliver him in the evil day.

The Lord preserve him and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth: and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.

The Lord help him on his bed of sorrow: thou hast turned all his couch in his sickness.

I said: O Lord, be thou merciful to me: heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee.

I said: O Lord, be thou merciful to me: heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee.

My enemies have spoken against me: when shall he die and his name perish?

And he came in to see me, he spoke vain things: his heart gathereth together iniquity to itself.

He went out and spoke to the same purpose.

All my enemies whispered together against me: they devised evils to me.

They determined against me an unjust word: shall he that sleepeth rise again no more?

For even the man of my peace, in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, hath greatly supplanted me.

But thou, O Lord, have mercy on me, and raise me up again: and I will requite them.

By this I know, that thou hast had a good will for me: because my enemy shall not rejoice over me.

But thou hast upheld me by reason of my innocence: and hast established me in thy sight for ever.

Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel from eternity to eternity. So be it. So be it.

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PSALM 33 – BENEDICAM DOMINUM

PSALM 33 – BENEDICAM DOMINUM

An exhortation to the praise, and service of God.

For David, when he changed his countenance before Achimelech, who dismissed him, and went his way (1 Kings [1 Samuel] 21.)

I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise shall be always in my mouth.

In the Lord shall my soul be praised: let the meek hear and rejoice.

O magnify the Lord with me; and let us extol his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he heard me; and he delivered me from all my troubles.

Come ye to him and be enlightened: and your faces shall not be confounded.

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him: and saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the Lord shall encamp round about them that fear him: and shall deliver them.

O taste, and see that the Lord is sweet: blessed is the man that hopeth in him.

Fear the Lord, all ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.

The rich have wanted, and have suffered hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not be deprived of any good.

Come, children, hearken to me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

Who is the man that desireth life: who loveth to see good days?

Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.

Turn away from evil and do good: seek after peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the Lord are upon the just: and his ears unto their prayers.

But the countenance of the Lord is against them that do evil things: to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

The just cried, and the Lord heard them: and delivered them out of all their troubles.

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart: and he will save the humble of spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the just; but out of them all will the Lord deliver them.

The Lord keepeth all their bones, not one of them shall be broken.

The death of the wicked is very evil: and they that hate the just shall be guilty.

The Lord will redeem the souls of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall offend.

 
 

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ALL WISDOM IS FROM THE LORD (ECCLESIASTICUS 1-10)

All wisdom is from God, and is given to them that fear and love God.

All wisdom is from the Lord God, and hath been always with him, and is before all time.

Who hath numbered the sand of the sea, and the drops of rain, and the days of the world? Who hath measured the height of heaven, and the breadth of the earth, and the depth of the abyss?

Who hath searched out the wisdom of God that forth before all things?

Wisdom hath been created before all things, and the understanding of prudence from everlasting.

The word of God on high is the foundation of wisdom, and her ways are everlasting commandments.

To whom hath the root of wisdom been revealed, and who hath known her wise counsels?

To whom hath the discipline of wisdom been revealed and made manifest? and who hath understood the multiplicity of her steps?

There is one most high Creator Almighty, and a powerful king, and greatly to be feared, who sitteth upon his throne, and is the God of dominion.

He created her in the Holy Ghost, and saw her, and numbered her, and measured her.

And he poured her out upon all his works, and upon all flesh according to his gift, and he hath given her to them that love him.

 

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“WHEN MEN ARE WEIGHED DOWN … THEY WANT SOMETHING TO LEAN ON, HOLIER, DIVINER, MORE STABLE THAN THEIR OWN MINDS”

“It is far more certain that Revelation must contain a message, than that message must be in Scripture…

It is very well for educated persons, at their ease, with few cares, or in the joyous time of youth, to argue and speculate about the impalpableness and versatility of the divine message, its chameleon-like changeableness; but when men are conscious of sin, are sorrowful, are weighed down, are desponding, they ask for something to lean on, something external to themselves … they want something to lean on, holier, diviner, more stable than their own minds … a creed, a creed necessary to salvation, they will have; a creed either in Scripture or out of it; and if in Scripture, I say, it must be, from the nature of the case, only indirectly gained from Scripture.”
– Bl. John Henry Newman; “The Truth that gives Life must be presented to us.” D.A., 133-34

 

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“THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES TO MEET US AND KINDLES FAITH IN US”

“On … Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, let us prayerfully reflect on some of the words contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Holy Spirit.

‘The HOLY SPIRIT comes to meet us and kindles faith in us. By virtue of our Baptism, the first sacrament of the faith, the Holy Spirit in the Church communicates to us, intimately and personally, the life that originates in the Father and is offered to us in the Son.’ (Section 683).

‘The Holy Spirit is at work with the Father and the Son from the beginning to the completion of the plan for our salvation. But in these ‘end times’, ushered in by the Son’s redeeming Incarnation, the Spirit is revealed and given, recognised and welcomed in a person. Now can this divine plan, accomplished in Christ, the firstborn and head of the new creation, be embodied in mankind by the outpouring of the Spirit: as the Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.’ (section 686)

The Church, a communion living in the faith of the apostles which she transmits, is the place where we know the Holy Spirit:

• In the Scripture he inspired;

• In the Tradition, to which the Church Fathers are already witnesses;

• In the Church’s Magisterium, which he assists;

• In the sacramental liturgy, through its words and symbols, in which the Holy Spirit puts us in communion with Christ;

• In prayer, wherein he intercedes for us;

• In the charisms and ministries by which the Church is built up;

• In the signs of apostolic and missionary life;

• In the witness of saints through whom he manifests his holiness and continues the work of salvation (section 688).”
– From “Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris” (June 2014)

 

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THE BIBLE AND THE LITURGY OF HOLY MASS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

IN THE HOLY CHURCH, MASS IS CELEBRATED EVERY WEEKDAY AT LEAST ONCE, APART FROM THE SATURDAY EVENING (VIGIL) MASS AND SUNDAY MASSES. THE LITURGY IS THE SAME ALL OVER THE WORLD, IN LATIN OR THE VERNACULAR, BECAUSE WE PRAISE GOD IN UNITY AS ONE BODY COMPOSED OF MEMBERS. APART FROM AT LEAST THREE BIBLE READINGS WHICH VARY FROM DAY TO DAY, BELOW IS THE ORDER OF THE MASS CELEBRATED EACH DAY.

“Scripture in the order of the Mass:

Nearly everything we say at Mass has its roots in Sacred Scripture… Catholics quote scripture all the time, and their actions are deeply scriptural. After all, scripture flowed out of the early Church. The Church came first, the New Testament and the canon of scripture second.

THE ORDER OF MASS:

Greeting

Priest: In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:19)
People: Amen (1 Chr 16:36)
Priest: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Cor 13:13)
People: And with your spirit.

Liturgy of the Word

Penitential Rite

All: I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, (Jas 5:16) in my thoughts and in my words (Jas 3:6) in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, (Rom. 12:16) through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.(1Thess 5:25)

Priest: May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. (1 John 1:9)

People: Amen (1 Chr 16:36)

All: Lord have mercy. (Tb 8:4) Christ have mercy. (1 Tim 1:2) Lord have mercy.

Gloria

All: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. (Luke 2:14)
We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory, (Rev 7:12)
Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father (Rev 19:6)
Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, (2 John 3)Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; (John 1:29) you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. (Rom 8:34) For you alone are the Holy One, (Luke 4:34)
you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, (Luke 1:32) with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father, Amen (John 14:26)

[The Liturgy of the Word consists of four readings from Scripture: the first is typically from the Old Testament, the second a psalm, followed by a reading from one of the epistles. Finally, the Gospel is proclaimed during which the people stand out of respect for the Word. The chosen readings change daily.]

A Sermon on the readings follows. (2 Tim 4:1-2)

Profession of Faith:

All: I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, (Gen 14:19) of all things visible and invisible. (Col 1:16) I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Begotten Son of God, (Luke 1:35) born of the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father; (Heb 1:3) through him all things were made. (John 1:2-3) For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: (John 3:13) and by the power of the Holy Spirit he was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, (Matt 1:18) and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, (John 19:16) he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Cor 15:3-4) He ascended into heaven (Luke 24:51) and is seated at the right hand of the Father. (Col 3:1) He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead (2 Tim 4:1) and his kingdom will have no end. (Luke 1:33) I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of Life, (Acts 2:17) who proceeds from the Father and the Son, (John 14:16) who with the Father and Son is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets. (1 Peter 1:10-11) I believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church. (Rom 12:5) I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. (Rom 6:5) Amen

Liturgy of the Eucharist

[The gifts are brought to the altar. These include the bread and wine and the offering collected from the people.] (Malachi 3:10)

Priest: Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. (Eccl. 3:13) It will become for us the bread of life. (John 6:35)
People: Blessed be God forever. (Ps 68:36)
Priest: Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink. (Luke 22:17-18)
People: Blessed be God forever. (Ps 68:36)
Priest: Pray, brethren, that our sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father. (Heb. 12:28)
People: May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our sake and the good of all his holy Church. (Ps 50:23)
Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And with your spirit.
Priest: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord. (Lam 3:41)
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. (Col 3:17)
People: It is right and just. (Col 1:3)

Preface Acclamation

All: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. (Is 6:3) Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. (Mark 11:9-10)

Eucharistic prayer [There are four of these, based on ancient prayers of the Church. Eucharistic Prayer Two follows as an example:]

Priest: You are Holy indeed, O Lord the fount of all holiness. (2 Macc. 14:36) Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall, so that they may become the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. At the time he was betrayed and entered willingly into his Passion (John 10:17-18) he took bread and, giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take this all of you, and eat of it: For this is my body which will be given up for you. In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took the chalice and, once more giving thanks, he gave the it to his disciples, saying: Take this, all of you, and drink from it: For this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant. Which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this is memory of me. (Mark 14:22-25) Let us proclaim the mystery of faith.
All: When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again. (1Cor 11:26)
Priest: Therefore, as we celebrate the memorial of his Death and Resurrection, we offer you, Lord, the Bread of life and the Chalice of salvation, (John 6:51) giving thanks that you have held us worthy to be in your presence and minister to you. Humbly we pray that, partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, we may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor.10:17) Remember, Lord, your Church spread throughout the world; bring her to the fullness of charity, together with our Pope and our bishop, and all the clergy. Remember our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep and all who have died in your mercy: welcome them into the light of your face. (2 Macc 12:45-46) Have mercy on us all, we pray, that with the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with the apostles and with all the saints who have pleased you throughout the ages, may we merit to be co-heirs to eternal life, and may praise and glorify you through your Son, Jesus Christ. (2 Thes 1:4-5) Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.

All: Amen. (Rom 11:36)

Communion Rite

The Lord’s Prayer:

All: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (Matt 6:9-13)

Priest: Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days that by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. (John 17:15)

All: For the kingdom the power and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen

Priest: Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles; I leave you peace, my peace I give to you. (John 14:27) Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom where you live forever and ever.

Priest: The peace of the Lord be with you always! (John 20:19)

People: And with your spirit!

[The priest then directs the people to exchange a sign, such as a handshake or a kiss, or a word of God’s peace to one another.]

Breaking of the Bread

All: Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace. (John 1:29)

Communion

Priest: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those who are called to the supper of the Lamb. (Rev. 19:9)

People: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. (Matt 8:8)

[Communion is distributed to the faithful at the altar by the priest
and lay ministers.]

Dismissal

Priest: Blessed be the name of the Lord. Now and forever. (Dan 2:20) May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Luke 24:51) Go in peace (Luke 7:50) to love and serve the Lord. (2 Chr 35:3) [During the blessing the people make the Sign of the Cross, the traditional sign of the baptized and a public sign of their belief in the power of God.]
People: Thanks be to God. (2 Cor 9:15)”
– by Trisha Thacker

 
 

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YEAR OF FAITH: “IN A BUSY WORLD YOU REALLY NEED TO GIVE THE BIBLE TIME”

THE WORD OF GOD BRINGS UNITY

“The historic Catholic venue of Ushaw College near Durham [did] host “Word of the Lord”, the first conference of its kind in a generation to celebrate the gift of the scriptures at the heart of the Church in England and Wales. It’s part of a multi-facetted initiative of the English and Welsh bishops’ department for evangelisation and catechesis to promote the Bible in Catholic life. Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP, former Master of the Order of Preachers, well-known author and international speaker, will deliver the keynote speech. Recently returned from one of his many speaking engagements, he spoke to me about why he considers the conference to be such an important event in the life of the Church.

÷ Why do you think the conference is such an important initiative? ÷

The focus of the conference is at the heart of our life as a Church. It’s interesting that the Second Vatican Council called bishops “servants of the Word”. For every Catholic, our life is focused on receiving the gift of the Word. When you are following the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), at one point you are given the Scripture as a gift, and it’s something that gathers us into community with each other. In Luke’s Gospel Jesus says that “whoever hears my Word and does it is my brother and sister”. The Word of God brings unity in the Church as brothers and sisters.

÷ Why did you prioritise coming to speak at the conference in Durham? ÷

For about 14 years I taught Scripture at Blackfriars in Oxford and it was the most wonderful thing that happened to me. I had not been specially trained in the Scriptures and was rather nervous, but it was a gift to be asked to teach about it. I always find the scriptures fresh and exciting, and so the moment I was invited to talk about it I jumped at the chance.

÷ How do you think the profile of Catholic Scripture study and pastoral reading of the Bible has changed since Vatican II? ÷

I suspect that one of the ways that we’ve seen a positive shift is in the increasing popularity of Lectio Divina. There are now so many books on it. It’s a wonderful way of praying with the scriptures which encourages us to listen, not to get information about God but, as the Vatican II document Dei Verbum teaches, it’s a way in which we can be “addressed by God”. We listen to Scripture as a Word of God addressed to his friends. This is a different way of listening to Scripture, rather than as an ordinary non-spiritual text. In the Church for the last 50 years, there has been a big stress on the Word of God as a word of friendship, and it’s a transforming word. Pope Benedict XVI, in his beautiful exhortation Verbum Domini, stresses how revelation is dialogical, it involves entry into conversation with God and that emphasis is a fruit of the Second Vatican Council in this post-conciliar period.

Scripture is not just for “specialists” but is a gift for everyone. We have to help everyone to discover how to listen and that’s a big part of the focus of the … conference at Ushaw. We read a manual to work out how to use a central heating system in one way and we read a novel in another way. We also have to help people learn how to listen to Scripture. Many people still worry about whether they have to believe every part of the scriptures literally or not and Vatican II is helpful here. It affirmed that Scripture is not a scientific document or historical document at every point, but it’s a saving Word. This has great significance for evangelisation. What we read in the Scriptures is Good News and that’s what we’re invited to present to everyone.

÷ How significant is it to have a Scripture conference during the Year of Faith? ÷

It’s interesting that in the Bible the human vocation is always sourced in God’s call to us all by name. He calls Abraham and summons him out to the Promised Land, and the minute he hears God’s call he says: “Here I am.” I think faith is always hearing the Word of God addressed to us, to which we respond. Isaiah says: “Here I am, send me.” Faith is essentially that response. The most important way we are addressed by God is in the Bible. We listen in the silence of our hearts, to anyone who speaks truthfully and through the example of the saints. There are all sorts of ways that God addresses us but they all derive from the Word – Jesus. That is why it’s so important to have a focus on Scripture during the Year of Faith.

÷ What do you think are the challenges to the biblical apostolate? ÷

In a very busy world you really need to give the Bible time. If it’s a word of friendship, you have to give time to your friends. In a hectic society it’s difficult for people to be with the Word of God and sit with it, listen to it.”
– The above is an excerpt of an article by Clare Ward entitled “The Bible is not just for the specialist”, published in the Catholic Herald on April 12, 2013.

 

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