Nov. 22: ST. CECILIA, Virgin and Martyr.

November 22: Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr [Memorial]

St. Cecilia is the patroness of musicians because, as she was dying, she sang to God. She is one of seven women, excluding the Blessed Virgin, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass. It was long supposed that she was a noble lady of Rome who, with her husband, his brother, and a Roman soldier suffered martyrdom in 230, but recent studies placed her death under Marcus Aurelius between 176 and 180. When her incorruptible body was found long after her death, one hand outstretched three fingers and the other one, denoting her belief in the Holy Trinity.

A commentary of St Augustine on Psalm 32
Sing to God in jubilation

Praise the Lord with the lyre, make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song. Rid yourself of what is old and worn out, for you know a new song. A new man, a new covenant; a new song. This new song does not belong to the old man. Only the new man learns it: the man restored from his fallen condition through the grace of God, and now sharing in the new covenant, that is, the kingdom of heaven. To it all our love now aspires and sings a new song. Let us sing a new song not with our lips but with our lives.
Sing to him a new song, sing to him with joyful melody. Every one of us tries to discover how to sing to God. You must sing to him, but you must sing well. He does not want your voice to come harshly to his ears, so sing well, brothers!

If you were asked, “Sing to please this musician,” you would not like to do so without having taken some instruction in music, because you would not like to offend an expert in the art. An untrained listener does not notice the faults a musician would point out to you. Who, then, will offer to sing well for God, the great artist whose discrimination is faultless, whose attention is on the minutest detail, whose ear nothing escapes? When will you be able to offer him a perfect performance that you will in no way displease such a supremely discerning listener?

See how he himself provides you with a way of singing. Do not search for words, as if you could find a lyric which would give God pleasure. Sing to him “with songs of joy.” This is singing well to God, just singing with songs of joy.

But how is this done? You must first understand that words cannot express the things that are sung by the heart. Take the case of people singing while harvesting in the fields or in the vineyards or when any other strenuous work is in progress. Although they begin by giving expression to their happiness in sung words, yet shortly there is a change. As if so happy that words can no longer express what they feel, they discard the restricting syllables. They burst out into a simple sound of joy, of jubilation. Such a cry of joy is a sound signifying that the heart is bringing to birth what it cannot utter in words.

Now, who is more worthy of such a cry of jubilation than God himself, whom all words fail to describe? If words will not serve, and yet you must not remain silent, what else can you do but cry out for joy? Your heart must rejoice beyond words, soaring into an immensity of gladness, unrestrained by syllabic bonds. Sing to him with jubilation.

Responsory
℟. My lips speak your praise, your glory all the day long.* When I sing to you, my lips shall rejoice.
℣. I will rejoice in you and be glad, and sing psalms to your name, O Most High.* When I sing to you, my lips shall rejoice.

Let us pray.
O God, who gladden us each year with the feast day of Saint Cecilia, grant, we pray, that what has been devoutly handed down concerning this handmaid of yours may offer us examples to imitate and proclaim the wonders worked in his servants by Christ your Son. Who lives and reigns with you.

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Nov. 21: THE PRESENTATION OF OUR LADY. A sermon of St. Augustine.

Nov. 21:
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
A sermon of St. Augustine

According to Exodus 13:2 and 12, all the Hebrew first-born male children had to be presented in the Temple. Such a law would lead pious Jewish parents to observe the same religious rite with regard to other favorite children. Apocryphal writings and tradition state that Joachim and Anna presented the child Mary in the Temple when she was three years old and that she made her vow of virginity on this occasion. This feast is mentioned for the first time in a document in 1166 and in 1585 Pope Sixtus V extended the Feast of the Presentation to the whole Church.

From a sermon by Saint Augustine
By faith she believed; by faith, conceived

Stretching out his hand over his disciples, the Lord Christ declared: Here are my mother and my brothers; anyone who does the will of my Father who sent me is my brother and sister and my mother. I would urge you to ponder these words. Did the Virgin Mary, who believed by faith and conceived by faith, who was the chosen one from whom our Saviour was born among men, who was created by Christ before Christ was created in her – did she not do the will of the Father? Indeed the blessed Mary certainly did the Father’s will, and so it was for her a greater thing to have been Christ’s disciple than to have been his mother, and she was more blessed in her discipleship than in her motherhood. Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb him whom she would obey as her master.

Now listen and see if the words of Scripture do not agree with what I have said. The Lord was passing by and crowds were following him. His miracles gave proof of divine power, and a woman cried out: Happy is the womb that bore you, blessed is that womb! But the Lord, not wishing people to seek happiness in a purely physical relationship, replied: More blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it. Mary heard God’s word and kept it, and so she is blessed. She kept God’s truth in her mind, a nobler thing than carrying his body in her womb. The truth and the body were both Christ: he was kept in Mary’s mind insofar as he is truth, he was carried in her womb insofar as he is man; but what is kept in the mind is of a higher order than what is carried in the womb.

The Virgin Mary is both holy and blessed, and yet the Church is greater than she. Mary is a part of the Church, a member of the Church, a holy, an eminent – the most eminent – member, but still only a member of the entire body. The body undoubtedly is greater than she, one of its members. This body has the Lord for its head, and head and body together make up the whole Christ. In other words, our head is divine – our head is God.

Now, beloved, give me your whole attention, for you also are members of Christ; you also are the body of Christ. Consider how you yourselves can be among those of whom the Lord said: Here are my mother and my brothers. Do you wonder how you can be the mother of Christ? He himself said: Whoever hears and fulfils the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and my sister and my mother. As for our being the brothers and sisters of Christ, we can understand this because although there is only one inheritance and Christ is the only Son, his mercy would not allow him to remain alone. It was his wish that we too should be heirs of the Father, and co-heirs with himself.

Now having said that all of you are brothers of Christ, shall I not dare to call you his mother? Much less would I dare to deny his own words. Tell me how Mary became the mother of Christ, if it was not by giving birth to the members of Christ? You, to whom I am speaking, are the members of Christ. Of whom were you born? “Of Mother Church,” I hear the reply of your hearts. You became sons of this mother at your baptism, you came to birth then as members of Christ. Now you in your turn must draw to the font of baptism as many as you possibly can. You became sons when you were born there yourselves, and now by bringing others to birth in the same way, you have it in your power to become the mothers of Christ.

Responsory
℟. I exult for joy in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God,* for he has clothed me in the garments of salvation like a bride adorned in her jewels.
℣. My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exults in God my saviour,* for he has clothed me in the garments of salvation like a bride adorned in her jewels.

Let us pray.
As we venerate the glorious memory of the most holy Virgin Mary, grant, we pray, O Lord, through her intercession, that we, too, may merit to receive of the fullness of your grace. Through our Lord.

POPE FRANCIS: “OUR SURNAME IS GOD.”

CONSIDER THIS ALWAYS:
GOD IS YOUR LOVING FATHER. YOU ARE HIS CHILD.

The frequent consideration of our divine filiation should have real and constant influence in all the activities of our daily life. This objective reality of ours will keep us optimistic, serene and confident that God is always in charge and wants the best for His children, even if at times, we do not realise it. He will never abandon us and is capable of drawing out the good from what we men consider unfortunate.

THE HEAVENS PROCLAIM THE GLORY OF GOD (Ps 18).

THE HEAVENS PROCLAIM THE GLORY OF GOD (Ps 18)

God, the Creator of the universe has marked all of his creation as his handiwork. All creatures, whether plant, animal, or mineral, bear a divine imprint and tell us something about God. Therefore by considering created realities, man can and should reach his Creator and through creation, man can and should glorify God.

“If they were struck by their might and energy, let them from these things realize how much more powerful is he who made them. For from the greatness and the beauty of created things their original author, by analogy, is seen. Wis 13:4-5.”

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork…
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.”

Psalm 18

Let us praise, glorify, and thank God for His Goodness, that He created all things which tell us of His Beauty and Might, so that we may partake from all His blessings.

33rd Sunday of O.T. (A). THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS. Be fruitful and responsible.

33rd Sunday of O.T. (A).
THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS. Be fruitful and responsible.

OUTLINE

  1. Like a thief in the night Our Lord shall return.
  2. The Parable of talents: Be fruitful and responsible. 

1. Like a thief in the night Our Lord shall return.

God gave to each and every one talents, qualities, gifts to serve Him and our neighbor.  Of the use we make of these gifts, Our Lord will ask us to render account when He returns again in an unexpected manner, “like a thief in the night”; hence, the need to be vigilant always. (2nd reading: 1 Thes 5:1–6)

“But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober.”

Though it seems to us that what we received is little, we still have the obligation put into play what we have received and what we are.

  • We have to overcome laziness so as not to be carried away by it leading us to bury the talent underground and render it sterile (Gospel, Mt 25:14–30). For God will give to each one what is due according to his works.

“His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”

2. The Parable of talents: Be fruitful and responsible.

All the gifts of nature and grace which God has given us should yield a profit. It does not matter how many gifts we have received; what matters is our generosity in putting them to good use.

The parable of talents is a renewed call to be faithful and diligent in the little things out of love for God in order to serve Him and others with the gifts He bestowed us. Such diligence is rewarded by God.

“‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’

In the same way as  the industrious woman of the 1st reading (Prv 31:10–13, 19–20, 30–31) who put her effort and work at the service of her family and the needy, and those men who strove to make their talents fructify, Our Lord expects from each one of us the same responsible attitude in our life.

“Don’t lose your effectiveness; instead, trample on your selfishness. You think your life is for yourself? Your life is for God, for the good of all men, through your love for our Lord. Your buried talent, dig it up again! Make it yield” (St. Josemaria, Friends of God, 47).

Let us pray to the Lord that we may serve Him and others with love and obtain the eternal joys.  Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God, the constant gladness of being devoted to you, for it is full and lasting happiness to serve with constancy the author of all that is good. Opening prayer, Mass proper.

33rd Sunday Ordinary Time, Cycle A. Mass readings.

33rd Sunday Ordinary Time, Cycle A.
Mass readings.

This Sunday’s reflection in https://wp.me/p6k7Mv-31j

LITURGY OF THE WORD

First reading: Book of Proverbs 31:10–13, 19–20, 30–31

 When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She obtains wool and flax and works with loving hands. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle. She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy. Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her a reward for her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God

R/. Responsorial Psalm

Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

 Blessed are you who fear the Lord,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored. R.

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table. R.

Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life. R.

Second reading: 1st Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians 5:1–6

Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, “Peace and security,” then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION

Alleluia. Live in me and let me live in you, says the Lord; my branches bear much fruit.  R. Alleluia

GOSPEL

The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 25:14–30

 Glory to you, Lord.

Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one—to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.

After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Nov. 17 ST. ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY. Edifying example of love for the poor and detachment from worldly goods.

Nov. 17
ST. ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY.
Edifying example of love for the poor and detachment from worldly goods.

St. Elisabeth (1207-1231) of Hungary was the daughter of Andrew II of Hungary and Gertrude of Merania, and at age four was brought to the court of the rulers of Thuringia in central Germany, to become a future bride who would reinforce political alliances between families.

At the age of four (b. 1207), she was brought to the court of her future husband, Ludwig, landgrave of Thuringia. After her marriage in 1221, she very conscientiously fulfilled her duties both toward her husband and as a servant of God. During the night she would rise from bed and spend long periods in prayer. Zealously she performed all types of charitable acts; she put herself at the service of widows, orphans, the sick, the needy. During a famine she generously distributed all the grain from her stocks, cared for lepers in one of the hospitals she established, kissed their hands and feet. For the benefit of the indigent she provided suitable lodging.

After the early death of her husband (in 1227 while on a crusade led by Emperor Frederick II), Elizabeth laid aside all royal dignities in order to serve God more freely. She put on simple clothing, became a tertiary of St. Francis, and showed great patience and humility. Nor was she spared intense suffering – the goods belonging to her as a widow were withheld, she was forced to leave Wartburg. In Eisenach no one dared receive her out of fear of her enemies. Upon much pleading a shepherd of the landgrave permitted her to use an abandoned pig sty. No one was allowed to visit or aid her; with her three children, of whom the youngest was not more than a few months old, she was forced to wander about in the winter’s cold.

In 1228 she took the veil of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis at Marburg and there built a hospital with some property still belonging to her. She retained for herself only a small mud house. All her strength and care were now devoted to the poor and the sick, while she obtained the few things she needed by spinning. Young in years but rich in good works, she slept in the Lord in 1231, only twenty-four years old.

Excerpt from Pius Parsch, The Church’s Year of Grace.

From a letter of Conrad of Marburg, Saint Elizabeth’s spiritual director
Elizabeth recognised and loved Christ in the poor

From this time onward Elizabeth’s goodness greatly increased. She was a lifelong friend of the poor and gave herself entirely to relieving the hungry. She ordered that one of her castles should be converted into a hospital in which she gathered many of the weak and feeble. She generously gave alms to all who were in need, not only in that place but in all the territories of her husband’s empire. She spent all her own revenue from her husband’s four principalities, and finally she sold her luxurious’ possessions and rich clothes for the sake of the poor.

Twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, Elizabeth went to visit the sick. She personally cared for those who were particularly repulsive; to some she gave food, to others clothing; some she carried on her own shoulders, and performed many other kindly services. Her husband, of happy memory, gladly approved of these charitable works. Finally, when her husband died, she sought the highest perfection; filled with tears, she implored me to let her beg for alms from door to door.

On Good Friday of that year, when the altars had been stripped, she laid her hands on the altar in a chapel in her own town, where she had established the Friars Minor, and before witnesses she voluntarily renounced all worldly display and everything that our Saviour in the gospel advises us to abandon. Even then she saw that she could still be distracted by the cares and worldly glory which had surrounded her while her husband was alive. Against my will she followed me to Marburg. Here in the town she built a hospice where she gathered together the weak and the feeble. There she attended the most wretched and contemptible at her own table.

Apart from those active good works, I declare before God that I have seldom seen a more contemplative woman. When she was coming from private prayer, some religious men and women often saw her face shining marvellously and light coming from her eyes like the rays of the sun.

Before her death I heard her confession. When I asked what should be done about her goods and possessions, she replied that anything which seemed to be hers belonged to the poor. She asked me to distribute everything except one worn out dress in which she wished to be buried. When all this had been decided, she received the body of our Lord. Afterward, until vespers, she spoke often of the holiest things she had heard in sermons. Then, she devoutly commended to God all who were sitting near her, and as if falling into a gentle sleep, she died.

Responsory      

℟. You have acted bravely and kept your courage high. Your love of chastity shall not go unrewarded,* and your name shall be blessed forever.

℣. God has accepted your prayers and works of charity, and has remembered you,* and your name shall be blessed forever.

Let us pray.
O God, by whose gift Saint Elizabeth of Hungary recognized and revered Christ in the poor, grant, through her intercession, that we may serve with unfailing charity the needy and those afflicted. Through our Lord.

 

KNOW AND LOVE YOUR CATHOLIC FAITH 3: THE SACRED SCRIPTURE (Compendium nn. 18-24)

KNOW AND LOVE YOUR CATHOLIC FAITH 3:
SACRED SCRIPTURE.
Compendium nn. 
18-24

18. Why does Sacred Scripture teach the truth?

Because God himself is the author of Sacred Scripture. For this reason it is said to be inspired and to teach without error those truths which are necessary for our salvation. The Holy Spirit inspired the human authors who wrote what he wanted to teach us. The Christian faith, however, is not a “religion of the Book”, but of the Word of God – “not a written and mute word, but incarnate and living” (Saint Bernard of Clairvaux).

19. How is Sacred Scripture to be read?

Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted with the help of the Holy Spirit and under the guidance of the Magisterium of the Church according to three criteria: 1) it must be read with attention to the content and unity of the whole of Scripture; 2) it must be read within the living Tradition of the Church; 3) it must be read with attention to the analogy of faith, that is, the inner harmony which exists among the truths of the faith themselves.

20. What is the Canon of Scripture?

The Canon of Scripture is the complete list of the sacred writings which the Church has come to recognize through Apostolic Tradition. The Canon consists of 46 books of the Old Testament and 27 of the New.

21. What is the importance of the Old Testament for Christians?

Christians venerate the Old Testament as the true word of God. All of the books of the Old Testament are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value. They bear witness to the divine pedagogy of God’s saving love. They are written, above all, to prepare for the coming of Christ the Savior of the universe.

22. What importance does the New Testament have for Christians?

The New Testament, whose central object is Jesus Christ, conveys to us the ultimate truth of divine Revelation. Within the New Testament the four Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John are the heart of all the Scriptures because they are the principle witness to the life and teaching of Jesus. As such, they hold a unique place in the Church.

23. What is the unity that exists between the Old and the New Testaments?

Scripture is one insofar as the Word of God is one. God’s plan of salvation is one, and the divine inspiration of both Testaments is one. The Old Testament prepares for the New and the New Testament fulfills the Old; the two shed light on each other.

24. What role does Sacred Scripture play in the life of the Church?

Sacred Scripture gives support and vigor to the life of the Church. For the children of the Church, it is a confirmation of the faith, food for the soul and the fount of the spiritual life. Sacred Scripture is the soul of theology and of pastoral preaching. The Psalmist says that it is “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). The Church, therefore, exhorts all to read Sacred Scripture frequently because “ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” (Saint Jerome).

IMPORTANT LINKS FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO KNOW MORE:

“THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AMONG YOU (Lk 17:21).”

“THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AMONG YOU.”

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said in reply, “The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.” Lk 17:20–21

Like many Jews of their time, the Pharisees imagined the establishment of the Kingdom of God in terms of external, political authority. Jesus, however, teaches that it is something eminently spiritual, supernatural, which has been happening ever since Jesus’ coming, although its climax will be after his second coming or Parousia at the end of the world; its effect is to be seen, above all, in men’s hearts, although it is also something visible and external, just as the Church has a visible dimension.

The presence of the Kingdom of God in each soul is something one perceives through the affections and inspirations communicated by the Holy Spirit. St Therèse of Lisieux says this about her own experience:

“the Doctor of doctors teaches us without the sound of words. I have never heard him speak, and yet I know he is within my soul. Every moment he is guiding and inspiring me, and, just at the moment I need them, ‘lights’ till then unseen are granted me. Most often it is not at prayer that they come but while I go about my daily duties” (The Story of a Soul, chap. 8).

Let us not forget that by virtue of Baptism, our soul in grace is a temple of God. Let us then seek, deal with and love the Blessed Trinity in our soul, avoiding anything which would cause God to withdraw from our midst.

“When you seek to draw close to our Lord, remember that he is always very close to you, that he is in you: regnum Dei intra vos est (Lk 17:21). The kingdom of God is within you. You will find him in your heart. St. Josemaria”

Mother Mary, God’s finest creation, Daughter, Mother and Spouse, full of grace, pray for us that we may be more aware of God’s presence in our soul in grace to deal, thank, love and adore Him more.

 

Nov. 16: ST. GERTRUDE, VIRGIN

Nov. 16
ST. GERTRUDE, VIRGIN

Born at Eisleben, Germany, St. Gertrude (1256-1301) was received into the Cistercian nunnery. Aside from her deep spiritual life, nurtured in prayer and contemplation, she was known for her studies of literature and philosophy. She introduced the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus which, centuries later, would spread throughout the Church.

From the Revelations of Divine Peace of St Gertrude
Your thoughts of me are thoughts of peace

May my soul bless you, O Lord God my Creator, may my soul bless you. From the very core of my being may all your merciful gifts sing your praise. Your generous care for your daughter has been rich in mercy; indeed it has been immeasurable, and as far as I am able I give you thanks. I praise and glorify your great patience which bore with me even though, from my infancy and childhood, youth and early womanhood, until I was nearly twenty-six, I was always so blindly irresponsible. Looking back I see that but for your protecting hand I would have been quite without conscience in thought, word or deed. But you came to my aid by giving me a natural dislike of evil and a natural delight in what is good, and provided me with necessary correction from those among whom I lived. Otherwise I should now have to admit to doing my own will whenever the opportunity offered itself, living like some pagan in a pagan society, and never understanding that you, my God, reward good deeds while punishing evil. Yet you had chosen me to be specially trained to serve you. I was a child of five when I began to live in a convent surrounded by your most devoted friends.

To make amends for the way I previously lived, I offer you, most loving Father, all the sufferings of your beloved Son, from that first infant cry as he lay on the hay in the manger, until that final moment when, bowing his head, with a mighty voice, Christ gave up his spirit. I think, as I make this offering, of all that he underwent, his needs as a baby, his dependence as a young child, the hardships of youth and the trials of early manhood.

To atone for all my neglect I offer, most loving Father, all that your only begotten Son did during his life, whether in thought, word or deed. That sacred life was, I know, utterly perfect in all respects, from the moment he descended from your heavenly throne and came into this world, until finally he presented the glory of his victorious human nature to you, his Father.

And now, as an act of thanksgiving, I praise and worship you, Father, in deepest humility for your most loving kindness and mercy. Though I was hurrying to my eternal loss, your thoughts of me were thoughts of peace and not of affliction, and you lifted me up with so many great favours. To these you added the inestimable gift of your intimate friendship, and in various ways allowed me to possess your Son’s own heart, that most noble ark of God united with the Godhead. You refused me no delight that could be mine.

Finally, you drew me to yourself by your faithful promises of the good things you would give me from the hour of my death. So great are these promises that for their sake alone, even if you had given me nothing besides, my heart would sigh for you always and be filled with a lively hope.

Responsory                                                                                           

℟. The Lord loved Gertrude with an everlasting love;* from childhood he drew her to himself and took her out into the desert, and there he spoke to her heart.

℣. He betrothed her to himself for all eternity in faith and in love;* from childhood he drew her to himself and took her out into the desert, and there he spoke to her heart.

 

Let us pray.
 O God, who prepared a delightful dwelling for yourself in the heart of the Virgin Saint Gertrude, graciously bring light, through her intercession, to the darkness of our hearts that we may joyfully experience you present and at work within us. Through our Lord.

 

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