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Queen of Peace Chapel (North Bay)

 

LECTIO DIVINA QUEEN OF PEACE CHAPEL CFB NORTH BAY

THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS SUN 29 OCT 17: OFFICE OF READINGS

First ReadingWisdom 1:1-15 ©
Praise of the Wisdom of God
Love virtue, you who are judges on earth,
let honesty prompt your thinking about the Lord,
seek him in simplicity of heart;
since he is to be found by those who do not put him to the test,
he shows himself to those who do not distrust him.
But selfish intentions divorce from God;
and Omnipotence, put to the test, confounds the foolish.
No, Wisdom will never make its way into a crafty soul
nor stay in a body that is in debt to sin;
the holy spirit of instruction shuns deceit,
it stands aloof from reckless purposes,
is taken aback when iniquity appears.
Wisdom is a spirit, a friend to man,
though she will not pardon the words of a blasphemer,
since God sees into the innermost parts of him,
truly observes his heart,
and listens to his tongue.
The spirit of the Lord, indeed, fills the whole world,
and that which holds all things together knows every word that is said.
The man who gives voice to injustice will never go unnoticed,
nor shall avenging Justice pass him by.
For the godless man’s deliberations will be examined,
and a report of his words will reach the Lord
to convict him of his crimes.
There is a jealous ear that overhears everything,
not so much as a murmur of complaint escapes it.
Beware, then, of complaining about nothing,
and keep your tongue from finding fault;
since the most secret word will have repercussions,
and a lying mouth deals death to the soul.
Do not court death by the errors of your ways,
nor invite destruction through your own actions.
Death was not God’s doing,
he takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living.
To be – for this he created all;
the world’s created things have health in them,
in them no fatal poison can be found,
and Hades holds no power on earth;
for virtue is undying.
 

Second Reading
A letter to the Corinthians by Pope St Clement I
In his goodness to all, God gives order and harmony to the world
Let us fix our gaze on the Father and Creator of the whole world, and let us hold on to his peace and blessings, his splendid and surpassing gifts. Let us contemplate him in our thoughts and with our mind’s eye reflect upon the peaceful and restrained unfolding of his plan; let us consider the care with which he provides for the whole of his creation.
  By his direction the heavens are in motion, and they are subject to him in peace. Day and night fulfil the course he has established without interfering with each other. The sun, the moon and the choirs of stars revolve in harmony at his command in their appointed paths without deviation. By his will the earth blossoms in the proper seasons and produces abundant food for men and animals and all the living things on it without reluctance and without any violation of what he has arranged.
  Yet unexplored regions of the abysses and inexpressible realms of the deep are subject to his laws. The mass of the boundless sea, joined together by his ordinance in a single expanse, does not overflow its prescribed limits but flows as he commanded it. For he said: Thus far shall you come, and your waves will be halted here. The ocean, impassable for men, and the worlds beyond it are governed by the same edicts of the Lord.
  The seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter, follow one another in harmony. The quarters from which the winds blow function in due season without the least deviation. And the ever-flowing springs, created for our health as well as our enjoyment, unfailingly offer their breasts to sustain human life. The tiniest of living creatures meet together in harmony and peace. The great Creator and Lord of the universe commanded all these things to be established in peace and harmony, in his goodness to all, and in overflowing measure to us who seek refuge in his mercies through our Lord Jesus Christ; to him be glory and majesty for ever and ever. Amen.
 
 

LECTIO DIVINA QUEEN OF PEACE CHAPEL CFB NORTH BAY

THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS WED 18 OCT 17: OFFICE OF READINGS

 

 

First Reading: Acts 9:27-31, 11:19-26

 

Barnabas took charge of Saul, introduced him to the apostles, and explained how the Lord had appeared to Saul and spoken to him on his journey, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. Saul now started to go round with them in Jerusalem, preaching fearlessly in the name of the Lord. But after he had spoken to the Hellenists, and argued with them, they became determined to kill him. When the brothers knew, they took him to Caesarea, and sent him off from there to Tarsus.

 

The churches throughout Judaea, Galilee and Samaria were now left in peace, building themselves up, living in the fear of the Lord, and filled with the consolation of the Holy Spirit.

 

Those who had escaped during the persecution that happened because of Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, but they usually proclaimed the message only to Jews. Some of them, however, who came from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch where they started preaching to the Greeks, proclaiming the Good News of the Lord Jesus to them as well. The Lord helped them, and a great number believed and were converted to the Lord.

 

The church in Jerusalem heard about this and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. There he could see for himself that God had given grace, and this pleased him, and he urged them all to remain faithful to the Lord with heartfelt devotion; for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith. And a large number of people were won over to the Lord.

 

Barnabas then left for Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him he brought him to Antioch. As things turned out they were to live together in that church a whole year, instructing a large number of people. It was at Antioch that the disciples were first called ‘Christians.’

 

 

Second Reading: A homily by Pope St Gregory the Great

 

The Lord follows his preachers

 

Beloved brothers, our Lord and Saviour sometimes gives us instruction by words and sometimes by actions. His very deeds are our commands; and whenever he acts silently he is teaching us what we should do. For example, he sends his disciples out to preach two by two, because the precept of charity is twofold – love of God and of one’s neighbour.

 

The Lord sends his disciples out to preach in twos in order to teach us silently that whoever fails in charity toward his neighbour should by no means take upon himself the office of preaching.

 

Rightly is it said that he sent them ahead of him into every city and place where he himself was to go. For the Lord follows after the preachers, because preaching goes ahead to prepare the way, and then when the words of exhortation have gone ahead and established truth in our minds, the Lord comes to live within us. To those who preach Isaiah says: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God. And the psalmist tells them: Make a way for him who rises above the sunset. The Lord rises above the sunset because from that very place where he slept in death, he rose again and manifested a greater glory. He rises above the sunset because in his resurrection he trampled underfoot the death which he endured. Therefore, we make a way for him who rises above the sunset when we preach his glory to you, so that when he himself follows after us, he may illumine you with his love.

 

Let us listen now to his words as he sends his preachers forth: The harvest is great but the labourers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest. That the harvest is good but the labourers are few cannot be said without a heavy heart, for although there are many to hear the good news there are only a few to preach it. Indeed, see how full the world is of priests, but yet in God’s harvest a true labourer is rarely to be found; although we have accepted the priestly office we do not fulfil its demands.

 

Think over, my beloved brothers, think over his words: Pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest. Pray for us so that we may be able to labour worthily on your behalf, that our tongue may not grow weary of exhortation, that after we have taken up the office of preaching our silence may not bring us condemnation from the just judge.

 

 

 

St. Luke, PRAY FOR US

 

 

LECTIO DIVINA QUEEN OF PEACE CHAPEL CFB NORTH BAY

THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS SUN 15 OCT 17: OFFICE OF READINGS

 

 

First Reading: Haggai 1:1-2:9

 

An exhortation to rebuild the Temple, and its future glory

 

In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord was addressed through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, high commissioner of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, as follows, ‘The Lord of Hosts says this, “This people says: The time has not yet come to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. (And the word of the Lord was addressed through the prophet Haggai, as follows:) Is this a time for you to live in your panelled houses, when this House lies in ruins? So now, the Lord of Hosts says this: Reflect carefully how things have gone for you. You have sown much and harvested little; you eat but never have enough, drink but never have your fill, put on clothes but do not feel warm. The wage earner gets his wages only to put them in a purse riddled with holes. So go to the hill country, fetch wood, and rebuild the House: I shall then take pleasure in it, and be glorified there, says the Lord. The Lord of Hosts says this: Reflect carefully how things have gone for you. The abundance you expected proved to be little. When you brought the harvest in, my breath spoilt it. And why? – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks. Because while my House lies in ruins you are busy with your own, each one of you. That is why the sky has withheld the rain and the earth withheld its yield. I have called down drought on land and hills, on wheat, on new wine, on oil and on all the produce of the ground, on man and beast and all their labours.”’

 

Now Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all the remnant of the people, paid attention to the voice of the Lord their God and to the words of the prophet Haggai, the Lord having sent him to them. And the people were filled with fear before the Lord. Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, passed on the message of the Lord to the people, as follows, ‘I am with you – it is the Lord who speaks.’ And the Lord roused the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, high commissioner of Judah, the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and set to work on the Temple of the Lord of Hosts their God. This was on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.

 

In the second year of King Darius, on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the Lord was addressed through the prophet Haggai, as follows, ‘You are to speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, the high commissioner of Judah, to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people. Say this, “Who is there left among you that saw this Temple in its former glory? And how does it look to you now? Does it seem nothing to you? But take courage now, Zerubbabel – it is the Lord who speaks. Courage, High Priest Joshua son of Jehozadak! Courage, all you people of the country! – it is the Lord who speaks. To work! I am with you – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks – and my spirit remains among you. Do not be afraid! For the Lord of Hosts says this: A little while now, and I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations and the treasures of all the nations shall flow in, and I will fill this Temple with glory, says the Lord of Hosts. Mine is the silver, mine the gold! – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks. The new glory of this Temple is going to surpass the old, says the Lord of Hosts, and in this place I will give peace – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks.”’

 

 

Second Reading: A commentary on Haggai by St Cyril of Alexandria

 

My name is great among the nations

 

When our Saviour came, he appeared as a divine temple, glorious beyond any comparison, far more splendid and excellent than the older temple. He exceeded the old as much as worship in Christ and the gospels exceeds the cult of the laws, as much as truth exceeds its shadows.

 

Furthermore, I might point out that originally there was just one temple at Jerusalem, in which one people, the Israelites, offered their sacrifices. Since the only-begotten Son became like us, and as Scripture says, though he was Lord and God, he has shone upon us, the rest of the world has been filled with places of worship. Now there are countless worshippers who honour the universal God with spiritual offerings and fragrant sacrifices. This, surely, is what Malachi foretold, speaking, as if in the person of God: I am a great king, says the Lord; my name is honoured among the nations, and everywhere there is offered to my name the fragrance of a pure sacrifice.

 

With justice, therefore, do we say that the final temple, the Church, will be more glorious. To those who are so solicitous for the Church and labour for its construction, Haggai declares that a gift will be made, a gift from heaven given by the Saviour. That gift is Christ himself, the peace of all men; through him we have access in the one Spirit to the Father. The prophet goes on to say: I will give peace to this place and peace of soul to save all who lay the foundation to rebuild the temple. Christ too says somewhere: My peace I give you. Paul will teach how profitable this is for those who love: The peace of Christ, he says, which surpasses all understanding will keep your minds and hearts. Isaiah, the seer, made the same prayer: O Lord our God, give us peace, for you have given us everything. Once a man has been found worthy of Christ’s peace, he can easily save his soul and guide his mind to carry out exactingly the demands of virtue.

 

Haggai, therefore, declares that peace will be given to all who build. One builds the Church either as a teacher of the sacred mysteries, as one set over the house of God, or as one who works for his own good by setting himself forth as a living and spiritual stone in the holy temple, God’s dwelling place in the Spirit. The results of these efforts will profit such men so that each will be able to gain his own salvation without difficulty.

 

 

St. Cyril of Alexandria, PRAY FOR US

 

LECTIO DIVINA QUEEN OF PEACE CHAPEL CFB NORTH BAY

THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS THURS 12 OCT 17

 

Memorial of Our Lady of Aparecida. History.

The devotion to Our Lady of the Conception Aparecida, more commonly known as “Our Lady of Aparecida”, has a very special meaning. It came about when a group of fishermen, after several useless attempts, asked the intercession of Our Lady, but instead of a fish, they caught a small image of Our Lady of the Conception Aparecida made of terracota. The title of “Aparecida” derives from the verb “appear” since it was in a moment of great need that the fishermen found her they realized that this event indicated a sign of intercession of the Virgin. The image had a dark color and was blackened because of the type of material it was made from and from having been lost in the river.

This miracle occurred in the second half of October in the year 1717, when the count of Assumar and governor of the infantry of São Paulo and Minas of Ouro, Don Pedro de Almeida, was passing by the city of Guaratinguetá, located in the valley of Paraiba, during a trip to Vila Rica. The inhabitants of Guaratinguetá decided to celebrate a great feast in honor of Don Pedro de Almeida, and though it was not a good season for fishing, they cast their nets in the Paraiba River, in an attempt to get some fish for the event. The fishermen Domingos Garcia, João Alves y Filipe Pedroso prayed asking the intercession of Our Lady. After several attempts, they went downstream until they arrived at the port Itaguaçu. When they were about to abandon their attempt at fishing, João Alves threw his nets another time and in place of a fish, they picked up the body of a statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, but without the head. Once again casting the net, they caught the head, which fit perfectly with the body of the statue. After having recovered both parts, the image of the Virgin of Aparecida became so heavy that they could not move it. The fishermen then caught so much fish that they were forced to return to the port, because their boats almost sunk. This was the first miracle attributed to Our Lady of Aparecida.

This event reminds us of the passage in the Gospel where after having spent all night attempting to fish; Peter only achieved success in the moment that he casts his nets in the name of Christ. A new miraculous catch had occurred and it moved the faith of the people. During 15 years, the image remained in the home of Filipe Pedrosa, but the multitude of people that went to pray and to ask for the intercession of Our Lady of Aparecida increased so much that it became necessary to move it to a private chapel. In 1834, the construction of the old basilica began which was inaugurated on December 8, 1888.  

 

On September 8, 1904, the image was crowned with a crown of jewels donated by Princess Isabel and dressed in a robe, embroidered in gold and other precious jewels, recognizing therefore Her royalty and powerful protection. After the crowning the Holy Father granted the sanctuary of Aparecida office and mass proper to honor Our Lady of Aparecida and indulgences to the pilgrims that visit the sanctuary. On April 29, 1908, the church received the title of minor basilica, consecrated on September 5, 1909. On December 17, 1928, the population that had formed around the church in the heights of Morro dos Coqueiros became a city, taking the name of Aparecida. Our Lady of the Conception Aparecida, was proclaimed Queen and Patron of Brazil on July 16, 1930, by decree of Pope Pius XI. With the enormous increase of pilgrims, the necessity arose for a larger place for the multitude of faithful. In 1955 the construction of a new basilica began. The architect Benedicto Calixto imagined a building in the shape of a Greek cross, 173 meters long and 168 meters wide, the nave of 40 meters and 70 meters for the tall dome.

On July 4, 1980, Pope John Paul II, during his visit to Brazil, consecrated the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida and declared it a major Marian sanctuary in the world. The Basilica of Aparecida was also the scene of the fifth General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean from May 13 to 31 in 2007. Pope Benedict XVI inaugurated the conference and invited all of Latin America to the continental mission, to become each day more missionary disciples.

 

Homily of Pope Francis at the Shrine of Aparecida

World Youth Day 2013

 

My Brother Bishops and Priests, Dear Brothers and Sisters, What joy I feel as I come to the house of the Mother of every Brazilian, the Shrine of our Lady of Aparecida! The day after my election as Bishop of Rome, I visited the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, in order to entrust my ministry as the Successor of Peter to Our Lady. Today I have come here to ask Mary our Mother for the success of World Youth Day and to place at her feet the life of the people of Latin America.

 

There is something that I would like to say first of all. Six years ago the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean was held in this Shrine. Something beautiful took place here, which I witnessed at first hand. I saw how the Bishops – who were discussing the theme of encountering Christ, discipleship and mission – felt encouraged, supported and in some way inspired by the thousands of pilgrims who came here day after day to entrust their lives to Our Lady. That Conference was a great moment of Church. It can truly be said that the Aparecida Document was born of this interplay between the labours of the Bishops and the simple faith of the pilgrims, under Mary’s maternal protection. When the Church looks for Jesus, she always knocks at his Mother’s door and asks: “Show us Jesus”. It is from Mary that the Church learns true discipleship. That is why the Church always goes out on mission in the footsteps of Mary. Today, looking forward to the World Youth Day which has brought me to Brazil, I too come to knock on the door of the house of Mary – who loved and raised Jesus – that she may help all of us, pastors of God’s people, parents and educators, to pass on to our young people the values that can help them build a nation and a world which are more just, united and fraternal. For this reason I would like to speak of three simple attitudes: hopefulness, openness to being surprised by God, and living in joy.

  1. Hopefulness. The second reading of the Mass presents a dramatic scene: a woman – an image of Mary and the Church – is being pursued by a Dragon – the devil – who wants to devour her child. But the scene is not one of death but of life, because God intervenes and saves the child (cf. Rev 12:13a, 15-16a). How many difficulties are present in the life of every individual, among our people, in our communities; yet as great as these may seem, God never allows us to be overwhelmed by them.

In the face of those moments of discouragement we experience in life, in our efforts to evangelize or to embody our faith as parents within the family, I would like to say forcefully: Always know in your heart that God is by your side; he never abandons you! Let us never lose hope! Let us never allow it to die in our hearts! The “dragon”, evil, is present in our history, but it does not have the upper hand. The one with the upper hand is God, and God is our hope!

It is true that nowadays, to some extent, everyone, including our young people, feels attracted by the many idols which take the place of God and appear to offer hope: money, success, power, pleasure. Often a growing sense of loneliness and emptiness in the hearts of many people leads them to seek satisfaction in these ephemeral idols. Dear brothers and sisters, let us be lights of hope! Let us maintain a positive outlook on reality. Let us encourage the generosity which is typical of the young and help them to work actively in building a better world. Young people are a powerful engine for the Church and for society.

They do not need material things alone; also and above all, they need to have held up to them those non-material values which are the spiritual heart of a people, the memory of a people. In this Shrine, which is part of the memory of Brazil, we can almost read those values: spirituality, generosity, solidarity, perseverance, fraternity, joy; they are values whose deepest root is in the Christian faith. 2. The second attitude: openness to being surprised by God. Anyone who is a man or a woman of hope – the great hope which faith gives us – knows that even in the midst of difficulties God acts and he surprises us. The history of this Shrine is a good example: three fishermen, after a day of catching no fish, found something unexpected in the waters of the Parnaíba River: an image of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Whoever would have thought that the site of a fruitless fishing expedition would become the place where all Brazilians can feel that they are children of one Mother? God always surprises us, like the new wine in the Gospel we have just heard. God always saves the best for us. But he asks us to let ourselves be surprised by his love, to accept his surprises. Let us trust God! Cut off from him, the wine of joy, the wine of hope, runs out. If we draw near to him, if we stay with him, what seems to be cold water, difficulty, sin, is changed into the new wine of friendship with him. 3. The third attitude: living in joy. Dear friends, if we walk in hope, allowing ourselves to be surprised by the new wine which Jesus offers us, we have joy in our hearts and we cannot fail to be witnesses of this joy. Christians are joyful, they are never gloomy. God is at our side. We have a Mother who always intercedes for the life of her children, for us, as Queen Esther did in the first reading (cf Est 5:3).

 

Jesus has shown us that the face of God is that of a loving Father. Sin and death have been defeated. Christians cannot be pessimists! They do not look like someone in constant mourning. If we are truly in love with Christ and if we sense how much he loves us, our heart will “light up” with a joy that spreads to everyone around us. As Benedict XVI said: “the disciple knows that without Christ, there is no light, no hope, no love, no future” (Inaugural Address, Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, Aparecida, 13 May 2007, 3). Dear friends, we have come to knock at the door of Mary’s house. She has opened it for us, she has let us in and she shows us her Son. Now she asks us to “do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). Yes, dear Mother, we are committed to doing whatever Jesus tells us! And we will do it with hope, trusting in God’s surprises and full of joy. Amen.

 

The Prayer that Pope Francis Prayed in Private before the Image of Our Lady of Aparecida

“Mother Aparecida, just as you one day, today I feel, before you and before my God, He proposes for our life a mission whose outline and limitations are unknown, with demands we can barely glimpse. But in our faith that for God nothing is impossible, you, Mother, did not doubt and I cannot doubt either.

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”, In the same way Mother, as you, I embrace my mission, I place my life in your hands, so that we may go, you Mother and your Son, To walk together, to grow together, to struggle together, to conquer as always together; Journeying, you and your Son. “Woman behold your son, son behold your mother”. Mother Aparecida, one day you took your Son to the temple to consecrate Him to the Father, So that He may be completely available for His mission, Take me to the same Father; consecrate me to Him with all that I am And with all that I have, here I am, send me. Mother of Aparecida, I place in your hands, So that you may elevate to the Father, our youth, Our youth, our World Youth Day, How much strength, how much life, how much dynamism which blooms and explodes And that can be at the service of life and of humanity. Father, embrace and sanctify your youth.

Finally Mother, we ask you to remain here always, Embracing your pilgrim sons and daughters, But also come with us, be always at our side and accompany us in our mission, with the large family of faithful, especially those of us who carry the most heavy crosses sustain our hope and our faith; ‘be faithful until death and you will receive the crown of life.’ Amen”.

 

LECTIO DIVINA QUEEN OF PEACE CHAPEL CFB NORTH BAY

THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS WED 4 OCT 17: OFFICE OF READINGS

 

 

First Reading: Philippians 2.12-30

 

Work out your own salvation

 

My dear friends, continue to do as I tell you, as you always have; not only as you did when I was there with you, but even more now that I am no longer there; and work for your salvation ‘in fear and trembling.’ It is God, for his own loving purpose, who puts both the will and the action into you. Do all that has to be done without complaining or arguing and then you will be innocent and genuine, perfect children of God among a deceitful and underhand brood, and you will shine in the world like bright stars because you are offering it the word of life. This would give me something to be proud of for the Day of Christ, and would mean that I had not run in the race and exhausted myself for nothing. And then, if my blood has to be shed as part of your own sacrifice and offering – which is your faith – I shall still be happy and rejoice with all of you, and you must be just as happy and rejoice with me.

 

I hope, in the Lord Jesus, to send Timothy to you soon, and I shall be reassured by having news of you. I have nobody else like him here, as wholeheartedly concerned for your welfare: all the rest seem more interested in themselves than in Jesus Christ. But you know how he has proved himself by working with me on behalf of the Good News like a son helping his father. That is why he is the one that I am hoping to send you, as soon as I know something definite about my fate. But I continue to trust, in the Lord, that I shall be coming soon myself.

 

It is essential, I think, to send brother Epaphroditus back to you. He was sent as your representative to help me when I needed someone to be my companion in working and battling, but he misses you all and is worried because you heard about his illness. It is true that he has been ill, and almost died, but God took pity on him, and on me as well as him, and spared me what would have been one grief on top of another. So I shall send him back as promptly as I can; you will be happy to see him again, and that will make me less sorry. Give him a most hearty welcome, in the Lord; people like him are to be honoured. It was for Christ’s work that he came so near to dying, and he risked his life to give me the help that you were not able to give me yourselves.

 

Second Reading: A letter from St Francis of Assisi to all the faithful

 

We must be simple, humble and pure

 

It was through his archangel, Saint Gabriel, that the Father above made known to the holy and glorious Virgin Mary that the worthy, holy and glorious Word of the Father would come from heaven and take from her womb the real flesh of our human frailty. Though he was wealthy beyond reckoning, he still willingly chose to be poor with his blessed mother. And shortly before his passion he celebrated the Passover with his disciples. Then he prayed to his Father saying: Father, if it be possible, let this cup be taken from me.

 

Nevertheless, he reposed his will in the will of his Father. The Father willed that his blessed and glorious Son, whom he gave to us and who was born for us, should through his own blood offer himself as a sacrificial victim on the altar of the cross. This was to be done not for himself through whom all things were made, but for our sins. It was intended to leave us an example of how to follow in his footsteps. And he desires all of us to be saved through him, and to receive him with pure heart and chaste body.

 

O how happy and blessed are those who love the Lord and do as the Lord himself said in the gospel: You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart and your whole soul; and your neighbour as yourself. Therefore, let us love God and adore him with pure heart and mind. This is his particular desire when he says: True worshippers adore the Father in spirit and truth. For all who adore him must do so in the spirit of truth. Let us also direct to him our praises and prayers saying: Our Father, who art in heaven, since we must always pray and never grow slack.

 

Furthermore, let us produce worthy fruits of penance. Let us also love our neighbours as ourselves. Let us have charity and humility. Let us give alms because these cleanse our souls from the stains of sin. Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give. For these they will receive from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve. We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh. Rather we must be simple, humble and pure. We should never desire to be over others. Instead, we ought to be servants who are submissive to every human being for God’s sake. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on all who live in this way and persevere in it to the end. He will permanently dwell in them. They will be the Father’s children who do his work. They are the spouses, brothers and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

St. Francis, PRAY FOR US

 

LECTIO DIVINA QUEEN OF PEACE CHAPEL CFB NORTH BAY

THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS WED 4 OCT 17: OFFICE OF READINGS

 

 

First Reading: Philippians 2.12-30

 

Work out your own salvation

 

My dear friends, continue to do as I tell you, as you always have; not only as you did when I was there with you, but even more now that I am no longer there; and work for your salvation ‘in fear and trembling.’ It is God, for his own loving purpose, who puts both the will and the action into you. Do all that has to be done without complaining or arguing and then you will be innocent and genuine, perfect children of God among a deceitful and underhand brood, and you will shine in the world like bright stars because you are offering it the word of life. This would give me something to be proud of for the Day of Christ, and would mean that I had not run in the race and exhausted myself for nothing. And then, if my blood has to be shed as part of your own sacrifice and offering – which is your faith – I shall still be happy and rejoice with all of you, and you must be just as happy and rejoice with me.

 

I hope, in the Lord Jesus, to send Timothy to you soon, and I shall be reassured by having news of you. I have nobody else like him here, as wholeheartedly concerned for your welfare: all the rest seem more interested in themselves than in Jesus Christ. But you know how he has proved himself by working with me on behalf of the Good News like a son helping his father. That is why he is the one that I am hoping to send you, as soon as I know something definite about my fate. But I continue to trust, in the Lord, that I shall be coming soon myself.

 

It is essential, I think, to send brother Epaphroditus back to you. He was sent as your representative to help me when I needed someone to be my companion in working and battling, but he misses you all and is worried because you heard about his illness. It is true that he has been ill, and almost died, but God took pity on him, and on me as well as him, and spared me what would have been one grief on top of another. So I shall send him back as promptly as I can; you will be happy to see him again, and that will make me less sorry. Give him a most hearty welcome, in the Lord; people like him are to be honoured. It was for Christ’s work that he came so near to dying, and he risked his life to give me the help that you were not able to give me yourselves.

 

Second Reading: A letter from St Francis of Assisi to all the faithful

 

We must be simple, humble and pure

 

It was through his archangel, Saint Gabriel, that the Father above made known to the holy and glorious Virgin Mary that the worthy, holy and glorious Word of the Father would come from heaven and take from her womb the real flesh of our human frailty. Though he was wealthy beyond reckoning, he still willingly chose to be poor with his blessed mother. And shortly before his passion he celebrated the Passover with his disciples. Then he prayed to his Father saying: Father, if it be possible, let this cup be taken from me.

 

Nevertheless, he reposed his will in the will of his Father. The Father willed that his blessed and glorious Son, whom he gave to us and who was born for us, should through his own blood offer himself as a sacrificial victim on the altar of the cross. This was to be done not for himself through whom all things were made, but for our sins. It was intended to leave us an example of how to follow in his footsteps. And he desires all of us to be saved through him, and to receive him with pure heart and chaste body.

 

O how happy and blessed are those who love the Lord and do as the Lord himself said in the gospel: You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart and your whole soul; and your neighbour as yourself. Therefore, let us love God and adore him with pure heart and mind. This is his particular desire when he says: True worshippers adore the Father in spirit and truth. For all who adore him must do so in the spirit of truth. Let us also direct to him our praises and prayers saying: Our Father, who art in heaven, since we must always pray and never grow slack.

 

Furthermore, let us produce worthy fruits of penance. Let us also love our neighbours as ourselves. Let us have charity and humility. Let us give alms because these cleanse our souls from the stains of sin. Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give. For these they will receive from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve. We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh. Rather we must be simple, humble and pure. We should never desire to be over others. Instead, we ought to be servants who are submissive to every human being for God’s sake. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on all who live in this way and persevere in it to the end. He will permanently dwell in them. They will be the Father’s children who do his work. They are the spouses, brothers and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

St. Francis, PRAY FOR US

 

LECTIO DIVINA QUEEN OF PEACE CHAPEL CFB NORTH BAY

THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS WED 22 SEP 17: OFFICE OF READINGS

 

 

First Reading: Ezekiel 37.1-14

 

The vision of the resurrection of God’s people

 

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.”’

 

 

Second Reading: A writing of St Vincent de Paul (Office of Readings, vol. IV, p.296)

 

Serving the poor is to be preferred above all things

 

Even though the poor are often rough and unrefined, we must not judge them from external appearances nor from the mental gifts they seem to have received. On the contrary, if you consider the poor in the light of faith, then you will observe that they are taking the place of the Son of God who chose to be poor.

 

Although in his passion he almost lost the appearance of a man and was considered a fool by the Gentiles and a stumbling block by the Jews, he showed them that his mission was to preach to the poor: He sent me to preach the good news to the poor. We also ought to have this same spirit and imitate Christ’s actions, that is, we must take care of the poor, console them, help them, support their cause.

 

Since Christ willed to be born poor, he chose for himself disciples who were poor. He made himself the servant of the poor and shared their poverty. He went so far as to say that he would consider every deed which either helps or harms the poor as done for or against himself. Since God surely loves the poor, he also loves those who love the poor. For when one person holds another dear, he also includes in his affection anyone who loves or serves the one he loves. That is why we hope that God will love us for the sake of the poor. So when we visit the poor and needy, we try to understand the poor and weak. We sympathize with them so fully that we can echo Paul’s words: I have become all things to all men. Therefore, we must try to be stirred by our neighbours’ worries and distress. We must beg God to pour into our hearts sentiments of pity and compassion and to fill them again and again with these dispositions.

 

It is our duty to prefer the service of the poor to everything else and to offer such service as quickly as possible. If a needy person requires medicine or other help during prayer time, do whatever has to be done with peace of mind. Offer the deed to God as your prayer. Do not become upset or feel guilty because you interrupted your prayer to serve the poor. God is not neglected if you leave him for such service. One of God’s works is merely interrupted so that another can be carried out. So when you leave prayer to serve some poor person, remember that this very service is performed for God. Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity. Since she is a noble mistress, we must do whatever she commands. With renewed devotion, then, we must serve the poor, especially outcasts and beggars. They have been given to us as our masters and patrons.

 

 

St. Vincent de Paul, PRAY FOR US

 

 

St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) was born in Aquitaine and became a priest. He devoted his whole life to the service of the poor. He founded a congregation of priests for missionary work, groups of laymen to help paupers and galley-slaves, and, with St Louise de Marillac, the Sisters of Charity.

 

For the article in the Catholic Encyclopedia, go to http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15434c.htm