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Saint Benedict, Abbot (Memorial)
There was a man of venerable life,
Benedict, blessed by grace and by name,
who, leaving home and patrimony
and desiring to please God alone,
sought out the habit of holy living.
O God, who made the Abbot Saint Benedict
an outstanding master in the school of divine service,
grant, we pray,
that, putting nothing before love of you,
we may hasten with a loving heart
in the way of your commands.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, with the train of his garment filling the temple. Seraphim were stationed above; each of them had six wings: with two they veiled their faces, with two they veiled their feet, and with two they hovered aloft.
They cried one to the other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts! All the earth is filled with his glory!” At the sound of that cry, the frame of the door shook and the house was filled with smoke.
Then I said, “Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember that he had taken with tongs from the altar.
He touched my mouth with it and said, “See, now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged.”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” “Here I am,” I said; “send me!”
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
The Lord is king, in splendor robed;
robed is the Lord and girt about with strength. R.
And he has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O Lord. R.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed:
holiness befits your house,
O Lord, for length of days. R.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the spirit of God rests upon you. 1 Pt 4:14
Jesus said to his Apostles: “No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household!
“Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Look kindly, Lord, upon these holy offerings,
which we make in honor of Saint Benedict,
and grant that,
by following his example in seeking you,
we may merit the gifts of unity in your service and of peace.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
This is the steward, faithful and prudent,
whom the Lord set over his household
to give them their allowance of food at the proper time. Lk 12:42
Prayer after Communion
Having received this pledge of eternal life,
we humbly beseech you, O Lord,
that, attentive to the teaching of Saint Benedict,
we may faithfully serve your designs
and love one another with fervent charity.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Daily Meditation: Isaiah 6:1-8
I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?” (Isaiah 6:8)
Let’s try to put ourselves in Isaiah’s shoes. It seems that he was praying in the Temple when he received this amazing vision. So he was already a worshipper of the Lord. But on this particular day, he saw the majesty of God in a new way and was overcome. He recognized his sinfulness as compared to the infinite holiness of the Lord. But he also experienced God’s mercy and was transformed by it. Now he was ready to serve God with his whole heart.
Isaiah’s vision can help us understand the power of prayer to change us. Like Isaiah, we too can experience a transforming encounter with the Lord in prayer—perhaps without the smoke, seraphim, and burning ember. How?
First, you need to detach yourself from your everyday environment. Whether it’s in church or at home, try to find a place and time free from distractions.
Then, place yourself in God’s presence, whether you feel him or not. Of course, God is always present to you, but this is a time for you to focus exclusively on him. It may help to meditate on a psalm, gaze at a crucifix or an icon, or even imagine Jesus standing before you. Whatever you do, it should help you realize how awesome God is. You may remember, as Isaiah did, that God is “Holy, holy, holy” (Isaiah 6:3). Your very breath—and every moment you’re alive—is a gift from him. This should lead you to give him thanks and praise.
As you worship, you may start to see yourself in his light. Like Isaiah, you might see aspects of your character that need to change. You may be led to say, “I’m sorry, Lord!” But if you’re seeing yourself through his eyes, you will also realize how merciful he is. No matter what you’ve done—or haven’t done—you can seek forgiveness and be cleansed.
Not every prayer time will include visions and voices. But every day, you can know God’s love and experience his presence more fully. And it’s not a “one-off” either. The more you pray, the more you will know his love. And that will move you to serve him—to say, with Isaiah,
“Here I am, Lord. Send me!”
Psalm 93:1-2, 5
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