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The Everyday Prayer

printable version

Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

The prayer for Christian unity begins. Particular memory of the Catholic Church.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Proverbs 4, 10-27

Listen, my child, take my words to heart, and the years of your life will be multiplied.

I have educated you in the ways of wisdom, I have guided you along the path of honesty.

When you walk, your going will be unhindered, if you run, you will not stumble.

Hold fast to discipline, never let her go, keep your eyes on her, she is your life.

Do not follow the path of the wicked, do not walk the way that the evil go.

Avoid it, do not take it, turn your back on it, pass it by.

For they cannot sleep unless they have first done wrong, they miss their sleep if they have not made someone stumble;

for the bread of wickedness is what they eat, and the wine of violence is what they drink.

The path of the upright is like the light of dawn, its brightness growing to the fullness of day;

the way of the wicked is as dark as night, they cannot tell the obstacles they stumble over.

My child, pay attention to what I am telling you, listen carefully to my words;

do not let them out of your sight, keep them deep in your heart.

For they are life to those who find them and health to all humanity.

More than all else, keep watch over your heart, since here are the wellsprings of life.

Turn your back on the mouth that misleads, keep your distance from lips that deceive.

Let your eyes be fixed ahead, your gaze be straight before you.

Let the path you tread be level and all your ways be firm.

Turn neither to right nor to left, keep your foot clear of evil.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This passage is divided into two parts. In the first part (verses 10-19) the way of wisdom and that of evil oppose each other. Wisdom keeps us distant from committing evil acts. Justice and impiety oppose each other like light and dark. The just who live in God’s wisdom walk toward the light. They are not afraid to make their behaviour seen; in fact, their very behaviour is light for others. The wicked, on the other hand, walk under the darkness of obscurity and do not know that their own behaviour will cause them to fall in the end. How many times do we stumble when we want to follow ourselves instead of allowing God’s word to illuminate us? Evil is the great deception. When we begin to follow its way, hardly do we leave unscathed by it: "Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evildoers." Today we often are unaware of evil and tend to justify every thing we do as if we were always stronger and more resistant to evil. But evil - the Bible always uses concrete language and speaks of evil doers and the impious, and not about evil and impiety, because it is clearly aware of them - has a force of its own that entraps us without our even knowing it. To put Cain on guard, God had said to him: "...if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it" (Gen 4:7). In the second part (verses 20-27), the passage speaks about how the total person is involved in caring for God’s word: his ears, eyes, heart and body: "Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are ... healing to all [your] flesh." And further on in the text it reads: "Keep your heart, ... Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forwards, and your gaze be straight before you." We need to keep vigil over ourselves, so that our ears, eyes, heart and body may be directed toward seeking out what comes from the Lord. Our listening, seeing, feeling, thinking and acting everyday must conform to God’s word. Woe on us if we think of ourselves as separate parts of one body! If we do, then we will easily risk losing ourselves.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets