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The Everyday Prayer


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


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Proverbs 18, 1-24

Whoever lives alone follows private whims, and is angered by advice of any kind.

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding but only in airing an opinion.

When wickedness comes, indignity comes too, and, with contempt, dishonour.

Deep waters, such are human words: a gushing stream, the utterance of wisdom.

It is not good to show partiality for the wicked and so to deprive the upright when giving judgement.

The lips of a fool go to the law-courts with a mouth that pleads for a beating.

The mouth of the fool works its owner's ruin, the lips of a fool are a snare for their owner's life.

The words of a slanderer are tasty morsels that go right down into the belly.

Whoever is idle at work is blood-brother to the destroyer.

The name of Yahweh is a strong tower; the upright runs to it and is secure.

The wealth of the rich forms a stronghold, a high wall, as the rich supposes.

The human heart is haughty until destruction comes, before there can be glory there must be humility.

To retort without first listening is both foolish and embarrassing.

Sickness the human spirit can endure, but when the spirit is broken, who can bear this?

The heart of the intelligent acquires learning, the ears of the wise search for knowledge.

A present will open all doors and win access to the great.

The first to plead is adjudged to be upright, until the next comes and cross-examines him.

The lot puts an end to disputes and decides between men of power.

A brother offended is worse than a fortified city, and quarrels are like the locks of a keep.

From the fruit of the mouth is a stomach filled, it is the yield of the lips that gives contentment.

Death and life are in the gift of the tongue, those who indulge it must eat the fruit it yields.

He who finds a wife finds happiness, receiving a mark of favour from Yahweh.

The language of the poor is entreaty, the answer of the rich harshness.

There are friends who point the way to ruin, others are closer than a brother.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Proverbs mirror life. They are the fruit of a long history that reflects the knowledge of Israel. This is why they continually return to the same problems and situations, to beckon our reflection and deepen our look at life and habitual behaviours that have become established habits difficult to overcome because we are in love with ourselves and our ways of doing things and thinking and always sure of being right. We need to hear the same words in order to get out of our own ways of thinking. We need to listen frequently to the Word of God to be able to continue on the path to changing ourselves. Chapter 18 draws our attention mostly to words, quarrels, and contentions. The theme of lips, mouth and tongue is continuous in this passage. Verse 4 seems to be a dignified introduction to this theme, "The words of the mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a gushing stream." A wise man’s words are profound because they do not come from himself but from a depth that comes from the Lord and his teaching, such that he becomes able to communicate them like a gushing stream. The Word of God helps us to pass by the superficialities of what we see and go deeper. Appearances are deceiving and they prevent us from truly understanding. The wise man is deep when he speaks and communicates because he does not only speak of himself. On the contrary the mouth and the lips of the fool are ruinous, produce quarrelling, and ensnare his own life (v. 6-7). "...Quarrelling is like the bars of a castle" says the text wisely as a means to urge us against arguing because it is so difficult to extricate oneself from it. Quarrelling makes it difficult to come to an agreement with others, and we know how much this is true. It is not true either that he who speaks first is right, for as the text admonishes, "The one who first states a case seems right, until the other comes and cross-examines" (v. 17). Often after an argument, one feels puffed up with pride. It seems that arguing now and then is a way to show that someone exists and is strong. It is a shame, however that quarrels only demonstrate how domineering one can be. We should remember that, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits" (v. 21). With our tongues we can bring salvation or even bring death. Besides it is the very Word of God that makes us live. Finally, arrogance distances us from everyone, especially from the poor who above all need to be heard, "The poor use entreaties, but the rich answer roughly" (v. 23). Whoever is used to quarrelling and is preoccupied with his own wellbeing will respond harshly to the plead of the poor. On the contrary the Lord invites us to respond to the poor with kindness since our love for them makes us children of the Almighty.


02/11/2012
Sunday Vigil


Calendar of the week
DEC
4
Sunday, 4 December
Liturgy of the Sunday
DEC
5
Monday, 5 December
Prayer for the Sick
DEC
6
Tuesday, 6 December
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
DEC
7
Wednesday, 7 December
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
DEC
8
Thursday, 8 December
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
DEC
9
Friday, 9 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
DEC
10
Saturday, 10 December
Sunday Vigil
DEC
11
Sunday, 11 December
Liturgy of the Sunday

Per Natale, regala il Natale! Aiutaci a preparare un vero pranzo in famiglia per i nostri amici più poveri