Week 1: Friday

“Therefore all the elders of Israel assembled and went to Samuel at Ramah... ” (1 Samuel 8:4.)

Saint Augustine of Hippo comments on this verse from the Second Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“To some, indeed, who lack patience, the Lord God, in his wrath, grants them what they ask, just as, on the other hand, he refused it to his apostle, in his mercy. We read what and how the Israelites asked and received, but, when their lust had been satisfied, their lack of patience was severely punished. And when they asked, he gave them a king, as it is written, according to their heart, but not according to his heart. These things are written that no one may think well of himself if his prayer is heard, when he has asked impatiently for what it would be better for him not to receive, and that no one may be cast down and may despair of the divine mercy toward him if his prayer has not been heard, when he has, perhaps, asked for something which would bring him more bitter suffering if he received it or would cause his downfall if he were ruined by prosperity. In such circumstances, then, we know not what we should pray for as we ought.” (Letter 130)

Attend to the pleas of your people
with heavenly care,
O Lord, we pray,
that they may see what must be done
and gain strength
to do what they have seen.
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.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen