- Thursday, September 29 : Book of Daniel 7,9-10.13-14.
As I watched : Thrones were set up and the Ancient One took his throne. His clothing was bright as snow, and the hair on his head as white as wool ; His throne was flames of fire, with wheels of burning fire. A surging stream of fire flowed out from where he sat; Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him, and myriads upon myriads attended him. The court was convened, and the books were opened. As the visions during the night continued, I saw One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, He received dominion, glory, and kingship; nations and peoples of every language serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.
- Thursday, September 29 : Psalms 138(137),1-2a.2bc-3.4-5.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; I will worship at your holy temple. I will give thanks to your name, because of your kindness and your truth. When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me. All the kings of the earth shall give thanks to you, O LORD, when they hear the words of your mouth; and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD: "Great is the glory of the LORD."
- Thursday, September 29 : Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 1,47-51.
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, "Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him." Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree." Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." Jesus answered and said to him, "Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this." And he said to him, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
- Thursday, September 29 : Saint Bernard
Today we are celebrating the feast of the holy angels (...). But what is there to say about those angelic spirits ? This is our faith: we believe them to enjoy the presence and sight of God, to possess unending happiness in those good things of the Lord, which “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have they entered the heart of man” (1 Cor 2:9). What can one simple mortal man have to say about it to his fellow mortals, impossible as it is to imagine such things ? (...) If it is impossible to speak about the holy angels' glory in God, at least we can speak about the grace and love they show towards ourselves, for not only do they enjoy an incomparable dignity but also a willingness to serve that is full of loving-kindness. (...) If their glory is beyond our understanding, we hold all the more tightly to the mercy with which these friends of God, these citizens of heaven and lords of paradise, are filled. The apostle Paul himself who, with his own eyes, beheld the heavenly court and knew its secrets (2 Cor 12:2), testifies that: “all the angels are ministering spirits sent to serve, for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation” (Heb 1:14). There is nothing incredible in this since the Creator, the King of Angels himself, “came not to be served but to serve and to give his life for many” (Mk 10:45). So what angel is there who would despise such a service, in which he whom the angels serve in heaven with such readiness and joy has gone before them ?
- Wednesday, September 28 : Book of Job 9,1-12.14-16.
Job answered his friends and said: I know well that it is so; but how can a man be justified before God? Should one wish to contend with him, he could not answer him once in a thousand times. God is wise in heart and mighty in strength; who has withstood him and remained unscathed? He removes the mountains before they know it; he overturns them in his anger. He shakes the earth out of its place, and the pillars beneath it tremble. He commands the sun, and it rises not; he seals up the stars. He alone stretches out the heavens and treads upon the crests of the sea. He made the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south; He does great things past finding out, marvelous things beyond reckoning. Should he come near me, I see him not; should he pass by, I am not aware of him; Should he seize me forcibly, who can say him nay? Who can say to him, "What are you doing?" How much less shall I give him any answer, or choose out arguments against him! Even though I were right, I could not answer him, but should rather beg for what was due me. If I appealed to him and he answered my call, I could not believe that he would hearken to my words.
- Wednesday, September 28 : Psalms 88(87),10bc-11.12-13.14-15.
Daily I call upon you, O LORD; to you I stretch out my hands. Will you work wonders for the dead? Will the shades arise to give you thanks? Do they declare your mercy in the grave, your faithfulness among those who have perished? Are your wonders made known in the darkness, or your justice in the land of oblivion? But I, O LORD, cry out to you; with my morning prayer I wait upon you. Why, O LORD, do you reject me; why hide from me your face?
- Wednesday, September 28 : Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 9,57-62.
As Jesus and His disciples were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus answered him, "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head." And to another he said, "Follow me." But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father." But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." And another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home." Jesus answered him, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God."
- Wednesday, September 28 : Account of a companion of Saint Francis of Assisi
O Lady Poverty, the Son of the Most High, having become a lover of your beauty (Wsd 8:2) ... found you most faithful in all things. Even before he left his bright realms for the earth, you prepared him a fitting place, a throne on which to sit, a couch in which to rest: a most poor Virgin from whom he sprung and shone upon the world. At his Nativity you ran to meet him so that he might find comfort in you. You “laid him in a manger because there was no room in the inn” (Lk 2:7) and always, inseparably, accompanied him so that, during his whole life, while he dwelt amongst us: “Though the foxes had dens and the birds of the air had nests, he had no place to lay his head”. And when he who in the past had opened the lips of the prophets opened his own lips to preach, he first praised you, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 5:3). And when he chose friends as witnesses to his holy preaching and glorious work for the salvation of humankind, he did not take rich merchants but poor fishermen, that by this choice he might show how the value he placed on you, Lady Poverty, was to create love for you in all. And finally, in order that your goodness, greatness and power might be made manifest to everyone and show how you are above all the virtues and how your kingdom is not of this world but from heaven: you alone remained with the King of Glory when all his chosen friends had fled from him in fear. Like a most dear companion and faithful spouse, you did not leave him for an instant. The more he was despised by all, the more you cleaved to him. (...) You alone consoled him. You were with him “unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8). And on the cross itself, his body stripped, his arms extended, his hands and feet pierced, (...) nothing seemed more glorious in him than you.
- Tuesday, September 27 : Book of Job 3,1-3.11-17.20-23.
Job opened his mouth and cursed his day. Job spoke out and said: Perish the day on which I was born, the night when they said, "The child is a boy!" Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire? Wherefore did the knees receive me? or why did I suck at the breasts? For then I should have lain down and been tranquil; had I slept, I should then have been at rest With kings and counselors of the earth who built where now there are ruins Or with princes who had gold and filled their houses with silver. Or why was I not buried away like an untimely birth, like babes that have never seen the light? There the wicked cease from troubling, there the weary are at rest. Why is light given to the toilers, and life to the bitter in spirit? They wait for death and it comes not; they search for it rather than for hidden treasures, Rejoice in it exultingly, and are glad when they reach the grave: Men whose path is hidden from them, and whom God has hemmed in!
- Tuesday, September 27 : Psalms 88(87),2-3.4-5.6.7-8.
LORD, my God, by day I cry out; at night I clamour in your presence. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry. For my soul is filled with troubles; my life draws near to Sheol. I am reckoned with those who go down to the pit; I am weak, without strength. My couch is among the dead, with the slain who lie in the grave. Whom you remember no longer and who are cut off from your care. You plunged me into the bottom of the pit, into the darkness of the abyss. Upon me your wrath lies heavy, and with all your billows you overwhelm me.
- Tuesday, September 27 : Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 9,51-56.
When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?" Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.
- Tuesday, September 27 : Saint Bernard
Brethren, it is absolutely certain that you are already on the way to the city where you are to dwell. You are not proceeding through thickets but along the road. But I fear this life is giving you the illusion of being long and therefore of not bringing you consolation but, still more, sorrow. Yes what I fear is that some of you, at the thought that there remains a long road still to go, feel overcome by spiritual discouragement and lose all hope of being able to bear so many trials for so long. As though God’s consolations did not far more fill the souls of the elect with joy than the many troubles contained within their heart. At the present time, it is true, these consolations are only given in proportion to their troubles. But once happiness has been attained then it will no longer be consolations but delight forever that we shall find at God’s right hand (Ps 15:11). Long for this right hand, my brothers, which embraces us in our whole being. Ardently wish for that happiness in order that the present time may seem short (as indeed it is) by comparison with the greatness of God’s love. “The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory soon to be revealed in us” (Rm 8:18). O happy promise, which we should cling to with all our will.