Every day, we will post a few brief prayers inspired by the Liturgy of the Hours.
O Lord, open my lips. And my mouth shall declare your praise.
Canticle Revelation 4:11; 5:9, 10, 12
O Lord our God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power. For you have created all things; by your will they came to be and were made. Worthy are you, O Lord, to receive the scroll and break open its seals. For you were slain; with your blood you purchased for God men of every race and tongue, of every people and nation. You made of them a kingdom, and priests to serve our God, and they shall reign on the earth. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and praise.
Reading: From a writing by St. Vincent de Paul
Since Christ willed to be born poor, he chose for himself disciples who were poor. He made himself the servant of the poor and shared their poverty. He went so far as to say that he would consider every deed which either helps or harms the poor as done for or against himself. Since God surely loves the poor, he also loves those who love the poor. For when one person holds another dear, he also includes in his affection anyone who loves or serves the one he loves. That is why we hope that God will love us for the sake of the poor. So when we visit the poor and needy, we try to understand the poor and weak. We sympathize with them so fully that we can echo Paul’s words: I have become all things to all men. Therefore, we must try to be stirred by our neighbors’ worries and distress. We must beg God to pour into our hearts sentiments of pity and compassion and to fill them again and again with these dispositions. It is our duty to prefer the service of the poor to everything else and to offer such service as quickly as possible. If a needy person requires medicine or other help during prayer time, do whatever has to be done with peace of mind. Offer the deed to God as your prayer. Do not become upset or feel guilty because you interrupted your prayer to serve the poor. God is not neglected if you leave him for such service. One of God’s works is merely interrupted so that another can be carried out. So when you leave prayer to serve some poor person, remember that this very service is performed for God. Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity. Since she is a noble mistress, we must do whatever she commands. With renewed devotion, then, we must serve the poor, especially outcasts and beggars. They have been given to us as our masters and patrons.
The Canticle of Mary
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, My spirit rejoices in God, my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
Help us not to judge others. Lord hear our prayer! Give us courage to preach the Good News to the poor. Lord hear our prayer! Bless our efforts to serve you in others. Lord hear our prayer!
Dear Jesus, You called St. Vincent de Paul to serve the poor. May we be zealous in serving our brothers and sisters in need and so serve you. We ask the Father for this in your name in union with the Holy Spirit. Amen.