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Preface of a Saint (1)
God of compassion, who binds up the wounds of your children: Help us, following the example of your servants Damien and Marianne, to be bold and loving in service to all who are shunned for the diseases they suffer, that your grace may be poured forth upon all; through Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
It shall be said,
“Build up, build up, prepare the way,
remove every obstruction from my people’s way.”
For thus says the high and lofty one
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.
For I will not continually accuse,
nor will I always be angry;
for then the spirits would grow faint before me,
even the souls that I have made.
Because of their wicked covetousness I was angry;
I struck them, I hid and was angry;
but they kept turning back to their own ways.
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them;
I will lead them and repay them with comfort,
creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips.
Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord;
and I will heal them.
Benedic, anima mea
13 As a father cares for his children, *
so does the Lord care for those who fear him.
14 For he himself knows whereof we are made; *
he remembers that we are but dust.
15 Our days are like the grass; *
we flourish like a flower of the field;
16 When the wind goes over it, it is gone, *
and its place shall know it no more.
17 But the merciful goodness of the Lord endures for ever on those who fear him, *
and his righteousness on children's children;
18 On those who keep his covenant *
and remember his commandments and do them.
19 The Lord has set his throne in heaven, *
and his kingship has dominion over all.
20 Bless the Lord, you angels of his,
you mighty ones who do his bidding, *
and hearken to the voice of his word.
21 Bless the Lord, all you his hosts, *
you ministers of his who do his will.
22 Bless the Lord, all you works of his,
in all places of his dominion; *
bless the Lord, O my soul.
1 Corinthians 4:9–13
I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, as though sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to mortals. We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we are hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clothed and beaten and homeless, and we grow weary from the work of our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we speak kindly. We have become like the rubbish of the world, the dregs of all things, to this very day.
Now when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and proclaim his message in their cities.
When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”
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