Prayer for the Evening
The Shepherd has gone before us into the valley of death and has returned to lead his flock home:
come, let us adore him!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia!
O bless the Lord, my soul!
His grace to you proclaim!
And all that is within me join
To bless his holy name!
O bless the Lord, my soul!
His mercies bear in mind!
Forget not all his benefits!
The Lord to you is kind.
He pardons all your sins,
Prolongs your feeble breath;
He heals all your infirmities
And ransoms you from death.
He clothes you with his love,
Upholds you with his truth;
And like the eagle he renews
The vigor of your youth.
PSALM 37:23-28a, 29-31, 39-40
Because of his love and pity/ he redeemed them himself,/ Lifting them and carrying them/ all the days of old. (Is 63:9)
The Prophet Isaiah contrasts the idols, who demand to be carried in procession by their followers, with the loving, compassionate God who lifts and carries his people safely through all the dangerous and frightening passages of life. Let us look honestly at what burdens us and what frees us.
The Lord guides the steps of a man
and makes safe the path of one he loves.
Though he stumble he shall never fall
for the Lord holds him by the hand.
I was young and now I am old,
but I have never seen the just man forsaken
nor his children begging for bread.
All the day he is generous and lends
and his children become a blessing.
Then turn away from evil and do good
and you shall have a home for ever;
for the Lord loves justice
and will never forsake his friends.
The just shall inherit the land;
there they shall live for ever.
The just man’s mouth utters wisdom
and his lips speak what is right;
the law of his God is in his heart,
his steps shall be saved from stumbling.
The salvation of the just comes from the Lord,
their stronghold in time of distress.
The Lord helps them and delivers them
and saves them: for their refuge is in him.
Glory to the Father….
Word of God (Isaiah 40:10-11)
Here comes with power/ the Lord God,/ who rules by his strong arm;/ Here is his reward with him,/ his recompense before him./ Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;/ in his arms he gathers the lambs,/ Carrying them in his bosom,/ and leading the ewes with care.
The Lord is my shepherd;/
there is nothing I shall want. (Ps 23:1)
CANTICLE OF MARY
You saw how the Lord, your God, carried you, as a man carries his child, all along your journey until you arrived at this place. (Dt 1:31)
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.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father…
To Christ our Good Shepherd we pray:
R/Hear our cry, our appeal.
You came in search of the last, the least, and the lost:
– carry your needy ones to safety. R/
You chose the company of the poor, the outcast,
– heed the pleading of those who do not know the words of prayer. R/
You shielded humanity from the blows of evil by taking them upon yourself:
– defend those who are abused, abandoned, and oppressed. R/
You gave your life that all might live:
– raise to new life those who have died. R/
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with us. Amen. (cf. 1 Cor 16:23)
Antiphon for the Feast of the Nativity
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
With joy let us celebrate the nativity of blessed Mary,
that she may intercede for us
before the Lord Jesus Christ.
Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae;
vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Evae.
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia ergo, advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos
ad nos converte.
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.
Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy,
our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To you do we cry,
poor banished children of Eve.
To you do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, O most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us,
and after this our exile
show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
V/ Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
R/ That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.