Saint Sharbel Makhlūf
Prayer for the Morning
God is in our midst, a mighty savior:
come, let us adore!
Glory to the Father…. Alleluia!
All who seek to know and serve God,
See the past and understand:
None who hoped were disappointed;
Rich the blessings from God’s hand!
None who waited were forsaken;
None who trusted were deceived.
All who asked his gracious pardon,
Gentle mercy have received.
If our God does not condemn us,
Who against us then will stand?
Will the Lord who died for sinners,
Who is now at God’s right hand?
What could take us from Christ Jesus?
Neither hunger, sword, nor pain!
Neither life nor death shall part us
From the Lamb for us once slain.
At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it. (Heb 12:11)
Our sins can weigh us down with discouragement. Saint Ignatius of Loyola tells us that discouragement is never from God because it clouds faith and hope. God’s love does not deal in punishment as human vengeance does. God’s love disciplines us in order to free and purify us—sometimes a painful process—so that we may not die but live in Christ.
Set me free from all my sins,
do not make me the taunt of the fool.
I was silent, not opening my lips,
because this was all your doing.
Take away your scourge from me.
I am crushed by the blows of your hand.
You punish man’s sins and correct him;
like the moth you devour all he treasures.
Mortal man is no more than a breath;
O Lord, hear my prayer.
O Lord, turn your ear to my cry.
Do not be deaf to my tears.
In your house I am a passing guest,
a pilgrim, like all my fathers.
Look away that I may breathe again
before I depart to be no more.
Glory to the Father….
Word of God (Zephaniah 3:16-18)
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:/ Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!/ The Lord, your God, is in your midst,/ a mighty savior;/ He will rejoice over you with gladness,/ and renew you in his love,/ He will sing joyfully because of you,/ as one sings at festivals./ I will remove disaster from among you,/ so that none may recount your disgrace.
Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid. (Mt 14:27)
CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH
My soul, give thanks to the Lord,/ all my being, bless his holy name. (Ps 103:1)
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet
of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory to the Father…
Mindful of God’s saving love for us, we pray:
R/Have mercy on your people, Lord.
You are the potter and we the clay:
– shape us in your image according to your will. R/
You are the shepherd and we the flock:
– seek out those who have strayed from your ways. R/
You are the host and we the guests at your table:
– feed the hungry of spirit with the bread of your loving forgiveness. R/
God of mercy and compassion, you brought about the salvation of the world through the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Have mercy on us when we fail to live the new life you have given us; raise us up when our sinfulness sinks us into discouragement; grant us courage to renew our desire to live according to your will, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.