Friday, March 13, 2009

Psalm 70: A Prayer for the Pope

From over a decade using the modern Divine Office, I'm familiar with the following Grail Version of Psalm 70(71), which bears repeating as a prayer for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, beset as he is by so many enemies, even among those who should be accounted his friends:

Psalm 70(71)

In you, O Lord, I take refuge; *
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, free me: *
pay heed to me and save me.

Be a rock where I can take refuge, †
a mighty stronghold to save me; *
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
Free me from the hand of the wicked, *
from the grip of the unjust, of the oppressor.

It is you, O Lord, who are my hope, *
my trust, O Lord, since my youth.
On you I have leaned from my birth, †
from my mother’s womb you have been my help. *
My hope has always been in you.

My fate has filled many with awe *
but you are my strong refuge.
My lips are filled with your praise, *
with your glory all the day long.
Do not reject me now that I am old; *
when my strength fails do not forsake me.

For my enemies are speaking about me; *
those who watch me take counsel together
saying: “God has forsaken him; follow him, *
seize him; there is no one to save him.”
O God, do not stay far off: *
my God, make haste to help me!

Let them be put to shame and destroyed, *
all those who seek my life.
Let them be covered with shame and confusion, *
All those who seek to harm me.

But as for me, I will always hope *
and praise you more and more.
My lips will tell of your justice †
and day by day of your help *
(though I can never tell it all).

I will declare the Lord’s mighty deeds *
proclaiming your justice, yours alone.
O God, you have taught me from my youth *
and I proclaim your wonders still.

Now that I am old and grey-headed, *
do not forsake me, God.
Let me tell of your power to all ages, *
praise your strength and justice to the skies,
tell of you who have worked such wonders. *
O God, who is like you?

You have burdened me with bitter troubles *
but you will give me back my life.
You will raise me from the depths of the earth; *
you will exalt me and console me again.

So I will give you thanks on the lyre *
for your faithful love, my God.
To you will I sing with the harp, *
to you, the Holy One of Israel.
When I sing to you my lips shall rejoice *
and my soul, which you have redeemed.

And all the day long my tongue *
shall tell the tale of your justice:
for they are put to shame and disgraced, *
all those who seek to harm me.

Glory be…

To this may be added with profit the following preces and orationes:

Ant. You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven.  (Mt 16:18a)

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Our Father…
V/. Let us pray for our most blessed Pope Benedict, (that our God and Lord, who chose him for the order of the episcopacy, may preserve him in health and safety for the good of his holy Church, to govern the holy people of God).
R/. The Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. (Ps 40(41):3)
V/. May your hand be on the man you have chosen.
R/. The man you have given your strength. (Ps 79(80):18)

Let us pray.

O God, the shepherd and ruler of all the faithful, look down favourably upon your servant Benedict, whom you have been pleased to appoint pastor of your Church; grant, we beseech you, that he may benefit by word and example those over whom he is set, and thus, together with the flock committed to his care, attain unto life eternal. 
Almighty everlasting God, who alone work great wonders, send down upon your servant Benedict our Pope, and upon all the congregations committed to his charge, the spirit of your saving grace; and that they may truly please you, pour upon them the continual dew of your blessing. 
Almighty, everlasting God, have mercy on your servant, our Pope Benedict, and guide him according to your clemency along the path of eternal salvation, so that by your gift he may desire those things that are pleasing to you and with all his strength accomplish them. Through Christ our Lord. R/. Amen.

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