Saturday 3 July

O God, the protector of all who trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
increase and multiply upon us your mercy;
that with you as our ruler and guide
we may so pass through things temporal
that we lose not our hold on things eternal;
grant this, heavenly Father,
for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Ecclesiasticus 2
My child, when you come to serve the Lord,
   prepare yourself for testing.
 Set your heart right and be steadfast,
   and do not be impetuous in time of calamity.
 Cling to him and do not depart,
   so that your last days may be prosperous.
 Accept whatever befalls you,
   and in times of humiliation be patient.
 For gold is tested in the fire,
   and those found acceptable, in the furnace of humiliation.
 Trust in him, and he will help you;
   make your ways straight, and hope in him.
 You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy;
   do not stray, or else you may fall.
 You who fear the Lord, trust in him,
   and your reward will not be lost.
 You who fear the Lord, hope for good things,
   for lasting joy and mercy.
 Consider the generations of old and see:
   has anyone trusted in the Lord and been disappointed?
Or has anyone persevered in the fear of the Lord and been forsaken?
   Or has anyone called upon him and been neglected?
 For the Lord is compassionate and merciful;
   he forgives sins and saves in time of distress.
 Woe to timid hearts and to slack hands,
   and to the sinner who walks a double path!
 Woe to the faint-hearted who have no trust!
   Therefore they will have no shelter.
 Woe to you who have lost your nerve!
   What will you do when the Lord’s reckoning comes?
 Those who fear the Lord do not disobey his words,
   and those who love him keep his ways.
 Those who fear the Lord seek to please him,
   and those who love him are filled with his law.
 Those who fear the Lord prepare their hearts,
   and humble themselves before him.
 Let us fall into the hands of the Lord,
   but not into the hands of mortals;
for equal to his majesty is his mercy,
   and equal to his name are his works.

Psalm 92
    It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord
   and to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
    To tell of your love early in the morning
   and of your faithfulness in the night-time,
    Upon the ten-stringed instrument, upon the harp,
   and to the melody of the lyre.
    For you, Lord, have made me glad by your acts,
   and I sing aloud at the works of your hands.
    O Lord, how glorious are your works!
   Your thoughts are very deep.
    The senseless do not know,
   nor do fools understand,
    That though the wicked sprout like grass
   and all the workers of iniquity flourish,
    It is only to be destroyed for ever;
   but you, O Lord, shall be exalted for evermore.
    For lo, your enemies, O Lord,
      lo, your enemies shall perish,
   and all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
      But my horn you have exalted
      like the horns of wild oxen;
   I am anointed with fresh oil.
      My eyes will look down on my foes;
   my ears shall hear the ruin of the evildoers
      who rise up against me.
      The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
   and shall spread abroad like a cedar of Lebanon.
      Such as are planted in the house of the Lord
   shall flourish in the courts of our God.
      They shall still bear fruit in old age;
   they shall be vigorous and in full leaf;
      That they may show that the Lord is true;
   he is my rock,
      and there is no unrighteousness in him.