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Daily Devotion for October 17, 2010
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
I call upon you, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting.
I lift my heart to you, O Lord, to be strengthened for this day. Be with me in all I do, my God; guide me in all my ways.
I will carry some burdens today; some trials will be mine. So I wait for your help, Lord, lest I stumble and fall.
I will do my work, Father, the work begun by your Son. He lives in me and I in him; may his work today be done.
Prayer for Goodness (based on Psalm 1)
Heavenly Father, who has given us the gift of thy law, so that we might know our sin, and thy Son, that we might be forgiven where we fall short. Give me the grace to remember your holy Word, when my surroundings tempt me to confusion and weakness, that I might more nearly approach true obedience to your will. Help me to resist the arguments of the ungodly; let me not be deceived by false beauty; and let me never replace the truth which you have put into my heart with the clever words of men. Through Christ I pray,
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions.
Walk with me, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all who I may meet.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Psalm 119:114-117 (God's Word Translation)
Get away from me, you evildoers, so that I can obey the commandments of my God.
Help me God, as you promised, so that I may live. Do not turn my hope into disappointment.
Hold me, and I will be safe, and I will always respect your laws.
Judith 11:21-23, 12:1-9
Judith Lives in Holofernes' Camp[Judith has flattered Holofernes, and told him falsely that the people of her village had begun to sin against God by eating forbidden foods, and that both God and the senate in Jerusalem would turn them over to him for destruction.]
Her words pleased Holofernes and all his servants; they marveled at her wisdom and exclaimed, "No other woman from one end of the world to the other looks so beautiful and speaks so wisely!"
Then Holofernes said to her: "God has done well in sending you ahead of your people, to bring victory to our arms, and destruction to those who have despised my lord. You are fair to behold, and your words are well spoken. If you do as you have said, your God will be my God; you shall dwell in the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar, and shall be renowned throughout the earth."
Then he ordered them to lead her into the room where his silverware was kept, and bade them set a table for her with his own delicacies to eat and his own wine to drink. But Judith said, "I will not partake of them, lest it be an occasion of sin; but I shall be amply supplied from the things I brought with me."
Holofernes asked her: "But if your provisions give out, where shall we get more of the same to provide for you? None of your people are with us." Judith answered him, "As surely as you, my lord, live, your handmaid will not use up her supplies till the Lord accomplishes by my hand what he has determined."Then the servants of Holofernes led her into the tent, where she slept till midnight. In the night watch just before dawn, she rose and sent this message to Holofernes, "Give orders, my lord, to let your handmaid go out for prayer."
So Holofernes ordered his bodyguard not to hinder her. Thus she stayed in the camp three days. Each night she went out to the ravine of Bethulia, where she washed herself at the spring of the camp. After bathing, she besought the Lord, the God of Israel, to direct her way for the triumph of his people. Then she returned purified to the tent, and remained there until her food was brought to her toward evening.
Notes on the Scripture
Judith, of course, cannot eat the Assyrians' food without breaking the Law. Surprisingly, she handles this problem by telling Holofernes the truth, and he readily acquiesces in allowing her to follow her religious strictures. He even allows her to go out for prayer and a purification washing ritual every morning.