We shall pray without ceasing to the Creator of all things, and beg him to preserve the number of his elect throughout the whole world, through his beloved son Jesus Christ, and not let a single one of them fall away.
Through him you called us from darkness into light and gave us the knowledge of the glory of your name.
He taught us to hope in you, from whom all creation has its being. He opened our eyes so that we would recognise you, most high among the highest, holy and surrounded by holiness. You put an end to the pride of the arrogant, you frustrate the plans of the gentiles, you raise up the lowly and bring down those who are exalted. You give riches and give poverty, you dispense both death and life. You succour every spirit, you are the God of all flesh. You behold what is hidden in the depths, you see all that men do. You give help to those in peril and rescue to those without hope. You create all that has breath and watch over it; you multiply the peoples of the earth, and from among them you choose those who love you through Jesus Christ your beloved Son, through whom you give us wisdom, holiness, and honour.
We beg you, Lord, to be our help and our support. Free us from our troubles; take pity on the lowly; raise up those who have fallen; give help to the poor, health to the sick, and bring home those who have wandered away. Feed the hungry, ransom captives, give strength to the weak and courage to the faint-hearted. Let all peoples come to know that you alone are God, that Jesus Christ is your son, and that we are your people and the sheep of your flock.
For by your acts you made visible the everlasting structure of the Universe and set the Earth on its foundations. For all generations you have been faithful and just in your judgements, and wonderful in your power and majesty. Wisely you have created, and wisely you have kept things in being. All that we see shows your goodness; to all who trust in you, you are faithful, kind, and merciful. Forgive us our wickednesses and injustices, our sins and our transgressions.
Do not weigh down your servants with the burden of their sins, but purify us and direct the paths we take so that we go forward in purity and innocence of heart, so that all that we do is good and acceptable to you and to those who lead us.
Come, Lord, let your face shine upon us so that we may peacefully enjoy all good things. May your powerful hand be a roof over our heads and may your strength preserve us from all wrongdoing. Free us, Lord, from those who hate us without cause. Give peace and harmony to us and to all the inhabitants of the Earth, as you gave them to our fathers who called on you with trust and faith.
You alone can give us these gifts and confer these favours on us. We put our trust in you through Jesus Christ, our high priest, the guardian of our souls. Through him be glory and majesty to you now and through all generations until the end of time. Amen.
This excerpt from St. Clement’s First Letter to the Corinthians (Nn. 59, 2-60, 4; 61, 3) is used in the Roman Office of Readings for Monday in the 1st week in ordinary time. St. Clement of Rome was one of the earliest of the Church Fathers who likely had personal contact with Peter and Paul before their death at the hands of the emperor Nero. Such writers are called the Apostolic Fathers.