The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness: come, let us adore him.
Year: A(I). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: Green.
|Saint John Eudes (1601 - 1680)|
He was born and died in Normandy. He was ordained priest and spent many years preaching parish missions. He organized a congregation of nuns that grew into the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, dedicated to the care of women rescued from a disorderly life, and a congregation of priests dedicated to the running of seminaries. He was active in encouraging devotion to the Sacred Heart, and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In his time the Church in France was corrupt and in many ways a source of evil rather than grace. The higher clergy were rich and privileged, and enjoyed and guarded their privileges (the country was run, and wars were waged, by a cardinal). The lower clergy were ignorant and the common people were poor, superstitious, and oppressed as much spiritually as materially. To this mix was added the poison of Jansenism, which taught that human nature was corrupt, original sin rampant, and perfection was both necessary for salvation and practically unattainable.
In such circumstances, setting up seminaries to ensure the proper education of priests becomes itself a revolutionary act, and the encouragement of devotion to the Sacred Heart – to the emotional core of Jesus – becomes not a sweet pious platitude but a defiant proclamation that the centre of God’s essence is his love, not condemnation.
Over and over again in the lives of the saints we find the Church sick and corrupt. Perhaps it must always be so, journeying in a fallen world and staffed by sinners who are as fallen as the rest of us and subject to worse temptations. And over and over again we find God’s grace acting through people like St John Eudes. They do not stand outside and complain or run campaigns, they go in and do things, removing the mould of worldly corruption and putting back, bit by bit, the leaven of grace. They will always be needed, until the world ends.
|Saturday memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary|
‘On Saturdays in Ordinary Time when there is no obligatory memorial, an optional memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary is allowed.
‘Saturdays stand out among those days dedicated to the Virgin Mary. These are designated as memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This memorial derives from Carolingian times (9th century), but the reasons for having chosen Saturday for its observance are unknown. While many explanations of this choice have been advanced, none is completely satisfactory from the point of view of the history of popular piety.
‘Whatever its historical origins may be, today the memorial rightly emphasizes certain values to which contemporary spirituality is more sensitive. It is a remembrance of the maternal example and discipleship of the Blessed Virgin Mary who, strengthened by faith and hope, on that “great Saturday” on which Our Lord lay in the tomb, was the only one of the disciples to hold vigil in expectation of the Lord’s resurrection. It is a prelude and introduction to the celebration of Sunday, the weekly memorial of the Resurrection of Christ. It is a sign that the Virgin Mary is continuously present and operative in the life of the Church.’
|Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (2001), §188|
|Other saints: Saint Ezekiel Moreno (1848 - 1906)|
Hel was born in Alfaro in Spain on April 9, 1848. He joined the Recollect Congregation of the Augustinian Order in Monteagudo (Navarra) in 1864. He was sent to the Philippines, where he was ordained in 1871 and where he worked for 15 years. He then returned to Spain to serve as prior in Monteagudo for three years, after which he gave all of his energy to various forms of ministry in Colombia until shortly before his death. He was a leader in the restoration of the Augustinian Recollect Province of La Candelaria in Colombia. In 1899 he became bishop of Pasto.
His life as bishop was not easy due to the horrors of a cruel civil war, a period of rising anticlericalism, and persecution of the Church. Nevertheless, through his simple spirit of openness and rigorous defence of the rights of the Church, he showed himself a faithful pastor whose concern was the well-being of the Church entrusted to his care. Struck by cancer, he returned to Spain at the insistence of his priests in order to receive treatment, and died there at Monteagudo on August 19, 1906 at the age of 58.
He was beatified in 1975, and canonized in the Dominican Republic by Pope John Paul II in 1992 at the close of the 5th Century Celebration of the Evangelization of Latin America.
|Other saints: St Oswin (- 651)|
Hexham & Newcastle
In the political upheaval caused by King Oswald’s death in 641/2, his precarious kingdom of Northumbria disintegrated. This allowed Oswin, a relative of the former king Edwin, to regain control of Deira, its southern part, while Oswald’s half-brother Oswy held on to its northern half, Bernicia. Oswin proved a popular ruler, who worked as successfully with St Aidan as Oswald had. Bede tells us that he was courteous in manner and generous to all, and “among his other qualities of virtue and moderation the greatest was humbleness.” In an effort to consolidate his position against the enemies who had overthrown Oswald, Oswy eventually invaded Deira, conniving at Oswin’s murder, the news of which brought about the death of Aidan twelve days later, in August 651. Oswin, always popularly regarded as a martyr, was later buried at Tynemouth.
The theological virtue of hope is symbolized by the colour green, just as the burning fire of love is symbolized by red. Green is the colour of growing things, and hope, like them, is always new and always fresh. Liturgically, green is the colour of Ordinary Time, the season in which we are being neither especially penitent (in purple) nor overwhelmingly joyful (in white).
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||1 Samuel 15:22 ©|
Is the pleasure of the Lord in holocausts and sacrifices or in obedience to the voice of the Lord? Obedience is better than sacrifice, submissiveness better than the fat of rams.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Galatians 5:26,6:2 ©|
We must stop being conceited, provocative and envious. You should carry each other’s troubles and fulfil the law of Christ.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Micah 6:8 ©|
What is good has been explained to you, man; this is what the Lord asks of you: only this, to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God.