Cry out with joy to God, all the earth: serve the Lord with gladness.
Year: A(I). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: Green.
|St Rose of Lima (1586 - 1617)|
She was born in Lima, in Peru. She lived a life of selflessness and devotion from an early age. She refused to marry, and became a Dominican tertiary at the age of 20. Her asceticism and her intense spiritual experiences excited the criticism of her friends and family and the suspicion of the Church authorities.
She cared for the sick, the poor, Indians, and slaves.
She was the first person in the Americas to be canonized, and is a patron saint of South America.
|Other saints: Saint Eugene (- c.618)|
Eoghan or Eugene of Ardstraw was a native of Leinster, and, after presiding over the Abbey of Kilnamanagh (Co. Wicklow) for fifteen years, settled in the valley of Mourne (Co. Tyrone), his mother’s country, about the year 576. He was followed by many disciples. He was consecrated first Bishop of Ardstraw in about 581. His name is generally latinised as Eugenius, but the Irish form is Eoghan (Owen), hence Tir Eoghain, or Tyrone.
|Other saints: St John Wall (1620-1679)|
John Wall was born 1620 near Preston in Lancashire. He was the son of wealthy and staunch Lancashire Catholics. He was sent to Douai for his schooling. He enrolled at the English College in Rome in 1641 (as John Marsh, one of various aliases he used during his ministry), was ordained priest in 1645 and sent to the English mission in 1648. In 1651 he received the Fransiscan habit at St Bonaventure’s Friary, Douai. He returned to England some years later, and worked as a priest for more than twenty years, mainly based at Harvington Hall in Worcestershire. He was arrested in December 1678 during the flurry following the Titus Oates Plot, at Rushock Court near Bromsgrove, where the sheriff’s man came to seek a debtor. Once it was clear that he was a priest, he was ordered to take the Oath of Supremacy; on refusing to do so he was committed to Worcester. He was tried on the charges of receiving and exercising his priesthood, and of refusing the oaths. He was duly sentenced to death, and sent to London. On being sentenced he said: “Thanks be to God; God save the King; and I beseech God to bless your lordship and all this honourable bench” Under further questioning he was offered his life if he would abjure his religion. He later wrote: “I told them I would not buy my life at so dear a rate as to wrong my conscience.” He was brought back to Worcester, and was executed at Redhill. His quartered body was given to his friends, and was buried in St Oswald’s churchyard. The long speech he composed for his execution was circulated among Catholics after his death; and the authorities issued as a broadsheet the public account of his execution containing “a true copy of the speech…with animadversions upon the same”.
|Other saints: Saint John Wall (1620-1679)|
John Wall came from a Norfolk gentry family but was born in Lancashire in 1620. His parents were fervent Catholics and sent him, when he was thirteen, to Douai College in northern France; from there he went to the English College in Rome and was ordained priest at 25. He then joined the Franciscan Order at the friary at Douai. When he was 36 he was sent secretly to England to work as a priest in Worcestershire. For 22 years he ministered to Catholics, moving from place to place, often using an assumed name to avoid capture. In 1678 he was arrested at Rushock Court near Bromsgrove as part of the scare caused by the fictitious “Popish Plot”. He was condemned to death at the Worcester Spring Assizes in 1679 and was hanged, drawn and quartered on Red Hill at Worcester on 22 August 1679. In his speech at the gallows he said: “I will offer my life in satisfaction for my sins and for the Catholic cause. I beseech God... to turn our captivity into joy; that they who sow in tears may reap in joy”. He was canonised by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: St Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)|
Augustine was born in Thagaste in Africa of a Berber family. He was brought up a Christian but left the Church early and spent a great deal of time seriously seeking the truth, first in the Manichaean heresy, which he abandoned on seeing how nonsensical it was, and then in Neoplatonism, until at length, through the prayers of his mother and the teaching of St Ambrose of Milan, he was converted back to Christianity and baptized in 387, shortly before his mother’s death.
Augustine had a brilliant legal and academic career, but after his conversion he returned home to Africa and led an ascetic life. He was elected Bishop of Hippo and spent 34 years looking after his flock, teaching them, strengthening them in the faith and protecting them strenuously against the errors of the time. He wrote an enormous amount and left a permanent mark on both philosophy and theology. His Confessions, as dazzling in style as they are deep in content, are a landmark of world literature. The Second Readings in the Office of Readings contain extracts from many of his sermons and commentaries and also from the Confessions.
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 Corinthians 10:24,31 ©|
Nobody should be looking for his own advantage, but everybody for the other man’s. Whatever you eat, whatever you drink, whatever you do at all, do it for the glory of God.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Colossians 3:17 ©|
Never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Colossians 3:23-24 ©|
Whatever your work is, put your heart into it as if it were for the Lord and not for men, knowing that the Lord will repay you by making you his heirs. It is Christ the Lord that you are serving.
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Office of Readings for Wednesday of week 20
Morning Prayer for Wednesday of week 20
Evening Prayer for Wednesday of week 20
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