Christ the Lord has promised us the Holy Spirit: come, let us adore him, alleluia.
Year: B(II). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: White.
|Other saints: St Isidore the Farmer (1070 - 1130)|
Philippines, United States
He was born near Madrid to very poor parents. He was a labourer and later a bailiff on the estates of a landowner called Juan de Vargas. He was noted for his piety. He died on 15 May 1130.
The biographical sources are unreliable, being essentially a catalogue of miracles. There is no reason, however, to doubt that he was a saint: devotion to him started shortly after his death, when many people who had known him were still alive. He is patron saint of Madrid.
|Other saints: Saint Carthage (c.555 - 637)|
He is also known as Mochuda. He was born in what is now County Kerry, in Ireland. After being a swineherd he joined a monastery and was ordained a priest. In 580 he determined to lead a hermit’s life, but after a few years his hermitage had become a place of pilgrimage and he was expelled from it by the local abbots or bishops. After some time spent travelling and founding churches, he settled at Rahan near Tullamore and in 590 set up a monastery, composing a rule for his monks to follow. In 635 Carthage and his monks were expelled from Rahan at the instigation of jealous neighbours. He founded a new monastery at Lismore, and was the first bishop of the town that grew up round it. See the article in Wikipedia
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: St Basil the Great (330 - 379)|
St Basil the Great, or Basil of Caesarea, was one of the three men known as the Cappadocian Fathers. The others are his younger brother, St Gregory of Nyssa, and St Gregory Nazianzen. They were active after the Council of Nicaea, working to formulate Trinitarian doctrine precisely and, in particular, to pin down the meaning and role of the least humanly comprehensible member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Basil was the leader and organizer; Gregory of Nazianzus was the thinker, the orator, the poet, pushed into administrative and episcopal roles by circumstances and by Basil; and Gregory of Nyssa, Basil’s brother, although not a great stylist, was the most gifted of the three as a philosopher and theologian. Together, the Cappadocian Fathers hammered out the doctrine of the Trinity like blacksmiths forging a piece of metal by hammer-blows into its perfect, destined shape. They were champions – and successful champions – of orthodoxy against Arianism, a battle that had to be conducted as much on the worldly and political plane as on the philosophical and theological one.
In addition to his role in doctrinal development, Basil is also the father of Eastern monasticism. He moderated the heroic ascetic practices that were characteristic of earlier monastic life, to the point where they could be part of a life in which work, prayer and ascetic practices could be in harmonious balance. Knowledge of Basil’s work and Rule spread to the West and was an influence on the founding work of St Benedict.
The works of Basil that appear in the Second Readings are mostly from his works on the Holy Spirit, but there are also extracts from his monastic Rule.
White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Acts 4:11-12 ©|
This Jesus is ‘the stone rejected by you the builders, but which has proved to be the keystone.’ For of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.
|Noon reading (Sext)||(1 Peter 3:21-22) ©|
Now you are saved by baptism. This is not the washing off of physical dirt but a pledge made to God from a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has entered heaven and is at God’s right hand.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Colossians 3:1-2 ©|
Since you have been brought back to true life with Christ, you must look for the things that are in heaven, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. Let your thoughts be on heavenly things, not on the things that are on the earth.