The Lord is a great king: come, let us adore him.
Year: B(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Green.
|Other saints: St Adrian of Canterbury (d. 710)|
Feeling called to the monastic life, Adrian left his native North Africa and joined the Benedictines in Italy. Renowned for his scholarship and holiness, he was elected abbot of his monastery and later nominated archbishop of Canterbury. Out of humility he declined the appointment to archbishop, but volunteered to go to England as a missionary. He endured various trials and even imprisonment on his journey to Canterbury, since he was taken for a spy. Once in England, he was appointed abbot of the monastery of Sts Peter and Paul where he lived for 39 years, actively involved in preaching and education. He died in 710.
|Other saints: St Andrew Corsini (c.1315-1374)|
9 Jan (where celebrated)
Andrew was born into nobility, a member of the powerful Corsini family of Florence, and was one of 12 children. He joined the Carmelite community at the Carmine on the southern bank of the Arno sometime before the year 1338. This community was known for its sanctity and regular observance amidst a more tumultuous environment of religious life in the early Renaissance period. After completing his studies in Florence he was teacher of the younger students in the community.
During the 1348 general chapter at Metz, he was made Tuscan provincial and briefly lead the province through the ravages of the Black Death that was to claim over 100 Carmelites. This election was short-lived because in October 1349 Pope Clement VI nominated him to be bishop of Fiesole, a town about 5 miles north-east of Florence. Taking up his episcopal duties in March of the following year, Andrew was faced not only with the consequences of the Black Death, but also with a diocese that had been neglected by his predecessors. The diocesan bishops of Fiesole had not lived in the diocese for over a century leaving the cathedral and diocese to fall into ruin. Andrew moved swiftly to repair the material and spiritual damage to his diocese, working tirelessly to rebuild the cathedral, restore parish churches, and improve the moral life of his priests.
Andrew went about establishing a small religious community around him, disbanding the large Episcopal entourage and reducing the number of house servants to six. He also invited two friars from the Carmine to live with him in community. He considered himself the “father and helper of the poor” and devoted special care to the sick in the wake of the devastation brought about by the plague. He was also an eloquent preacher of reconciliation, and a successful peacemaker in Fiesole, Florence, Prato and Pistoia.
After his death in January 1374, Andrew was venerated in Fiesole and Florence as a devout religious and an outstanding bishop whose life demonstrated the pattern for a true shepherd of the Christ’s people.
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.
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)||Jeremiah 17:7-8 ©|
A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord, with the Lord for his hope. He is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream: when the heat comes it feels no alarm, its foliage stays green; it has no worries in a year of drought, and never ceases to bear fruit.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Proverbs 3:13-15 ©|
Happy the man who discovers wisdom, the man who gains discernment: gaining her is more rewarding than silver, more profitable than gold. She is beyond the price of pearls, nothing you could covet is her equal.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Job 5:17-18 ©|
Happy indeed the man whom God corrects! So do not refuse this lesson from the Omnipotent: for he who wounds is he who soothes the sore, and the hand that hurts is the hand that heals.