Universalis
Friday 1 August 2014    (other days)
Saint Alphonsus Mary de Liguori, Bishop, Doctor
 (Friday of week 17 in Ordinary Time)

The Lord is the source of all wisdom: come, let us adore him

Year: A(II). Psalm week: 1.

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696 - 1787)
He was a Neapolitan lawyer who lost a court case in a spectacular fashion, when it turned out that a key document in his case had been misinterpreted by him and in fact proved his opponent’s case instead. He immediately left the law and studied for the priesthood. But God is not proud, and accepts people even on the rebound: Alphonsus became a priest.
  He preached in the rural districts around Naples, and it was his boast that he never delivered a sermon that the poorest old woman in the congregation could not understand. His bishop asked him to establish an order of missionaries to work in the countryside, and the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists) was formally established in 1749.
  He was a bishop from 1762 to 1775, insisting on the dignified and unhurried celebration of the Mass and the firm treatment of persistent wrongdoers.
  The Redemptorists proved to be a quarrelsome congregation: their formal establishment had been delayed by more than a decade because of internal dissension. After his retirement Alphonsus had to try to make peace within the congregation. Unfortunately his old failing returned and he signed a new Constitution for the Redemptorists without reading it properly (though, to be fair to him, he was 80 and in poor health at the time). The result was that the Redemptorists split into two separate congregations, both of whom rejected Alphonsus: peace was not restored until some time after his death.
  Nevertheless, in spite of all this storm and trouble, Alphonsus lived an exceptionally holy life. He was also an outstanding moral theologian, and won back sinners to the fold by patience and moderation. His work needs to be better known today, when there seems to be no rational middle course between puritanism and permissiveness.
  See the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

Mid-morning reading (Terce)Philippians 2:2-4 ©
Be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and a common mind. There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself, so that nobody thinks of his own interests first but everybody thinks of other people’s interests instead.

Noon reading (Sext)2 Corinthians 13:4 ©
He was crucified through weakness, but still he lives now through the power of God. So then, we are weak, as he was, but we shall live with him, through the power of God, for your benefit.

Afternoon reading (None)Colossians 3:12-13 ©
You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same.

Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
 
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