Indeed, how good is the Lord: bless his holy name.
Year: B(II). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: Green.
Other saints: Blessed Titus Brandsma (1881 - 1942)
He was born in Bolsward in the Netherlands. He was baptized Anno Sjoerd Brandsma. He joined the Carmelites in 1898 and took the religious name Titus. He was a professor of philosophy and active in journalism. He was vehemently opposed to Nazi ideology and spoke out against it many times before the Second World War. He was arrested in January 1942, when he tried to persuade Dutch Catholic newspapers not to print Nazi propaganda (as was required by the law of the Nazi German occupiers). He had also drawn up the Pastoral Letter, read in all Catholic parishes, by which the Dutch Roman Catholic bishops officially condemned the German anti-Semitic measures and the deportation of the first Jews. After this Pastoral Letter, the first few thousand Jews to be deported from the Netherlands were all Jewish converts to Roman Catholicism, including St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). Titus Brandsma was killed by lethal injection in Dachau on July 26, 1942.
Other saints: Bl Titus Brandsma (1881-1942)
Titus was born in Bolsward, Holland on the 23rd February 1881. He joined the Carmelites in Boxmeer at the age of seventeen and was ordained a priest in 1905. Following his ordination, he went to Rome and studied for a doctorate in philosophy at the Gregorian Pontifical University, which he was awarded in 1909. Returning to Holland, Titus pursued the career of a teacher and writer. He taught at a numbers of schools before taking on the position of Professor of Philosophy and the History of Mysticism at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, where he was later appointed Rector Magnificus in 1932.
Underlying his career as a teacher and writer was his deeply personal search for the God of Jesus who was the centre of his life. He lived out this mission in a practical ways giving to all who needed his help. It was from this deep relationship and conviction that he would argue against the National Socialist ideology, as Holland came under Nazi occupation. As adviser to the Bishops on the Catholic Press, Titus defended the right to freedom of education and of the Catholic Press. Titus believed such freedoms were implicit to the message of the Gospel. His strong and sustained prophetic stance against Nazi ideology ultimately led to his arrest in January 1942. Amidst the suffering of his imprisonment, prisoners and jailers spoke of his ability to bring an awareness of peace amidst the horror of the prison camps. Eventually Titus was transferred to Dachau where he was killed by lethal injection on the 26th July 1942. The witness of his life is an example of prophetic action arising from a commitment to the Gospel and revealing the merciful presence of God, even in the most horrific of times.
Other saints: Blessed Robert Sutton (1545-1588)
Robert Sutton was born at Burton-on-Trent in 1545, the son of a carpenter. He studied at Christ Church, Oxford, and was ordained in the Established Church, becoming Rector of Lutterworth in Leicestershire. He was converted to Catholicism in 1577 through the influence of his younger brother; they were both ordained at the English College at Douai in France, together with a third brother. In 1578 Robert returned to England and worked for ten years, saying Mass secretly in the houses of Catholic families in various places. He was arrested in Stafford in 1588 and was hanged, drawn and quartered there on 27 July of that year. Before execution, he made a speech about the candle which is given at baptism and in the hour of death, and he held up his handkerchief in remembrance of it, saying that he lived and died in the light of the Catholic faith. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1987.
Other saints: Bl. Rudolph Acquaviva & Companions (- 1583)
Goa & Daman
Blessed Rodolfo Aquaviva was an Italian Jesuit. He joined a mission to India in 1578. After teaching at St Paul’s College in Goa he was sent to the court of the Emperor Akbar the Great (ruled 1556-1605). As the ruler of a diverse empire Akbar sought to promote harmony and organized debates on questions of religion between Hindus, Muslims and Christians. However, the Jesuit mission itself seemed to be a failure (other than as an intellectual spectacle) and Acquaviva returned to Goa. Upon his return he led a mission to the Hindu Kshatriyas of Salcette, south of Goa, with four companions, Father Pacheco, Father Berno, Father Francisco and Brother Aranha. The local villagers attacked them and killed them in July 1583.
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.
Liturgical colour: green
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)||Romans 12:17,19-20,21 ©|
Never repay evil with evil. As scripture says: Vengeance is mine – I will pay them back, says the Lord. But there is more: If your enemy is hungry, you should give him food, and if he is thirsty, let him drink. Resist evil and conquer it with good.
|Noon reading (Sext)||1 John 3:16 ©|
This has taught us love – that he gave up his life for us; and we, too, ought to give up our lives for our brothers.
|Afternoon reading (None)||1 John 4:9-11 ©|
God’s love for us was revealed when God sent into the world his only Son so that we could have life through him; this is the love I mean: not our love for God, but God’s love for us when he sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away. My dear people, since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another.