Universalis
Friday 22 May 2015    (other days)
Friday of the 7th week of Eastertide
 or Saint Rita of Cascia

Christ the Lord has promised us the Holy Spirit: come, let us adore him, alleluia.

Year: B(I). Psalm week: 3.

When you were young you walked where you liked
“When you were young
you walked where you liked;
but when you grow old
you will stretch out your hands,
and somebody else will take you where you would rather not go”
Christ’s prophecy seemed to the evangelist to be speaking merely of Peter’s martyrdom, but today it has much more to say to us.
  In the bad old days people died young and they died, on the whole, quickly. In today’s kind world such things are receding into the past. Now we are deprived, one by one, of our faculties and all the achievements that made us adult and made us human. We are taken into hospitals or put into homes and imprisoned there by our weakness. If we are unlucky, we are subjected to systematic humiliation and daily petty cruelty from those who should be caring for us. If we are lucky, the kindness we receive is still a reminder that we are not the proud, independent beings we once were.
  Let us pray for the weak and old and helpless. Let us pray for their carers (ourselves included), that they may lay their frustrations before Jesus and, by his grace, not take them out on those they should be caring for. Let us pray to St Peter that God may allow us to embrace death, like him, before our endurance fails.
Saint Rita of Cascia (1377 - 1447)
She was born near Cascia, in Umbria in Italy. She was married at the age of 12 despite her frequently repeated wish to become a nun. Her husband was rich, quick-tempered and immoral and had many enemies. She endured his insults, abuse and infidelities for 18 years and bore him two sons, who grew to be like him.
  Towards the end of his life she helped to convert her husband to a more pious way of life, but he was stabbed to death by his enemies not long afterwards. He repented before he died and was reconciled to the Church.
  Her sons planned to avenge their father’s death. When Rita’s pleas were unavailing, she prayed that God should take their lives if that was the only way to preserve them from the sin of murder. They died of natural causes a year later.
  Rita asked to join the convent of St Mary Magdalen at Cascia. She was rejected for being a widow, since the convent was for virgins only, and later given the impossible task of reconciling her family with her husband’s murderers. She carried out the task and was allowed to enter the convent at the age of 36. She remained there until her death at the age of 70.
  She is widely honoured as a patron saint of impossible or lost causes.
  See also the article in Wikipedia.

Mid-morning reading (Terce)Acts 2:32,36 ©
God raised this man Jesus to life, and all of us are witnesses to that. For this reason the whole House of Israel can be certain that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.

Noon reading (Sext)Galatians 3:27-28 ©
All baptised in Christ, you have all clothed yourselves in Christ, and there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

Afternoon reading (None)1 Corinthians 5:7-8 ©
Get rid of all the old yeast, and make yourselves into a completely new batch of bread, unleavened as you are meant to be. Christ, our passover, has been sacrificed; let us celebrate the feast, then, by getting rid of all the old yeast of evil and wickedness, having only the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

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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