Universalis
Thursday 11 March 2021    (other days)
Thursday of the 3rd week of Lent 
 (optional commemoration of Blessed John Larke, Priest and Martyr)

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us. Come, let us adore him.
Or: O that today you would listen to his voice: harden not your hearts.

Year: B(I). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: Violet.

Other saints: Saint Aengus (- 824)

Ireland
He was born near Clonenagh and educated there at the monastic school founded there by St Fintan, not far from the present town of Mountrath. He lived for some time as a hermit and then joined the monastery of Tallaght, near Dublin, under St Maelruain. He was a co-author of a martyrology (written in 790 and the oldest in Ireland) and wrote a long poem, the Feliré, or Festology of the Saints, which he finished in about 805. After St Maelruain’s death he returned to his hermitage, where he died on 11 March 824. See the article in Wikipedia.

Other saints: St Constantine (6th century)

Argyll & the Isles
St Constantine has been revered at Govan since time immemorial and there is no reason to doubt that the tradition was based on a real person. But attempts to construct a biography for him have to depend purely on occasional references in chronicles, and there is always the risk of tripping over the problem of “someone else of the same name”. This will happen to all of us eventually: in the year 1,000,000 AD, will anyone be sure of the difference between Thomas More and Thomas Becket, who were both martyred by kings called Henry?
  A Constantine was converted to Christianity (Annals of Ulster, 588). A Constantine appears in the Breviary of Aberdeen as entering a monastery in Ireland incognito before joining Saint Mungo (alias Kentigern) and becoming a missionary to the Picts. He is probably the same man. This Constantine was martyred in Scotland about 576 and John of Fordun tells how he was buried at Govan, where his shrine can still be seen today. He is probably not the Saint Constantine of Devon and Cornwall, and certainly not the King Constantine of Dumnonia (south-western Britain) mentioned unfavourably by the chronicler Gildas. The fact that there were separate tribes of Dumnonii in the south-west and in Scotland merely serves to make things even more interesting. But – at the risk of upsetting historians – the only thing that matters to us is that the Constantine we celebrate today has been revered as a saint continuously for a millennium and a half. When all the facts about us are lost, may we also be worthy to be remembered.

About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:

Second Reading: Tertullian (c.155 - c.240)

Tertullian was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. Like St Augustine of Hippo some two centuries later, he was of Berber origin. His is the first substantial body of Christian writing in Latin, the language of the western Roman Empire. He played an important part in the shaping of Christian doctrine, which is to say, taking what happened in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and working on understanding it, making sense of it, even inventing the words with which to make sense of it – such as “Trinity”. He was a noted apologist, or explainer of the faith to non-Christians, and in a predominantly pagan world he was insistent against diluting Christianity by compromise with paganism. He eventually found the Catholic Church too lax in its ways and too ready (for example) to forgive those who had apostasized in time of persecution, and he joined the puritan Montanist sect. Nevertheless, his work was an important step in the hammering out of doctrine and St Cyprian referred to him simply as “the Master”.

Liturgical colour: violet

Violet is a dark colour, ‘the gloomy cast of the mortified, denoting affliction and melancholy’. Liturgically, it is the colour of Advent and Lent, the seasons of penance and preparation.

Mid-morning reading (Terce)Isaiah 55:6-7 ©
Seek the Lord while he is still to be found, call to him while he is still near. Let the wicked man abandon his way, the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn back to the Lord who will take pity on him, to our God who is rich in forgiving.

Noon reading (Sext)Deuteronomy 30:2-3 ©
If you return to the Lord your God, if you obey his voice with all your heart and soul in everything I enjoin on you today, you and your children, then the Lord your God will bring back your captives and will have pity on you.

Afternoon reading (None)Hebrews 10:35-36 ©
Continue to have confidence, since the reward is so great. You will need endurance to do God’s will and gain what he has promised.
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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