Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us. Come, let us adore him.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Violet.
In other years: St John Baptist de la Salle (1651 - 1719)
He was born in Rheims in France in 1651. He became a priest and devoted himself wholeheartedly to the education of children, founding schools for the poor. He and his colleagues formed a congregation called the Brothers of the Christian Schools, in whose cause he suffered many tribulations. He died in Rouen in 1719. See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia
Other saints: St Henry Walpole (1558-1595)
Henry Walpole was born at Docking (Norfolk) in 1558, the eldest son of Christopher and Margery Walpole. He was educated at Norwich Grammar School, at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and at Gray’s Inn. He is said to have become a Catholic as a consequence of the martyrdom of Edmund Campion. In 1582 he went abroad to study, first to Reims and then to the English College, Rome. Shortly afterwards he joined the Society of Jesus. In spite of poor health he was ordained priest at Paris in 1588, served as chaplain to the Spanish army in the Netherlands, and then taught in the English seminaries of Seville and Valladolid. In 1593 he returned to England, landing at Bridlington on 6 December, but was arrested the very next day on suspicion of being a priest. He was interrogated at York, transferred to the Tower of London where he was frequently tortured. He was indicted on a charge of high treason because he was ordained abroad to minister in England; he was condemned to death. He was executed at York on 7 April 1595, by being hanged, drawn and quartered.
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.
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)||1 Corinthians 1:18-19 ©|
The language of the cross may be illogical to those who are not on the way to salvation, but those of us who are on the way see it as God’s power to save. As scripture says: I shall destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing all the learning of the learned.
|Noon reading (Sext)||1 Corinthians 1:22-24 ©|
The Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, but we are preaching a crucified Christ; to the Jews an obstacle that they cannot get over, to the pagans madness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God.
|Afternoon reading (None)||1 Corinthians 1:25,27 ©|
God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. It was to shame the wise that God chose what is foolish by human reckoning.