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(II). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Violet.
Saint Gregory of Narek (c.950-1005)
He was born around 950 to a noble family in the region of Anzevatsik in Armenia: a region now on the borders of south-eastern Turkey and north-western Iran. He received a cultured and literary upbringing. As a young man he entered the monastery of Narek, of which his great-uncle Ananias was abbot. He was educated by the famous school of the monastery and spent the rest of his life there, being ordained priest and eventually becoming abbot.
His life was marked by an intense love of the Virgin Mary. He attained great heights of sanctity and mystical experience, and expounded his teaching in various mystical and theological works. In 1003 he wrote his outstanding work, the Book of Lamentations, and he died about two years later.
The Book of Lamentations retains enormous importance as a foundation-stone of Armenian literature, and remains widely influential to this day. Gregory’s work is still little known in the West (no English translation has yet been produced by a major publisher); but he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Francis in 2015 and his memorial was added to the General Calendar in 2021.
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: 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)
|Joel 2:17 ©
Between vestibule and altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, lament. Let them say, ‘Spare your people, O Lord! Do not make your heritage a thing of shame, a byword for the nations.’
|Noon reading (Sext)
|Jeremiah 3:25 ©
We have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our ancestors from our youth until today, and we have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God.
|Afternoon reading (None)
|Isaiah 58:1-2 ©
Shout for all you are worth, raise your voice like a trumpet. Proclaim their faults to my people, their sins to the House of Jacob. They seek me day after day, they long to know my ways, like a nation that wants to act with integrity and not ignore the law of its God.
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Office of Readings for 2nd Tuesday of Lent
Morning Prayer for 2nd Tuesday of Lent
Evening Prayer for 2nd Tuesday of Lent
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