Come, ring out our joy to the Lord; hail the God who saves us, alleluia.
Year: B(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Green.
|Other saints: St John of Bridlington (1319 - 1379)|
John of Bridlington was born in about 1319. His family name was Thwing and it is likely that he was born in the village of that name a few miles inland from the east Yorkshire coastal town of Bridlington – or Burlington as it was then called. As a young man he was sent to Oxford to pursue his studies, but after two years he returned home. Soon afterwards, at the age of twenty, he entered the religious life under the rule of the Canons Regular of St Augustine and joined the ancient Priory of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Bridlington.
Though he held various offices in his community, John was unconcerned about his own advancement being totally preoccupied by public prayer and private devotion. When first elected to the office of prior he persuaded his fellow canons to choose someone else. But in time, when the office fell vacant again, he was obliged to accept this position. He was said to be a good and considerate superior to his brethren and a man of compassion and charity to all those in need. He died in 1379 and was buried in his own priory, but already his reputation had spread far beyond the local area. After his death the fame of the miracles wrought by his intercession spread rapidly through the land, and he was canonized by Pope Boniface IX in 1404. He was the last English saint to be canonized before the Reformation.
Saint John of Bridlington was a contemplative, a man of prayer, with a particular devotion to the celebration of the Mass. Although called to public office as prior, he always remained a contemplative at heart, and at various times in his life experienced the gift of ecstasies. He was noted for his self-effacing spirit and a great virtue of humility.
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.
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)||1 John 4:16 ©|
We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves. God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Galatians 6:7-8 ©|
What a man sows, he reaps. If he sows in the field of self-indulgence he will get a harvest of corruption out of it; if he sows in the field of the Spirit he will get from it a harvest of eternal life.
|Afternoon reading (None)||(Galatians 6:9-10) ©|
We must never get tired of doing good, and then we shall get our harvest at the proper time. While we have the chance, we must do good to all, and especially to our brothers in the faith.