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.
St John of God (1495 - 1550)
He was born to a poor but devout family in Portugal in 1495. After serving as a soldier under the Emperor Charles V he devoted his life wholly to the service of the poor and the sick. He founded a hospital in Granada and a circle of disciples formed round him, which later became the Order of Hospitallers. He died on 8 March 1550, his 55th birthday. See the articles in Wikipedia
and the Catholic Encyclopaedia
Other saints: Saint Senan, Bishop (488 - 544)
He is one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. He was born in County Clare, and having travelled and studied in Europe he returned to Ireland, where he established a church and monastery at Inniscarra, in Cork. He then moved back to his native district and eventually founded a monastery (with an exceptionally austere rule) at Scattery, an island off Kilrush, where he died. See the article by Clare Library
Other saints: Saint Duthac (1000-1065)
He was born in Tain, in Ross and Cromarty, Scotland. He was educated in Ireland, and was Bishop of Ross.
Other saints: St Felix (7th century)
A native of Burgundy, Felix became a bishop in Gaul and offered himself to work for the conversion of the East Angles. In 630 Sigebert, their king, came back from exile and work began.
Felix undertook the mission with the approval of Honorius of Canterbury, and placed his episcopal see at Dunwich, now washed away by the sea. He preached with great success in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
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)||Wisdom 11:23-24 ©|
Lord, you are merciful to all, because you can do all things and overlook men’s sins so that they can repent. Yes, you love all that exists, you hold in abhorrence nothing of what you have made.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Ezekiel 18:23 ©|
Am I likely to take pleasure in the death of a wicked man – it is the Lord who speaks – and not prefer to see him renounce his wickedness and live?
|Afternoon reading (None)||Isaiah 58:6,7 ©|
Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me – it is the Lord who speaks – to share your bread with the hungry, and shelter the homeless poor, to clothe the man you see to be naked and not turn from your own kin?