Come before the Lord, singing with joy.
Year: A(I). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: Green.
|Other saints: Blessed Titus Brandsma (1881 - 1942)|
He was born in Bolsward in the Netherlands. He was baptized Anno Sjoerd Brandsma. He joined the Carmelites in 1898 and took the religious name Titus. He was a professor of philosophy and active in journalism. He was vehemently opposed to Nazi ideology and spoke out against it many times before the Second World War. He was arrested in January 1942, when he tried to persuade Dutch Catholic newspapers not to print Nazi propaganda (as was required by the law of the Nazi German occupiers). He had also drawn up the Pastoral Letter, read in all Catholic parishes, by which the Dutch Roman Catholic bishops officially condemned the German anti-Semitic measures and the deportation of the first Jews. After this Pastoral Letter, the first few thousand Jews to be deported from the Netherlands were all Jewish converts to Roman Catholicism, including St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). Titus Brandsma was killed by lethal injection in Dachau on July 26, 1942.
|Other saints: Blessed Robert Sutton (1545-1588)|
Robert Sutton was born at Burton-on-Trent in 1545, the son of a carpenter. He studied at Christ Church, Oxford, and was ordained in the Established Church, becoming Rector of Lutterworth in Leicestershire. He was converted to Catholicism in 1577 through the influence of his younger brother; they were both ordained at the English College at Douai in France, together with a third brother. In 1578 Robert returned to England and worked for ten years, saying Mass secretly in the houses of Catholic families in various places. He was arrested in Stafford in 1588 and was hanged, drawn and quartered there on 27 July of that year. Before execution, he made a speech about the candle which is given at baptism and in the hour of death, and he held up his handkerchief in remembrance of it, saying that he lived and died in the light of the Catholic faith. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1987.
|Other saints: Bl. Rudolph Acquaviva & Companions (- 1583)|
Goa & Daman
Blessed Rodolfo Aquaviva was an Italian Jesuit. He joined a mission to India in 1578. After teaching at St Paul’s College in Goa he was sent to the court of the Emperor Akbar the Great (ruled 1556-1605). As the ruler of a diverse empire Akbar sought to promote harmony and organized debates on questions of religion between Hindus, Muslims and Christians. However, the Jesuit mission itself seemed to be a failure (other than as an intellectual spectacle) and Acquaviva returned to Goa. Upon his return he led a mission to the Hindu Kshatriyas of Salcette, south of Goa, with four companions, Father Pacheco, Father Berno, Father Francisco and Brother Aranha. The local villagers attacked them and killed them in July 1583.
|Other saints: Bl Titus Brandsma (1881-1942)|
27 Jul (where celebrated)
Titus was born in Bolsward, Holland on the 23rd February 1881. He joined the Carmelites in Boxmeer at the age of seventeen and was ordained a priest in 1905. Following his ordination, he went to Rome and studied for a doctorate in philosophy at the Gregorian Pontifical University, which he was awarded in 1909. Returning to Holland, Titus pursued the career of a teacher and writer. He taught at a numbers of schools before taking on the position of Professor of Philosophy and the History of Mysticism at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, where he was later appointed Rector Magnificus in 1932.
Underlying his career as a teacher and writer was his deeply personal search for the God of Jesus who was the centre of his life. He lived out this mission in a practical ways giving to all who needed his help. It was from this deep relationship and conviction that he would argue against the National Socialist ideology, as Holland came under Nazi occupation. As adviser to the Bishops on the Catholic Press, Titus defended the right to freedom of education and of the Catholic Press. Titus believed such freedoms were implicit to the message of the Gospel. His strong and sustained prophetic stance against Nazi ideology ultimately led to his arrest in January 1942. Amidst the suffering of his imprisonment, prisoners and jailers spoke of his ability to bring an awareness of peace amidst the horror of the prison camps. Eventually Titus was transferred to Dachau where he was killed by lethal injection on the 26th July 1942. The witness of his life is an example of prophetic action arising from a commitment to the Gospel and revealing the merciful presence of God, even in the most horrific of times.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: St Ambrose of Milan (340? - 397)|
Ambrose was born in Trier (now in Germany) between 337 and 340, to a Roman family: his father was praetorian prefect of Gaul. Ambrose was educated at Rome and embarked on the standard cursus honorum of Roman advocates and administrators, at Sirmium, the capital of Illyria. In about 372 he was made prefect of Liguria and Emilia, whose capital was Milan.
In 374 the bishopric of Milan fell vacant and when Ambrose tried to pacify the conflict between the Catholics and Arians over the appointment of a new bishop, the people turned on him and demanded that he become the bishop himself. He was a layman and not yet baptized (at this time it was common for baptism to be delayed and for people to remain for years as catechumens), but that was no defence. Coerced by the people and by the emperor, he was baptized, ordained, and installed as bishop within a week, on 7 December 374.
He immediately gave his money to the poor and his land to the Church and set about learning theology. He had the advantage of knowing Greek, which few people did at that time, and so he was able to read the Eastern theologians and philosophers as well as those of the West.
He was assiduous in carrying out his office, acting with charity to all: a true shepherd and teacher of the faithful. He was unimpressed by status and when the Emperor Theodosius ordered the massacre of 7,000 people in Thessalonica, Ambrose forced him to do public penance. He defended the rights of the Church and attacked the Arian heresy with learning, firmness and gentleness. He also wrote a number of hymns which are still in use today.
Ambrose was a key figure in the conversion of St Augustine to Catholicism, impressing Augustine (hitherto unimpressed by the Catholics he had met) by his intelligence and scholarship. He died on Holy Saturday, 4 April 397.
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 3:23-24 ©|
God’s commandments are these:
that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and that we love one another
as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments
lives in God and God lives in him.
We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Wisdom 1:1-2 ©|
Love virtue, you who are judges on earth, let honesty prompt your thinking about the Lord, seek him in simplicity of heart; since he is to be found by those who do not put him to the test, he shows himself to those who do not distrust him.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Hebrews 12:1-2 ©|
We should throw off everything that hinders us, especially the sin that clings so easily, and keep running steadily in the race we have started. Let us not lose sight of Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection: for the sake of the joy which was still in the future, he endured the cross, disregarding the shamefulness of it, and from now on has taken his place at the right of God’s throne.
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Office of Readings for Thursday of week 16
Morning Prayer for Thursday of week 16
Evening Prayer for Thursday of week 16
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