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: C(I). Psalm week: 1. 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: Saint Athanasius (295 - 373)
Athanasius was born in Alexandria. He assisted Bishop Alexander at the Council of Nicaea, and later succeeded him as bishop. He fought hard against Arianism all his life, undergoing many sufferings and spending a total of 17 years in exile. He wrote outstanding works to explain and defend orthodoxy.
The matters in dispute with the Arians were vital to the very nature of Christianity; and, as Cardinal Newman put it, the trouble was that at that time the laity tended to be champions of orthodoxy while their bishops (seduced by closeness to imperial power) tended not to be. The further trouble (adds Chadwick) is that the whole thing became tangled up with matters of power, organization and authority, and with cultural differences between East and West. Athanasius was accused of treason and murder, embezzlement and sacrilege. In the fight against him, any weapon would do.
Arianism taught that the Son was created by the Father and in no way equal to him. This was in many ways a “purer” and more “spiritual” approach to religion, since it did not force God to undergo the undignified experience of being made of meat. Islam is essentially Arian. But Arianism leaves an infinite gap between God and man, and ultimately destroys the Gospel, leaving it either as a fake or as a cruel parody. Only by being orthodox and insisting on the identity of the natures of the Father and the Son and the Spirit can we truly understand the goodness of creation and the love of God, and live according to them. For this reason many extracts from the works of St Athanasius have been adopted as Second Readings in the Office of Readings.
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)||(2 Corinthians 4:10-11) ©|
Always, wherever we may be, we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus, so that his life may equally be manifested in our body. While we are still alive, we are consigned to our death every day, for the sake of Jesus, so that in our mortal flesh the life of Jesus, too, may be openly shown.
|Noon reading (Sext)||1 Peter 4:13-14 ©|
Beloved, if you can have some share in the sufferings of Christ, be glad, because you will enjoy a much greater gladness when his glory is revealed. It is a blessing for you when they insult you for bearing the name of Christ, because it means that you have the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God resting on you.
|Afternoon reading (None)||1 Peter 5:10-11 ©|
You will have to suffer only for a little while: the God of all grace who called you to eternal glory in Christ will see that all is well again: he will confirm, strengthen and support you. His power lasts for ever and ever. Amen.