The Lord is a great king: come, let us adore him.
Year: B(I). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Green.
Other saints: Saint Titus Brandsma (1881 - 1942)
He was born in Bolsward in the Netherlands. He was baptized Anno Sjoerd Brandsma. He joined the Carmelites at Boxmeer in 1898 at the age of seventeen, and took the religious name Titus. He 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. At the same time he was active in journalism. He was vehemently opposed to Nazi ideology and spoke out against it many times before the Second World War.
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.
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).
Amidst the suffering of Titus’s imprisonment, prisoners and jailers spoke of his ability to bring an awareness of peace amidst the horror of the prison camps. Eventually he 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.
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.
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: green
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 orderly sequence of weeks through the year, a season in which we are being neither single-mindedly penitent (in purple) nor overwhelmingly joyful (in white).
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Jeremiah 17:7-8 ©|
A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord, with the Lord for his hope. He is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream: when the heat comes it feels no alarm, its foliage stays green; it has no worries in a year of drought, and never ceases to bear fruit.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Proverbs 3:13-15 ©|
Happy the man who discovers wisdom, the man who gains discernment: gaining her is more rewarding than silver, more profitable than gold. She is beyond the price of pearls, nothing you could covet is her equal.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Job 5:17-18 ©|
Happy indeed the man whom God corrects! So do not refuse this lesson from the Omnipotent: for he who wounds is he who soothes the sore, and the hand that hurts is the hand that heals.