Let us come before the Lord, giving thanks.
Year: C(I). 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)||Romans 13:8,10 ©|
Avoid getting into debt, except the debt of mutual love. If you love your fellow men you have carried out your obligations. Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments.
|Noon reading (Sext)||James 1:19-20,26 ©|
Be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to rouse your temper; God’s righteousness is never served by man’s anger. Nobody must imagine that he is religious while he still goes on deceiving himself and not keeping control over his tongue; anyone who does this has the wrong idea of religion.
|Afternoon reading (None)||1 Peter 1:17,18,19 ©|
You must be scrupulously careful as long as you are living away from your home. Remember, the ransom that was paid to free you was not paid in anything corruptible, neither in silver nor gold, but in the precious blood of a lamb without spot or stain, namely Christ.