The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Year: B(I). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: White.
Other saints: Bl. Robert Anderton (1560 - 1586) and William Marsden (-1586)
Liverpool, Isle of Wight
Robert Anderton (c. 1560- 1586) was born in either Lancashire or the Isle of Wight or, according to some, the Isle of Man. He graduated from Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1578. Shortly after he went abroad and converted to Roman Catholicism. He entered the English College at Rheims in 1580 and there met William Marsden, a Lancashireman. The two were ordained priest together.
After ordination they set sail for England, but were caught in a storm. They prayed that they would be allowed to die on land rather than at sea. Driven ashore on the Isle of Wight by the storm, they were immediately arrested by the authorities. In court at Winchester, they pleaded that they had not violated the law by landing in England, since their landing had been involuntary. They defended their faith and the Pope and acknowledged that they had come to exercise their ministry and reconcile people to God and the Church. This led to their being taken to London, where they were asked to take the Oath of Supremacy, acknowledging Elizabeth as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. They acknowledged the queen as their lawful queen in all secular affairs but refused to swear the Oath. As this was a treasonable offence under the Second Act of Supremacy, they were condemned to death, were returned to the Isle of Wight near the place where they had landed, and were hung, drawn and quartered on 25 April 1586.
They were beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929.
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: white
White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||(Apocalypse 1:17-18) ©|
I saw the Son of Man, and he said to me, ‘Have no fear! I am the First and the Last. I was dead and now I am to live for ever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of the underworld.’
|Noon reading (Sext)||Colossians 2:9,12 ©|
In Christ lives the fullness of divinity, and in him you too find your own fulfilment. You have been buried with him, when you were baptised; and by baptism, too, you have been raised up with him through your belief in the power of God who raised him from the dead.
|Afternoon reading (None)||2 Timothy 2:8,11 ©|
Remember the Good News that I carry, ‘Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David’. Here is a saying that you can rely on: ‘If we have died with him, then we shall live with him.’