Cry out with joy to God, all the earth: serve the Lord with gladness.
Year: A(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Green.
Other saints: Saint Davnet
She is the patron saint of the diocese of Clogher. Nothing is known about her for certain. She may have lived and died at Tydavnet in County Monaghan, possibly in the seventh century.
Other saints: St Lidwina (1380 - 1433)
She was born in Schiedam in Holland. At the age of 15 she was ice-skating when she fell and broke a rib. Contemporary accounts describe how gangrene appeared in the wound and spread through her whole body. She had lost the use of her legs by the age of 19 and eventually was completely paralysed except for her left hand. Living in constantly increasing pain, she had a wonderful gift of prayer and contemplation; suffering an incurable disease, she yet had the power to heal others. Some thought that she was under the influence of an evil spirit, but she was greatly revered by many holy men, one of whom wrote a pious tract in her honour. On the morning of Easter Day 1433, she was in deep contemplation and saw a vision of Christ coming towards her to administer the sacrament of Extreme Unction, and two days later, on 14 April, she died. Her grave immediately became a place of pilgrimage. Joannes Brugmann and Thomas à Kempis wrote biographies of her, and she was more and more venerated as time went on. Finally, in 1890 Pope Leo XIII gave the Church’s official sanction to this centuries-old devotion by canonizing St Lidwina. Her feast day in the Netherlands is 14 June, which is the anniversary of the transfer of her relics to Schiedam in 1871.
The details in the contemporary biographies have enabled modern medical opinion to reach the conclusion that St Lidwina suffered from a form of multiple sclerosis, making her (by some centuries) the earliest documented case of this disease.
Other saints: St Elisha (1-2 Kings, Prophet)
14 Jun (where celebrated)
On this day, together with the Orthodox and the eastern rites of the Catholic Church, Carmelites commemorate the prophet Elisha, a prophet of the Hebrew Scriptures. The story of Elisha is found in the first and second Book of Kings. God’s word to Elijah names Elisha to be his successor as prophet (1Kgs 19:16). Elisha received this commission for the first time when Elijah “threw his mantle over him” (1Kgs 19:19). Soon after Elijah is taken from the earth. As he goes, Elisha requests and receives a “double share” of Elijah’s spirit, the special blessing of an elder son who traditionally received twice the inheritance of other children. Taking up Elijah’s mantle and prophetic role, Elisha, as Elijah’s disciple and ‘son’ carries on his prophetic legacy, standing in the presence of the true God and witnessing to this presence among the people of Israel in acts of service. The Elisha story cycle represents the prophet as one who walked in the way of Elijah. Elisha’s prophetic actions and deeds echo those of Elijah: cleansing drinking water, feeding large crowds, healing a foreigner of leprosy and raising a boy from the dead. In Hebrew, Elisha means “God is Salvation”.
The memorial of St Elisha was incorporated into the Carmelite liturgical calendar by the Carmelite General Chapter in 1399. Like Elisha, Carmelites call Elijah “father” and strive to live the prophetic life of disciple and son that Elisha did, seeking always to stand in the presence of the true God now revealed in Jesus Christ.
Other saints: Bl Maria Candida of the Eucharist (1884-1949)
14 Jun (where celebrated)
Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist was born on 16 January 1884 in Catanzano. Her parents, Pietro Barba and Giovanna Florona, returned to Palermo, Sicily, where she received First Holy Communion 3rd April 1894. In 1919 she entered the Discalced Carmelite Monastery, Ragusa, making solemn profession 23rd April 1924. She was Prioress and Mistress of Novices many times, radiating a sense of Carmelite holiness both within and outside of the community, influencing others with her love for the Eucharist, as well as by her numerous writings. She died on 12th June 1949, the solemnity of the Holy Trinity, and was beatified 21st March 2004.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: Origen (184 - 254)
Origen is a giant among early Christian thinkers. He was knowledgeable in all the arguments of the Greek philosophical schools but believed firmly in the Bible as the only source of true inspiration. He is thus a representative of that curious hybrid called “Christianity”, which on the one hand maintains (like the Jews) an ongoing direct relationship with the living God, who is the principle and source of being itself, but on the other hand maintains (like the Greeks) that everything makes sense rationally and it is our duty to make sense of it. As the Gospels say (but the Pentateuch does not), “You shall love the Lord your God with all your mind”.
A first stage in this, when it comes (for example) to disputations with the Jews over their view of Christianity as a recently-founded syncretizing heresy of Judaism, is to decide what Scripture is and what it says. If I argue from my books and you argue from yours, we will never meet; but if we share an agreed foundation, there is some chance. Accordingly Origen compiled a vast synopsis of the different versions of the Old Testament, called the Hexapla. Not all Origen’s specific judgements on soundness were generally accepted, even at the time, but the principle remains a necessary one, indispensable for any constructive meeting of minds.
Origen’s principle of interpretation of Scripture is that as well as having a literal meaning, its laws, stories and narratives point us to eternal and spiritual truths. The prime purpose of Scripture is to convey spiritual truth, and the narrative of historical events is secondary to this. While we still accept that “Scripture provides us with the truths necessary for salvation”, this view does leave room for over-interpretation by the unscrupulous, and in the controversies of succeeding centuries people would either claim Origen as an authority for their own interpretations or accuse their opponents of Origenizing away the plain truths of Scripture. Even today, the literalist view taken by some heretics of narratives in Genesis which most of us accept as allegorical shows that this controversy will never die.
As part of his programme of founding everything on Scripture, Origen produced voluminous commentaries – too many of them for the copyists to keep up, so that today some of them have perished. But what remains has definite value, and extracts from his commentaries and also his sermons are used as some of our Second Readings in the Office of Readings.
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).
Other notes: G.K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)
On this day in 1936 died G.K. Chesterton, writer and journalist. His writings – stories, essays, poems, books, journalism – are infused with an unequalled joy and love of truth.
In youth, he went through a crisis of nihilistic pessimism and it was his recovery from this that led him to God and ultimately to conversion. “The Devil made me a Catholic,” he said – meaning that it was the experience of evil and nothingness that convinced him of the goodness and sanity of the world and his creator. His poem “The Ballade of a Suicide” celebrates the salvific value of ordinary things; his novel, “The Man who was Thursday,” narrates the fight for sanity in an insane world and ponders the paradox of God; and “Orthodoxy” (downloadable here
), written long before he became a Catholic, highlights orthodoxy not as a dead and static thing but as the only possible point of equilibrium between crazy heresies any one of which would drive us mad.
He took part in all the major controversies of his age, and was a lifelong adversary and friend of socialists and atheists such as George Bernard Shaw. These controversies were conducted with passion but with unfailing charity: he never sought to defeat his opponents, only to defeat their ideas. He would never cheat to score a point: and his love for the people he fought against is something that all controversialists should imitate, however hard it may be.
Read him, and pray for him.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)
|Deuteronomy 1:16-17 ©
At that time I told your judges: You must give your brothers a fair hearing and see justice done between a man and his brother or the stranger who lives with him. You must be impartial in judgement and give an equal hearing to small and great alike. Do not be afraid of any man, for the judgement is God’s.
|Noon reading (Sext)
|Isaiah 55:8-9 ©
My thoughts are not your thoughts,
my ways not your ways – it is the Lord who speaks.
Yes, the heavens are as high above earth
as my ways are above your ways,
my thoughts above your thoughts.
|Afternoon reading (None)
|1 Samuel 16:7 ©
God does not see as man sees; man looks at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart.