Christ has been born for us: come, let us adore him.
Year: A(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: White.
|St Raymond of Peñafort (c.1175 - 1275)|
He was born near Barcelona somewhere between 1175 and 1180. He was educated at the University of Barcelona, where he taught canon law for fifteen years. After a spell at the University of Bologna he returned to Barcelona in 1222 and became a Dominican. At the command of Pope Gregory IX he organised, codified and edited canon law, which, when he started, was nothing better than a chaotic accumulation of isolated decrees. He was elected to be General of the Dominicans and gave the order an excellent set of regulations for its better governance. He died in 1275. Among his works, the Summa casuum
is noteworthy. This gives guidance as to how the sacrament of Penance may be administered justly and with benefit to the penitent. See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia
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 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.
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)||Deuteronomy 4:7 ©|
What great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him?
|Noon reading (Sext)||Isaiah 12:5-6 ©|
Sing of the Lord, for he has done marvellous things, let them be made known to the whole world. Cry out for joy and gladness, you dwellers in Zion, for great in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.
|Afternoon reading (None)||(Tobit 14:6-8) ©|
And all the people of the whole earth will be converted and will fear God with all sincerity and renounce their false gods. They will bless the God of the ages by upright conduct. All the Israelites spared in those days will remember God in sincerity of heart and will come and gather in Jerusalem. And those who sincerely love God will rejoice.
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Office of Readings for 7 January
Morning Prayer for 7 January
Evening Prayer 1 for The Baptism of the Lord
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