Cry out with joy to God, all the earth: serve the Lord with gladness.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: Green.
Saint John Eudes (1601 - 1680)
He was born and died in Normandy. He was ordained priest and spent many years preaching parish missions. He organized a congregation of nuns that grew into the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, dedicated to the care of women rescued from a disorderly life, and a congregation of priests dedicated to the running of seminaries. He was active in encouraging devotion to the Sacred Heart, and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In his time the Church in France was corrupt and in many ways a source of evil rather than grace. The higher clergy were rich and privileged, and enjoyed and guarded their privileges (the country was run, and wars were waged, by a cardinal). The lower clergy were ignorant and the common people were poor, superstitious, and oppressed as much spiritually as materially. To this mix was added the poison of Jansenism, which taught that human nature was corrupt, original sin rampant, and perfection was both necessary for salvation and practically unattainable.
In such circumstances, setting up seminaries to ensure the proper education of priests becomes itself a revolutionary act, and the encouragement of devotion to the Sacred Heart – to the emotional core of Jesus – becomes not a sweet pious platitude but a defiant proclamation that the centre of God’s essence is his love, not condemnation.
Over and over again in the lives of the saints we find the Church sick and corrupt. Perhaps it must always be so, journeying in a fallen world and staffed by sinners who are as fallen as the rest of us and subject to worse temptations. And over and over again we find God’s grace acting through people like St John Eudes. They do not stand outside and complain or run campaigns, they go in and do things, removing the mould of worldly corruption and putting back, bit by bit, the leaven of grace. They will always be needed, until the world ends.
Other saints: Saint Ezekiel Moreno (1848 - 1906)
Hel was born in Alfaro in Spain on April 9, 1848. He joined the Recollect Congregation of the Augustinian Order in Monteagudo (Navarra) in 1864. He was sent to the Philippines, where he was ordained in 1871 and where he worked for 15 years. He then returned to Spain to serve as prior in Monteagudo for three years, after which he gave all of his energy to various forms of ministry in Colombia until shortly before his death. He was a leader in the restoration of the Augustinian Recollect Province of La Candelaria in Colombia. In 1899 he became bishop of Pasto.
His life as bishop was not easy due to the horrors of a cruel civil war, a period of rising anticlericalism, and persecution of the Church. Nevertheless, through his simple spirit of openness and rigorous defence of the rights of the Church, he showed himself a faithful pastor whose concern was the well-being of the Church entrusted to his care. Struck by cancer, he returned to Spain at the insistence of his priests in order to receive treatment, and died there at Monteagudo on August 19, 1906 at the age of 58.
He was beatified in 1975, and canonized in the Dominican Republic by Pope John Paul II in 1992 at the close of the 5th Century Celebration of the Evangelization of Latin America.
Other saints: St Oswin (- 651)
Hexham & Newcastle
In the political upheaval caused by King Oswald’s death in 641/2, his precarious kingdom of Northumbria disintegrated. This allowed Oswin, a relative of the former king Edwin, to regain control of Deira, its southern part, while Oswald’s half-brother Oswy held on to its northern half, Bernicia. Oswin proved a popular ruler, who worked as successfully with St Aidan as Oswald had. Bede tells us that he was courteous in manner and generous to all, and “among his other qualities of virtue and moderation the greatest was humbleness.” In an effort to consolidate his position against the enemies who had overthrown Oswald, Oswy eventually invaded Deira, conniving at Oswin’s murder, the news of which brought about the death of Aidan twelve days later, in August 651. Oswin, always popularly regarded as a martyr, was later buried at Tynemouth.
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.
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)||1 Corinthians 10:24,31 ©|
Nobody should be looking for his own advantage, but everybody for the other man’s. Whatever you eat, whatever you drink, whatever you do at all, do it for the glory of God.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Colossians 3:17 ©|
Never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Colossians 3:23-24 ©|
Whatever your work is, put your heart into it as if it were for the Lord and not for men, knowing that the Lord will repay you by making you his heirs. It is Christ the Lord that you are serving.