Cry out with joy to God, all the earth: serve the Lord with gladness.
Year: C(I). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: Green.
|Saint Hedwig (c.1174 - 1243)|
She was born in Bavaria and married the Duke of Silesia, by whom she had seven children. She lived a devout life, succouring the poor and the sick, for whom she built hostels. On the death of her husband in 1238 she entered the monastery of Trebnitz, where she died in 1243.
|St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647 - 1690)|
She joined the Visitation Sisters at Paray-le-Monial. She made rapid progress along the way of perfection and was given mystical visions as a result of which she worked hard to institute devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Church.
|Other saints: Saint Marguerite d'Youville (1701 - 1771)|
She was born at Varennes, near Montréal in Canada. She was married and had two children. In 1738, a widow, she formed a lay group dedicated to charity, with four other women, and took simple vows. This grew into the Order of Sisters of Charity of the Hôpital Général of Montréal, the “Grey Nuns.” She was the first native-born Canadian to be canonized.
|Other saints: St Richard Gwyn (c.1537-1584)|
Richard Gwyn (alias White) was born at Llanidloes, Montgomeryshire, about 1537; and was executed at Wrexham, Denbighshire, 15 October, 1584. He studied at St John’s College, Cambridge, until 1562, when he became a schoolmaster, first at Overton in Flintshire, then at Wrexham and other places, acquiring considerable reputation as a Welsh scholar. He had six children by his wife Catherine, three of whom survived him. For a time he conformed to the new religion, but was reconciled to the Catholic Church when priests first came back to Wales. Owing to his refusal to attend church (recusancy) he was arrested more than once, and in 1579 he was imprisoned in Ruthin gaol, where he was offered liberty if he would conform. In 1580 he was transferred to Wrexham, where he suffered much persecution, being forcibly carried to the Church of England service, and being frequently taken to court at different assizes to be continually questioned, but was never freed from prison; he was removed to the Council of the Marches, and later in the year suffered torture at Bewdley and Bridgenorth before being sent back to Wrexham. There he remained a prisoner till the Autumn Assizes, when he was brought to trial on 9 October, found guilty of treason and sentenced to be executed. Again his life was offered him on condition that he acknowledge the queen as supreme head of the Church. His wife and one of their children were brought to the courtroom and warned not to follow his example. She retorted that she would gladly die alongside her husband; she was sure, she said, that the judges could find enough evidence to convict her if they spent a little more money. She consoled and encouraged her husband to the last. He suffered on 15 October 1584. On the scaffold he stated that he recognised Elizabeth as his lawful queen but could not accept her as head of the Church in England.
|Other saints: Saint Gall (- 646/650)|
He was one of the twelve disciples who accompanied St Columbanus to Gaul, and established themselves with him at Luxeuil. Gall followed Columbanus on his voyage on the Rhine to Bregenz in 610, but he separated from him in 612, when Columbanus left for Italy. He remained in Swabia, where, with several companions, he led the life of a hermit, in a wilderness to the west of Bregenz, near the source of the river Steinach. After his death a church of St Gall was erected there, which by the middle of the eighth century had grown into the famous Abbey of St Gall.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: St Maximus the Confessor (c.580 - 662)|
Beginning life as a civil servant and rising to high office, Maximus saw the light and took monastic vows, at an unknown time and for unknown reasons, at the monastery of Philippicus in Chrysopolis, a city across the Bosporus from Constantinople (later known as Scutari, the modern Turkish city of Üsküdar). In due course he became the abbot there.
When the Persians conquered Anatolia, Maximus was forced to flee to a monastery near Carthage. It was there that he came under the tutelage of Saint Sophronius, and began studying in detail with him the Christological writings of Gregory of Nazianzus and Dionysius the Areopagite. He applied rigorous Aristotelian logic to these writings to make their doctrine clearer, and harder to misunderstand.
The perennial argument in the East over the nature of Christ – whether true God and true man, or just a divinely commanded man-shaped puppet – flared up yet again, and this time both the Emperor and the Patriarch of Constantinople were on the latter side. Maximus taking the side of orthodoxy, he was arrested in Rome in 653, together with Pope Martin I. The Pope was condemned without a trial and died before he could be sent to Constantinople. Maximus was taken there to be tried as a heretic in 658 and was sentenced to four years’ exile. In 662 he was brought back and tried again, and this time his tongue was cut out so that he could no longer speak rebellion and his right hand cut off so that he could no longer write letters. He was exiled to a distant region of the empire, where he died on 13 August of the same year.
The passages from St Maximus which adorn the Office of Readings have nothing of these controversies in them, but are chosen to reflect for us the glory of the light of the events of our redemption.
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)||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.