INSTRUCTION ON THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

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INSTRUCTION ON THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

INTROIT The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the protector of my life: of whom shall I be afraid? My enemies that trouble me have themselves been weakened and have fallen. If armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear. (Ps. XXVI. 1-3.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that both the course of the world may be peaceably ordered for us by Thy governance, and that Thy Church may rejoice in tranquil devotion. Through etc.

EPISTLE (Rom. VIII. 18-23). Brethren, The sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared
to the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us. For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly; but by reason of him that made it subject, in hope: because the creature also itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that every creature groaneth, and travaileth in pain, even till now. Arid not only it, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body: in Jesus Christ our Lord.

INSTRUCTION There is no greater consolation under crosses and afflictions, no more powerful support in the adversities of a pious and virtuous life, than the thought that all sufferings are as nothing when compared with the coming glory of heaven, and that by a slight and momentary suffering in this life is obtained a superabundant happiness in the next. (II Cor, IV. 17.) Thus St. Augustine says: “Were we daily to suffer all torments, even for a short time the pains of hell, in order to see Christ and be numbered among His saints, would it not be worth all this misery to obtain so great a good, so great a glory?”

ASPIRATION Ah Lord, when shall we be delivered from the miserable bondage of this life, and participate in that indescribable glory which Thou hast prepared for Thy children, where free from the misery and many temptations of this life, they enjoy eternal bliss. Enable us to see more and more into the misery of this life that we may thus be urged to strive for freedom and glory in Thy kingdom. Amen.

GOSPEL (Luke V. 1-11.) At that time, When the multitude pressed upon Jesus, to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth. And he saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets; and going up into one of the ships that was Simon’s, he desired him to draw back a little from the land. And sitting, he taught the multitudes out of the ship. Now when he had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon, answering, said to him: Master, we have labored all the night, and have taken nothing, but at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes: and their net broke. And they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking. Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus’s knees, saying: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of fishes which they had taken; and so were also James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s Partners. And Jesus with to Simon: Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And having brought their ships to land, leaving all things, they followed him. Continue reading

St. Lorenzo da Brindisi

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St. Lorenzo da Brindisi

Born at Brindisi in 1559; died at Lisbon on 22 July, 1619. In baptism he received the names of Julius Caesar. Guglielmo de Rossi — or Guglielmo Russi, according to a contemporary writer — was his father’s name; his mother was Elisabetta Masella. Both were excellent Christians. Of a precocious piety, Lorenzo gave early evidence of a religious vocation. The Conventuals of Brindisi were entrusted with his education. His progress in his studies was very rapid, and, when barely six, he had already given indication of his future success in oratory. Consequently, he was always the one chosen to address, in accordance with the Italian custom, a short sermon to his compatriots on the Infant Jesus during the Christmas festivities. When he was twelve years of age his father died. He then pursued his studies at Venice with the clerics of St. Mark’s and under the supervision of one of his uncles. In 1575 he was received into the Order of Capuchins under the name of Brother Lorenzo, and, after his profession, made his philosophical and theological studies at the University of Padua. Owing to his wonderful memory he mastered not only the principal European languages, but also most of the Semitic tongues. It was said he knew the entire original text of the Bible. Such a knowledge, in the eyes of many, could be accounted for only by supernatural assistance, and, during the process of beatification, the examiners of the saint’s writings rendered the following judgment: “Vere inter sanctos Ecclesiae doctores adnumerari potest.” Continue reading

Saints Cyril and Methodius

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Saints Cyril and Methodius

Apostles to the Slavic Nations
(†ca. 867 and †ca. 887)

These two brothers were born in Thessalonica of a senatorial family. Saint Cyril was sent to Constantinople to study, where he became known as the Philosopher; but it was the Holy Church that he desired to serve, and he was ordained a priest. While Cyril was still young, the Patriarch of Constantinople recommended in the year 848 to the reigning Emperor to place him at the head of a mission which was to be sent to the Khazars of the eastern Danube region. Their king desired to learn of Christianity and had requested missionaries. Cyril asked for the time to learn the Turkish language which this people spoke, and after only a short while was ready to preach. The prince of the Khazars received Baptism and the entire nation soon followed his example. Cyril founded churches and furnished them with excellent ministers, then returned to Constantinople, refusing all presents offered him by his converts.

He was next missioned to Bulgaria with his younger brother Methodius, who was a monk of eminent sanctity. This nation, which had migrated like the Khazars from the east, had settled in the Moldavian region and a part of Hungary; they had been exposed to Christianity by some Greek prisoners, and the sister of their king had become a Christian by the good offices of the empress Theodora. When Saint Methodius, an excellent artist, was delegated to paint in the palace for the king, as he requested, a scene which could frighten the beholders, he chose for subject the Last Judgment. The king was so impressed that after being instructed he was baptized, in 865, with forty-eight of his followers. The nation followed their leaders after a brief revolt had been promptly quieted.

The two brothers preached also in Moravia, invited there by the pious king of that nation, whom they baptized with most of his subjects. It was there that Saint Cyril invented a Slavonic alphabet, translating the Bible and other writings from Greek and Latin into the language of the Slavic peoples. In 867 the missionaries went to Rome, where Saint Cyril, who was ill, died soon afterwards.

Saint Methodius was named bishop of Moravia and Pannonia or Hungary. Difficulties were not lacking, but he remained there until 880, when he returned to Rome to justify his conduct, which certain enemies had accused to the Pope. The Pope cleared him before the adversaries, and settled some questions regarding the language to be used in worship. He permitted the Mass to be said in the Slavic language, not to the exclusion, however, of Latin. Saint Methodius also baptized the king of the Bohemians, and again many of the king’s subjects followed his example. The Saint lived for about 20 years after his brother’s decease; the exact date of his death is unknown.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 3