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ST ERASMUS OF FORMIA, BISHOP AND MARTYR

ST ERASMUS OF FORMIA, BISHOP AND MARTYR

ST ERASMUS OF FORMIA, BISHOP AND MARTYR – FEAST: JUNE 2

Originally from Antioch, St Erasmus (St Elmo) became Bishop of Formia, Campagna, Italy. To lie low during Emperor Diocletian’s persecution of Christians (c. 303), he fled to Mount Lebanon, living a life of prayer and penance. Throughout this time he was miraculously fed by a raven.

The Bishop was tracked down and sent to Diocletian, imprisoned, and freed by an angel. After having converted many more souls he was discovered once more and martyred by being disemboweled. Some sources report that this was done by winding his intestines on a windlass.

“ST ELMO’S FIRE”

St Erasmus is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and invoked against gastrointestinal illnesses such as cancer and Crohn’s Disease. His intercession is asked by soldiers and sailors, too; the blue static electrical discharges which would sometimes appear on the masts or riggings of their ships (“St Elmo’s Fire”) was seen as a sign of his protection.

PRAYER:

O God, who gladden us each year by the feast of your holy Martyrs, Marcellinus, Peter and Erasmus, graciously grant that, as we rejoice in their merits, we may be inspired by their example. Through our Lord Jesus Christ…

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 14:15-21)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 14:15-21)

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘If you love me you will keep my commandments.
I shall ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you for ever,
that Spirit of truth
whom the world can never receive
since it neither sees nor knows him,
but you know him,
because he is with you, he is in you.
I will not leave you orphans;
I will come back to you.
In a short time the world will no longer see me;
but you will see me,
because I live and you will live.
On that day
you will understand that I am in my Father
and you in me and I in you.
Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them
will be one who loves me;
and anybody who loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I shall love him and show myself to him.’

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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A PREPARATION FOR HOLY COMMUNION

A PREPARATION FOR HOLY COMMUNION

Dearest Jesus, all thy creatures are more worthy of thy grace

Than the vile and wretched sinner who now kneels before thy Face.

Yet one claim I have upon thee, which thou never wilt deny:

In the bounds of thy creation, no one needs thee more than I!

 

Other souls have been more faithful, and have served thee better far,

Many spotless hearts more fitting for thy gracious Presence are,

Many lips devout a greeting far more fervent can supply,

But, dear Master, well thou knowest: no one needs thee more than I.

 

Many loving hands have carried richer offerings to thy Shrine,

Many generous hearts have loved thee with a purer love than mine;

These thy chosen ones approach thee, as the doves to covert fly,

I am utterly unworthy, but none need thee more than I!

 

Sins unnumbered, unatoned for, have made havoc in my soul,

And against me stands, as witness, the Recording Angel’s roll;

All untilled has been my vineyard, and its soil is hard and dry,

O my God, my only refuge, no one needs thee more than I!

 

For without thee I am helpless, fast in sin’s strong fetters caught.

Blinded by my evil passions, swayed by impulses untaught:

I could do no good unaided, it were worse than vain to try;

Come thyself to me, sweet Jesus! no one needs thee more than I!

 

Thou didst leave thy Father’s bosom, to reclaim and save the lost,

Thou didst take upon thee freely our redemption’s awful cost,

Thou thyself hast called me to thee, thou wilt hearken to my cry,

In the bounds of thy creation, no one needs thee more than I!

– St Anthony’s Treasury, Laverty&Sons, Leeds, 1916

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN12:44-50)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN12:44-50)

Jesus declared publicly:

“Whoever believes in me
believes not in me
but in the one who sent me,
and whoever sees me,
sees the one who sent me.
I, the light, have come into the world,
so that whoever believes in me
need not stay in the dark any more.

If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfully,
it is not I who shall condemn him,
since I have come not to condemn the world,
but to save the world:
he who rejects me and refuses my words
has his judge already:
the word itself that I have spoken
will be his judge on the last day.

For what I have spoken does not come from myself;
no, what I was to say, what I had to speak,
was commanded by the Father who sent me,
and I know that his commands mean eternal life.
And therefore what the Father has told me
is what I speak.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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O LOVING JESUS, CONCEALED UNDER THE FORM OF BREAD

O LOVING JESUS, CONCEALED UNDER THE FORM OF BREAD

ACT OF LOVE BEFORE HOLY COMMUNION 

O loving Jesus, concealed under the form of bread, thou art my hope, and thou art also my love; for how great, how unconquerable must have been thy love to induce thee, the Son of the Most High, the object of the adoration of Heaven, to descend from thy throne of eternal glory to this miserable earth to dwell among us and become our very own?

It did not satisfy thy love to remain as man among us for a few passing years: thou wouldst always remain with us. Thou wast not satisfied to shed thy Blood once for us in terrible suffering on the cross; thou wouldst have the sublime sacrifice daily offered for us. O love of my Saviour, unfathomable abyss, what must be the perversion and hardness of heart that cannot love thee in return! I love thee, my Jesus; at least I desire to love thee as fervently as thou meritest to be loved.

Inflame my cold heart with thy love and let thy holy fire never be extinguished; let this love be stronger in me than death; nothing henceforth shall separate me from thy love, O Jesus; neither life nor death, neither the world nor the flesh, neither affliction nor distress. In this love will I persevere to my last hour, and be thine, O Jesus, forever.

– St Anthony’s Treasury, Laverty & Sons Ltd., Leeds, 1916

 

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THE FACE PERTAINS TO FAITH, THE WINGS TO CONTEMPLATION

THE FACE PERTAINS TO FAITH, THE WINGS TO CONTEMPLATION

COMMENTARY OF ST GREGORY, POPE, ON EZEKIEL 10:18-22

The prophet gives a minute description of the four holy living creatures which in the spirit he foresaw, as being to come, when he says: “Every one had four faces, and every one four wings.”

What is signified by face if it be not recognition; or by wings, unless it is the power of flight? For it is by the face that a man is recognised; but by their wings the bodies of birds are raised in the air. Thus the face pertains to faith, the wings to contemplation.

For in our faith, we are known by almighty God, as he says of his sheep: “I am the good shepherd; and I know mine, and mine know me.” And again he says: “I know whom I have chosen.” For by contemplation, we are raised above ourselves, as it were, to heaven.

– St Gregory, Pope, Homily 3, Book 1; An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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AT THE LAMB’S HIGH FEAST WE SING (EASTER HYMN)

AT THE LAMB’S HIGH FEAST WE SING (EASTER HYMN)

At the Lamb’s high feast we sing

Praise to our victorious King,

Who hath washed us in the tide

Flowing from his pierced side;

 

Praise we him whose love divine

Gives the guests his Blood for wine,

Gives his Body for the feast,

Love the Victim, Love the Priest.

 

Where the Paschal Blood is poured,

Death’s dark Angel sheathes his sword;

Israel’s hosts triumphant go

Through the wave that drowns the foe.

 

Christ the Lamb whose Blood was shed,

Paschal victim, Paschal bread;

With sincerity and love

Eat we Manna from above.

 

Mighty Victim from the sky,

Powers of hell beneath thee lie;

Death is conquered in the fight;

Thou hast brought us life and light.

 

Now the banner thou dost wave;

Vanquished Satan and the grave;

Angels join his praise to tell –

See o’erthrown the prince of hell.

 

Paschal triumph, Paschal joy,

Only sin can this destroy;

From the death of sin set free,

Souls reborn, dear Lord, in thee.

 

Hymns of glory, songs of praise,

Father, unto thee we raise;

Risen Lord, all praise to thee,

Ever with the Spirit be.

Amen.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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WHAT A MIGHTY FORCE OF LOVE KINDLED MARY MAGDALENE’S HEART!

WHAT A MIGHTY FORCE OF LOVE KINDLED MARY MAGDALENE’S HEART!

HOMILY OF ST GREGORY, POPE, ON JOHN 20:11-18

Mary Magdalene, who had been a sinner in the city, washed away with her tears the stains of her misdeeds, because she loved the truth; and the word of Truth was fulfilled which he spoke: “Many sins are forgiven her because she has loved much.”

For she who first had remained cold through sin, afterwards burned with the intensity of her love. For when she came to the sepulchre, and found that the Lord’s body was not there, she believed that it had been taken away, and told the disciples. They coming, saw and believed it to be as the woman had said. And concerning them it goes on to say: “The disciples, therefore, departed to their home”; and then is added: “But Mary was standing outside, weeping at the tomb.”

“BUT MARY WAS STANDING OUTSIDE, WEEPING AT THE TOMB” 

And here we should consider, what a mighty force of love it was that kindled this woman’s heart, so that even when the disciples had left the Lord’s sepulchre, she did not leave it. She kept on seeking him whom she had not found: seeking, she wept and, consumed with the fire of her love, she burned with the desire of him who, she believed, had been taken away.

And so it came to pass, that she, alone, who had remained to seek him, saw him, for indeed the virtue of a good work is perseverance; and the voice of Truth has said: “But he who shall persevere to the end shall be saved.”

Mary, therefore, when she wept, stooped down and looked into the sepulchre. Surely, she had already seen that the sepulchre was empty when she had announced that the Lord had already been taken away; why then does she again stoop down, and again desire to see? But, for one who loves, it is not enough to have looked once: because the strength of the love increases the will to seek. Therefore, she sought at first, and found not; she persevered in seeking, and at length succeeded in finding. And it happened that prolonged desires grew greater, and in growing, grasped what they had found.

– St Gregory, Pope, Homily 25 on the Gospels; An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2020 in Words of Wisdom

 

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AND WE SHALL RISE AGAIN IN THE BODY

AND WE SHALL RISE AGAIN IN THE BODY

HOMILY OF ST AMBROSE, BISHOP, ON LUKE, Chapter 24

It is wonderful how a corporeal nature could pass through an impenetrable body and be invisible in its entrance, yet visibly beheld; easily touched, but not easily defined. Hence, the disciples were troubled, thinking that they saw a spirit.

And therefore, the Lord, in order to give us a tangible proof of his resurrection, says: “Feel me, and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

It was not, then, with a spiritual nature, but with a glorious and risen body that he passed through what was solid and naturally impenetrable. For, what can be touched must be a body; what can be handled must be a body.

AND WE SHALL RISE AGAIN IN THE BODY 

And we shall rise again in the body. For what is sown as a natural body rises as a spiritual body. But that body will be subtler, while the present one is denser, seeing that it still bears the density due to its earthly imperfection. For how should that be other than a body in which still remained the marks of the wounds, the traces of the scars, those wounds that the Lord permitted to be touched. In so doing, he not only strengthened our faith, but quickened our love, seeing that he willed to carry into heaven the wounds which he had received for us.

He would not part with them that he might show to God, the Father, the price of our freedom. Such is he whom the Father has set at his right hand, welcoming the trophy of our salvation; and such, too, are those martyrs whom he has shown us, bearing their scars as a crown.

BOTH ACCOUNTS ARE IN AGREEMENT 

And since our discourse has now reached this point, let us consider how it is that, according to John, the apostles believed and were glad; according to Luke, they were, as it was, upbraided for their unbelief; according to John, they received the Holy Spirit; according to Luke, they were told to stay in the city, till they should be endued with power from on high.

It seems to me that the former [John], being an apostle, touches upon great and deep matters, while the latter [Luke] gives the human sequence of events.

Luke writes with historical fulness, John abridges. But, we cannot doubt him who gives testimony of those things which he himself witnessed, and his testimony is true.

On the other hand, we must certainly banish all suspicion of carelessness or untruthfulness in regard to one who was counted worthy to be an Evangelist. And, therefore, we hold both accounts to be true, and not to differ with regard to facts or persons. For, even if Luke says at first that they did not believe, he shows later that they did so; and if we consider what he says first, there is a contradiction; but if we examine what follows, we certainly find both accounts to be in agreement.

– St Ambrose, Book 10, Commentary on Luke, Ch. 24; An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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PRAYER FOR THIS LENT TO BE FRUITFUL

PRAYER FOR THIS LENT TO BE FRUITFUL

Lord, we pray that this season of Lent will be a time of greater prayer and fervent devotion for us and for all the Church. Lord, in your mercy, – HEAR OUR PRAYER.

Lord, we pray that these days of Lent will be marked by earnest efforts at peacemaking throughout the world. Lord, in your mercy, – HEAR OUR PRAYER.

Lord, we pray that we will be generous in our almsgiving this Lent, and attentive to the poor. Lord, in your mercy, – HEAR OUR PRAYER.

Lord, we ask you to repair all the broken relationships in our life and make us merciful, gentle and forgiving. Lord, in your mercy, – HEAR OUR PRAYER.

Lord, we pray that this Lent we will be faithful to fasting and to all the ways in which you sanctify us. Lord, in your mercy. – HEAR OUR PRAYER.

Lord, rescue all those who live at a distance from you because of self-absorption or sin. Lord, in your mercy, – HEAR OUR PRAYER.

Loving Father, bless our Lent so that we will live as your holy children. We ask this through Christ our Lord. – AMEN.

 

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