Saturday, 31 August 2013

Office of Readings - The Letter of Paul to Philemon

St. Philemon
Saturday, 31 August 2013
Saturday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time

 [A Word in Season, Readings for the Liturgy Hours VI].
First Reading
The Letter of Paul to Philemon   
            Responsorv          Gal 3:26-28
You are all children of God through faith. Baptized into Christ, you have clothed yourselves in Christ. + There are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, the slave and the free, male and female.
V. You are all one in Christ Jesus. + There are no more ...   

Second Reading   
From a commentary on Psalm 118 by Ambrose
Ambrose, Exositio in Psalmum 118, XIV, 24-26, CSEL 62 313-316

It makes a big difference whether you do what is pleasing to God willingly or from necessity. The Apostle was completely free; but freely, not from necessity, he became the servant of all in order to win over as many people as possible. He became everything to everyone not because of any legal requirement but of his own free will. He has shown me the loftiness of his intention in the letter he wrote to Philemon. Because he wished another person to be like himself, he made it clear that it was out of no necessity but of his own free will that he had returned the slave Onesimus to his master. Interceding for Onesimus, he says: "Receive him as my own heart. I should have liked to keep him with me to serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, but I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that your goodness might not be from compulsion but of your own free will."

How eagerly he endeavours to persuade! He was God's cho­sen instrument, yet he did not disdain to share his thoughts with another, because he did not want to do him out of his reward for doing something freely.

The Lord looks for voluntary servants. In the book of Isaiah he says: "Whom shall I send?" He could certainly have commanded his servant, whom he had found worthy of being sent, but he preferred not to do him out of his reward for making a spontaneous offering. He waited for him to offer himself; although he knew his good will, God still awaited his words so that he might earn a greater recompense. Thus it was that Isaiah volunteered, saying: "Here am I, send me," and so was sent to the people.

Jeremiah excused himself saying: "Lord God, I am not a good speaker; I am too young. " The Lord said to him: "You shall go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you to say." The prophet made his age an excuse out of diffidence, fearing that because of his youth he would be unable to carry out the divine commands. But God judged that age should be considered in terms of character rather than years, and discerned beforehand in his youthful servant the maturity of robust wisdom. He said there­fore: "Do not say you are too young." In other words, he was not to judge his powers by thinking of his lack of years, for faith had given him the grey .hairs of wisdom. And again, when the same prophet said later: "Lord, you have deceived me, and I have been deceived." And I said: "I will not mention his name, or say anything else in his name," he added: "and there rose in my heart a burning like fire blazing in my bones, and I was completely broken and unable to bear it."

We see then that even if some have reason to think they should be excused from their office, or should refuse to undertake it, our Lord nevertheless either persuades them to think better of it, or inspires them with a desire for prophetic revelation, wishing them to undertake the office freely, not from necessity, so that they may receive a greater recompense for their total dedication.
Responsory      2 Cor 9:7.6
Each one should make up his or her own mind what to give and not be reluctant or feel under compulsion, + for God loves a cheerful giver.
V. Thin sowing means thin reaping; the more you sow the more you will reap,+ for God loves ...

COMMENT: Benedictine monk, Haymo of Halberstadt

After the Night Office Reading, Br. S. asked about the Benedictine monk, Haymo.
The short answer is at hand, directly:

Haymo of Halberstadt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Haymo (or Haimo) (died 853) was a German Benedictine monk who served as bishop... Haymo entered the Order of St. Benedict at Fulda as a youth, where the celebrated ...affairs of the State, preached often and lived solely for the welfare of his diocese. ...Opera Omnia by Migne Patrologia Latina with analytical indexes ...
You visited this page on 30/08/13.

Haymo of Halberstadt
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Haymo (or Haimo) (died 853) was a German Benedictine monk who served as bishop of Halberstadt, and was a noted author.

Biography[edit source | editbeta]

The exact date and place of his birth are unknown. Haymo entered the Order of St. Benedict at Fulda as a youth, where the celebrated Rabanus Maurus was one of his fellow-students. He went together with him to the Monastery of St. Martin at Tours to profit by the lessons of its great teacher, Alcuin.
After a brief sojourn at Tours, both friends came back to the Benedictine house at Fulda, and there they spent most of their life previous to their promotion to the Episcopal dignity. Haymo became chancellor to the monastery, as is proved by his records of its transactions, which are still extant. It is probable that owing to his great learning he was also entrusted with the teaching of theology in the same monastery, but there is no positive proof of this.
He had been living for only a short while in the Benedictine monastery at Hersfeld, perhaps as its abbot, when in the last weeks of 840 he was nominated to the Bishopric of Halberstadt. Hearing of Haymo's promotion, Rabanus Maurus, his old friend, gave him at great length—in a work entitled "De Universo" and divided into 22 books—advice that would help him in the discharge of the episcopal office.
In compliance with Rabanus's suggestions, Haymo stood aloof from the Court of King Louis the German, did not entangle himself in the affairs of the State, preached often and lived solely for the welfare of his diocese. The only public assembly which he attended was theCouncil of Mainz, held in 847 for the maintenance of the ecclesiastical rights and immunities. Haymo died on 26 March, 853.

Writings[edit source | editbeta]

There is no doubt that Haymo of Halberstadt was a prolific writer, although a number of works, particularly those of Haimo of Auxerre, have been wrongly ascribed to him. Most of his genuine works are commentaries on Holy Writ, the following of which have been printed: "In Psalmos explanatio"; "In Isaiam libri tres"; "In XII Prophetas"; "In Epistolas Pauli omnes" and "In Apocalypsim libri septem". As might be naturally expected from the exegetical methods of his day, Haymo is not an original commentator; he simply repeats or abridges the Scriptural explanations which he finds in patristic writings. As a pious monk, and a faithful observer of Rabanus's recommendations, he writes almost exclusively about the moral and mystical senses of the sacred text.
He is also the author of an Epitome of Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History, of a large number of sermons, and of a spiritual work, De amore coelestis patriae. An extant passage from his writings, relating to the Holy Eucharist, shows no substantial difference between his belief with regard to the Real Presence, and that of the other Catholic theologians.
His works are contained in volumes cxvi-cxviii of Migne, Patrologia Latina.
Some homilies once attributed to Haymo of Halberstadt are now to be attributed to Haymo of Auxerre.[1]

Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne (died 651)


Today, August 31, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne (died 651), known as the Apostle of the English (or the Apostle of Northumbria). Saint Aidan was the founder and first bishop of the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne. He is credited with restoring Christianity to the region. It is said of him, by Bishop Lightfoot, “Augustine was the Apostle of Kent, but Aidan was the Apostle of the English." Saint Bede the Venerablewould write of Saint Aidan in his biography:"he was a pontiff inspired with a passionate love of virtue, but at the same time full of a surpassing mildness and gentleness."

Aidan was born in Ireland, probably in Connacht, and studied as a monk at the monastery on the Island of Iona in Scotland. While Christianity had spread into Britain centuries earlier, during the invasion of the Romans, gradually paganism had reclaimed the region. When Oswald of Northumbria regained the kingship, he sought to re-establish Christianity, and bring the light of Christ to the peoples living there. (Oswald is likely to have converted himself, upon a visit to the monastery on Iona).
Lindisfarne Castle
Based upon his experience on Iona, King Oswald requested missionaries be sent to work amongst the peoples. At first the monastery sent a new bishop named Cormán, but he met with no success and soon returned to Iona, reporting that the Northumbrians were too stubborn to be converted. Saint Aidan criticized Bishop Cormán's methods and was sent as a replacement in 635.

Upon arrival in Northumbria, Aidan established Lindisfarne—an island similar to Iona—as the center of his diocese. Here Aidan established an Irish-type monastery of wooden buildings: a small church, small, circular dwelling huts, perhaps one larger building for communal purposes and in time, workshops as needed. The monks lived a life of prayer, study and austerity, but spent the majority of time preaching and engaged in activities of conversion. Through translation efforts of the royal family—first Oswald, and then Oswine of Deira after the death of Oswald—Aidan and his fellow monks preached the Gospel to all who would listen. Over time, he came to be recognized for his piety and gentleness, and respected by even the harshest critics of Christianity.

Gentle and unassuming, Aidan traveled on foot from one village to another, engaging those he met in polite conversation, and slowly raising their interest in Christianity. According to legend, the king gave Aidan a horse so that he wouldn't have to walk, but Aidan instead gave the horse to a beggar, modeling the charitable love of Christ. Through patience and wisdom, Christianity took root in these rural communities, and began to grow, fanned by the flames of love and zeal of Aidan and his companions. To further the growth of the faith, Aidan took in twelve English boys to train at the monastery, hoping to ensure that the area's future religious leadership would be English. The monastery he founded grew and helped found churches and other monasteries throughout the area. By his death, it was widely recognized as a center of Christian faith and learning throughout the regions.

Numerous miracles were attributed to him while alive, including his intercession to save the city of Bamburgh during attack by pagans. As holy legend tells us, when the pagans attacked the city, they set the walls on fire. Aidan prayed for respite, and the winds turned against the invaders, blowing the smoke from their own fires over the invading army. They were forced to flee, and the city was saved.

After 16 years as bishop, Aidan died at Bamburgh. In his life we see the zeal and the spirit of the first Apostles—a spirit based in generosity and dedication, in passing along the gifts of grace one possesses to all encountered. The Venerable Bede wrote of Saint Aidan: "He neither sought nor loved anything of this world, but delighted in distributing immediately to the poor whatever was given him by kings or rich men. He traversed both town and country on foot, never on horseback, unless compelled by some urgent necessity. Wherever on his way he saw any, either rich or poor, he invited them, if pagans, to embrace the mystery of the faith; or if they were believers, he sought to strengthen them in their faith and stir them up by words and actions to alms and good works."

Friday, 30 August 2013

St. Augustine final words, lines from Fr. Edward 28 Aug 2013

Dear Edward, 
You kindly intended the Poem ATTACHMENT.
A mystery of opening the message.
This was a puzzle for downloading the poem.

It was in fact a URL, the Link to be copied and pasted to the Toolbar, and eventially came to the surface.
Thank you.   
In Dno.,

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: edward . . .
To: Donald . . . 

Sent: Friday, 30 August 2013, 12:42
Subject: St. Augustine - a re-sending of the poem

Dear Father Donald,
Thank you for your Email  I must have failed to establish the connection between the poem and the email. I had sent  it as Bcc to about eight recipients, so I will send it to all of you.
. . . 
Blessings in Domino,

fr Edward O.P..  
P.S. Thank you for sending your blog.

“He is not a great man ...”

The final words of Augustine;
his native city was surrounded; not linked Legionwise, shield to shield,
but clumped with their horses
at varying distances from the city’s limits.
Were there pauses with brief encounters
between besiegers and besieged?
Were there pauses for trading,
and others for marauding and stealing?
In his house the Bishop had had
psalms and prayers written large on the walls.
His study was filled with books and papers.
Would he need more those parchment fragments,
pumiced clean,
with their references,
their plans,
their notes and reminders?
Desert dust was long settled on those curling scraps
and he was now lost in thought and in God,
articulating passing ascents to illuminations,
even unions.
His writings were piled with greater neatness
awaiting deposition after transportation -
but where?
He would be transported to his grave
when life had ebbed completely,
and he had consigned his thought
to his accustomed listeners.
But from whence came those lines from Plotinus on mortality?
Porphyry he had quoted many times in his two great writings,
but his master from Tyre he had not cited!
Perhaps they were sent by a connoisseur
who had linked them with the arrival of the horsemen.
Adversity had not sapped his courage
as he continued to himself:
“... who think it a great thing
that beams and walls should fall
and mortal man should perish!”
Fr. Edward
on his feastday - 28 August 2013

Christian’s Armour “the machinations of the devil”

Night Office

The Night Office Second Reading provided an little recalled name of writer, Haymo of Halberstadt.
[A Word in Season, Readings for the Liturgy Hours VI].
The  First Reading is Ephes 6:10-24 gives the subject, the Christian’s Armour.

Bl. Haymo’s writes of “the machinations of the devil”,  6 refs of ‘devil’..
On the other hand, The Commentary of Ronald Knox (p.260) takes up the thread of  the even more specific Gnostic bias, the astro-theological slant. “Verse 12 is perhaps a final allusion  to the Gnostic or semi-Gnostic teaching which had disturbed he peace of the Asiatic churches; ‘those who have the mastery of the world’ recalls a title given to the Devil by the (second-century) Gnostic leader Valentinus. “In order higher than ours” is literally “in places above the heaven”; cf. Ephesians 1.3.
It is puzzling to find St. Apparently attributes to diabolic powers a super-celestial sphere of influence; in 2.2 he has told us that their domain is in the lower air. But he is concerned, here, to point out that we are not striving against human enemies, but against immortal spirits which belong, by right of origin, to the very highest order of created beings.
. . .
St. Paul ranges ever wider geography and theology.

St. Paul’s  geographical  wide spreads his
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against thespiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: hoti ouk estin (3SPAI) hemin e pale pros aima kai sarka, alla pros tas archas, pros tas exousias, pros tous kosmokratoras tou skotous toutou, pros ta pneumatika tes ponerias en tois epouraniois.
Amplified: For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

12 For our astruggle is not against 1bflesh and blood, but cagainst the rulers, against the powers, against the dworld forces of this edarkness, against the fspiritual forces of wickedness in gthe heavenly places.
Lit blood and flesh

Twenty First in Ordinary Time FRIDAY

First Reading    Ephesians 6:10-24
Responsorv                                                             1 Pt 5:8-9; Jas 4:7
Be on the alert - watch out! Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. + Stand up to him, strong in your faith.
V. Resist the devil and he will take flight. + Stand up ...

Second Reading From a homily by Haymo of Halberstadt
Homily by Haymo of Halberstadt, Hom. 2 in epp. Pauli: PL 118, 808-809

My brothers in faith and love, and because we have one omnipotent God and Father, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Do not rely upon your own strength, your own merits, or the power of the rulers of this world, but be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.

Put on the armor of God, so that you maybe able to stand against the wiles of the devil. The term armor includes everything needed for battle, cuirass, helmet, shield, lance, javelins, and other similar equipment. By the armor of God, however, we must understand our Lord Jesus Christ, by whose protection all the elect are defended, with whom they are clothed; as the same Apostle says elsewhere: All of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

The elect put on Christ when with his help they acquire the virtues of Christ. To say Put on the armor of God is therefore the same as saying Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, set yourselves to acquire all the virtues which you know to be his. For example, he is just, truthful, patient, chaste, and gentle. He is called a lamb, a lion and a calf. Clothe yourselves, then, in justice, truthfulness, patience, love, cha stity, and gentleness. Be a lamb, that is, gentle; be a lion, that is, strong in faith and good works opposing the devil; be a calf too, mortifying yourselves with all your sins and unruly desires, so as to be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For the devil tries to trip us up in many ways. He lies in wait for us by evil suggestions; he lies in wait for us through our carnal vices and the lure of evil pleasure; he lies in wait for us through his servants, such as heretics, false brothers and sisters, and pagans. But we must fight valiantly against them all to be sure of vanquishing them.

And take the helmet of salvation. A helmet is placed on the head to shield and protect all the bodily senses, namely the sense of sight in the eyes, of hearing in the ears, of taste in the mouth, of smell in the nose, and of touch in the whole head. What then are we to understand by the helmet which, as we have said, protects all the bodily senses? Our Lord Jesus Christ, and his protection. By the head we should understand the mind, for just as the limbs are ruled by the head, so thoughts are governed by the mind. Let us therefore place Christ on our head, that is, in our mind, to protect it; let us remember him in the secrecy of our minds, placing our trust in him instead of in ourselves, and he will guard all our senses so that our ancient enemy the devil will be unable to harm them.

Take also the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; that is to say, the teaching and knowledge of the holy scriptures given us by the Spirit. It is called a sword because just as a sword drives an enemy off, so by meditating on the divine scriptures given us by the Holy Spirit, and seeking to do what they teach and avoid what they forbid, we can defeat all the machinations of the devil.