"ONE thing thou lackest." In these words God called Aelred from the court of a royal Saint, David of Scotland, to the silence of the cloister. He left the king, the companions of his youth, and a friend most dear, to obey the call. The conviction that in the world his soul was in danger alone enabled him to break such ties. Long afterwards the bitterness of the parting remained fresh in his soul, and he declared that, "though he had left his dear ones in the body to serve his Lord, his heart was ever with them." He entered the Cistercian Order, and even there his yearning for sympathy showed itself in a special attraction to one among the brethren named Simon. This holy monk had left the world in his youth, and appeared as one deaf and dumb, so absorbed was he in God. One day Aelred, forgetting for the moment the rule of perpetual silence, spoke to him. At once he prostrated himself at his feet in token of his fault; but Simon's look of pain and displeasure haunted him for many a year, and taught him to let no human feeling disturb for one moment his union with God. A certain novice once came to Aelred, saying that he must return to the world. But Aelred had begged his soul of God, and answered, "Brother, ruin not thyself; nevertheless thou canst not, even though thou wouldst." However, he would not listen, and wandered among the hills, thinking all the while he was going far from the abbey. At sunset he found himself before a convent strangely like Rieveaux, and so it was. The first monk he met was Aelred, who fell on his neck, saying, "Son, why hast thou done so with me? Lo! I have wept for thee with many tears, and I trust in God that, as I have asked of Him, thou shalt not perish." The world does not so love its friends. At the command of his superiors Aelred composed his great works, the Spiritual Friendship and the Mirror of Charity. In the latter he says that true love of God is only to be obtained by joining ourselves in all things to the Passion of Christ. He died in 1167, founder and Abbot of Rieveaux, the most austere monastery in England, and Superior of some three hundred monks.
Reflection. —When a man has given himself to God, God gives back friendship with all His other gifts a hundredfold. Friends are then loved no longer for themselves only, but for God, and that with a love lively and tender; for God can easily purify feeling. It is not feeling, but self-love, which corrupts friendship. you!
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Ferial Day (The Holy Family, Jesus, Mary, Joseph)
Introit • Prov. 23, 24, 25
Let the father of the Just rejoice greatly; let thy father thy mother be joyful, and let her rejoice that bore thee. Ps. 82, 2, 3. How lovely are Thy tabernacles O Lord of hosts; my soul longeth and fainteh for the courts of the Lord. Glory be …
O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, in the days of Thy subjection to Mary and Joseph, didst consecrate home life by ineffable acts of virtue; by the intercession of Ty holy Mother and of Thy foster-Father, make us so to profit by the example thy with Thee have set us, that we may be counted members of Thy household for evermore. Who livest.
Epistle • Col. 3, 12-17
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Colossians.
[He exhorts them to put off the old man, and to put on the new. The duties of wives and husbands, children and servants.]
Brethren, put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience: Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection: And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom: teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God. All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do ye things, do ye in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Gradual • Ps. 26, 4
One thing I have asked of the Lord: this will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. Ps. 83, 5. Blessed are thy who dwell in Thy house, O Lord; thy shall praise Thee for ever and ever.
Alleluia, alleluia. Isaias 45, 15. Truly Thou art a hidden King, the God of Israel, the Saviour. Alleluia.
Gospel • Luke 2, 42-52
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[The birth of Christ. His presentation in the temple. Simeon's prophecy. Christ at twelve years of age, is found amongst the doctors.]
And when he was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast, And having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not. And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day' s journey, and sought him among their kinsfolks and acquaintance. And not finding him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking him.
And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers. And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father' s business? And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them.
And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men. also.
Offertory • Luke, 2, 22
The parents of Jesus carried Him to the temple, to present Him to the Lord.
To appease Thee, O Lord, we offer the Victim of Salvation, humbly beseeching Thee that, through the prayers of the Virgin Mother of God and St. Joseph, Thou wouldst establish our households in Thy peace and favor. Through the same.
Communion • Luke 2, 51
Jesus went down with them. And came to Nazareth and was subject to them.
Do thou, O Lord, bring us whom Thou hast refreshed with heavenly mysteries to imitate the example of Thy holy Family, that at the hour of our death, with the Virgin Mother and blessed Joseph at hand, we may be receiving by Thee into our everlasting home. Who livest.