OF noble rank and rare talents, Norbert passed a most pious youth, and entered the ecclesiastical state. By a strange contradiction, his conduct now became a scandal to his sacred calling, and at the court of the Emperor Henry IV. he led, like many clerics of that age, a life of dissipation and luxury. One day, when he was thirty years of age, he was thrown half dead from his horse, and on recovering his senses, resolved upon a new life. After a severe and searching preparation, he was ordained priest, and began to expose the abuses of his Order. Silenced at first by a local council, he obtained the Pope's sanction and preached penance to listening crowds in France and the Netherlands. In the wild vale of Prémontré he gave to some trained disciples the rule of St. Austin, and a white habit to denote the angelic purity proper to the priesthood. The Canons Regular, or Premonstratensians, as they were called, were to unite the active work of the country clergy with the obligations of the monastic life. Their fervor renewed the spirit of the priesthood, quickened the faith of the people, and drove out heresy. A vile heretic, named Tankelin, appeared at Antwerp, in the time of St. Norbert, and denied the reality of the priesthood, and especially blasphemed the Blessed Eucharist. The Saint was sent for to drive out the pest. By his burning words he exposed the impostor and rekindled the faith in the Blessed Sacrament. Many of the apostates had proved their contempt for the Blessed Sacrament by burying it in filthy places. Norbert bade them search for the Sacred Hosts. They found them entire and uninjured, and the Saint bore them back in triumph to the tabernacle. Hence he is generally painted with the monstrance in his hand. In 1126 Norbert found himself appointed Bishop of Magdeburg; and there, at the risk of his life, he zealously carried on his work of reform, and died, worn out with toil, at the age of fifty-three.
Reflection. —Reparation for the injuries offered to the Blessed Sacrament was the aim of St. Norbert's great work of reform—in himself, in the clergy, and in the faithful. How much does our present worship repair for our own past irreverences, and for the outrages offered by others to the Blessed Eucharist.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • 4 Esdras 2, 37
Receive the joy of your glory, alleluia; Who hath called you to a heavenly kingdom, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 77, 1. Attend, O My people, to My law; incline your ears to the words of My mouth. Glory be …
Let the power of the Holy Spirit be present with us, O Lord, both graciously cleansing our hearts and guarding us from all dangers. Through… in the unity of the same.
Epistle • Acts 8, 14-17
Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles.
[Philip converts the Samaritans and baptizes the eunuch.]
In those days, when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. Who, when they were come, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For he was not as yet come upon any of them; but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
Alleluia, alleluia. John 14, 26. The Holy Ghost shall teach you whatsoever I shall have said to you. Alleluia. (Here all kneel). Come, O Holy Spirit fill the hearts of Thy faithful; and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.
Gospel • John 10, 1-10
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. John.
[Christ is the door and the good shepherd. He and his Father are one.]
At that time, Jesus said to the Pharisees, Amen, amen I say to you: He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he hath let out his own sheep, he goeth before them: and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. But a stranger they follow not, but fly from him, because they know not the voice of strangers.
This proverb Jesus spoke to them. But they understood not what he spoke to them. Jesus therefore said to them again: Amen, amen I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All others, as many as have come, are thieves and robbers: and the sheep heard them not. I am the door. By me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved: and he shall go in, and go out, and shall find pastures. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.
Offertory • Ps. 77, 23-25
The Lord opened the doors of heaven, and rained down manna upon them to eat: He gave them the bread of heaven, man did eat the bread of angels, alleluia.
May the offering of the gift here before Thee, we beseech Thee, O Lord, purify us and render us worthy of its sacred participation. Through… in the unity of the same.
Communion • John 15, 26; 16, 14; 17, 1, 5
The Spirit Who preceedeth from the Father, alleluia. He shall glorify Me, alleluia, Alleluia.
May the Holy Spirit, we beseech Thee, O Lord, renew our minds with the divine sacrament, for He is the remission of all sins. Through… in the unity of the same.