Bishop Confessor, Doctor of the Church
ST. AUGUSTINE was born in 354, at Tagaste in Africa. He was brought up in the Christian faith, but without receiving baptism. An ambitious school-boy of brilliant talents and violent passions, he early lost both his faith and his innocence. He persisted in his irregular life until he was thirty-two. Being then at Milan professing rhetoric, he tells us that the faith of his childhood had regained possession of his intellect, but that he could not as yet resolve to break the chains of evil habit. One day, a however, stung to the heart by the account of some sudden conversions, be cried out, "The unlearned rise and storm heaven, and we, with all our learning, for lack of heart lie wallowing here." He then withdrew into a garden, when a long and terrible conflict ensued. Suddenly a young fresh voice (he knows not whose) breaks in upon his strife with the words, "Take and read;" and he lights upon the passage beginning, "Walk honestly as in the day." The battle was won. He received baptism, returned home, and gave all to the poor. At Hippo, where he settled, he was consecrated bishop in 395. For thirty-five years he was the centre of ecclesiastical life in Africa, and the Church's mightiest champion against heresy; whilst his writings have been everywhere accepted as one of the principal sources of devotional thought and theological speculation. He died in 430.
Reflection. —Read the lives of the Saints, and you will ill find that you are gradually creating a society about you to which in some measure you will be forced to raise the standard of your daily life.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Commemoration of St. Hermes, Martyr
Introit • Ps. 44, 8
Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: there for God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (P. T. Alleluia, alleluia.) Ps. 44, 2. My heart that uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King. Glory be …
Give ear to our prayers, O almighty God, and, by the intercession of blessed Augustine, Thy confessor and bishop, graciously grant the effect of Thine accustomed mercy to those in whom Thou dost encourage a strong trust in the kindness which is their hope. Through our Lord.
O God, Who didst strengthen blessed Hermes, Thy martyr, with the virtue of constancy in his suffering, grant us, in imitation of him, to despise the prosperity of the world for love of Thee, and not to fear worldly adversity. Through our Lord.
Epistle • 2 Tim. 4, 1-8
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to Timothy.
[His charge to Timothy. He tells him of his approaching death and desires him to come to him.]
Dearly beloved, I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober. For I am even now ready to be sacrificed: and the time of my dissolution is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love his coming.
Gradual • Ps. 36, 30, 31
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom and his tongue shall speak judgement: the law of his God is in his heart; and his steps shall not be supplanted.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 88, 21. I have found David my servant: with my holy oil I have anointed him. Alleluia.
Gospel • Matt. 5, 13-19
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[Christ's sermon upon the mount. The eight beatitudes.]
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.
So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Offertory • Ps. 91, 13
The just shall flourish like the palm-tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus. (P. T. Alleluia.)
May the loving prayers of Augustine, Thy bishop and confessor, not be wanting to us, O Lord, to commend our gifts and ever to obtain pardon for us. Through our Lord.
We offer Thee, O Lord, the sacrifice of praise in commemoration of Thy saints; grant, we beseech Thee, that what hath conferred glory on them may profit us unto salvation. Through our Lord.
Communion • Luke 12, 42
A faithful and wise steward, whom His lord set over his family; to give them their measure of wheat in due season. (P. T. Alleluia.)
That Thy sacrifices may give us health, O Lord, may blessed Augustine, Thy bishop and confessor and illustrious doctor, we beseech Thee, act as our intercessor. Through our Lord.
Filled with heavenly blessings, O Lord, we beseech Thy mercy that, by the intercession of blessed Hermes, Thy martyr, we may feel the salutary effects of that which we humbly perform. Through our Lord.