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Arch Bishop Micheal Ralph Vendegna S.O.S.M.A.

Spiritual Reading

  • Friday 8 July 2022

    Friday of week 14 in Ordinary Time 

    Spiritual Reading

    Your Second Reading from the Office of Readings:

    Friday of week 14 in Ordinary Time

    From a letter of Pope St Clement I to the Corinthians
    We are blessed if we fulfil the commands of the Lord in the harmony of love

    Beloved, see what a marvellous thing love is; its perfection is beyond our expression. Who can truly love save those to whom God grants it? We ought to beg and beseech him in his mercy that our love may be genuine, unmarred by any too human inclination. From Adam down to the present time all generations have passed away; but those who were perfected in love by God’s grace have a place among the saints who will be revealed when the kingdom of Christ comes to us. As it is written: Enter your chambers for a little while, until my wrath and anger pass away; and I shall remember a good day and raise you from your graves. We are blessed, beloved, if we fulfil the commands of the Lord in harmonious, loving union, so that through love our sins may be forgiven. For it is written: Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputes not iniquity, and in whose mouth there is no deceit. This is the blessing that has been given to those who have been chosen by God through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
    We should pray then that we may be granted forgiveness for our sins and for whatever we may have done when led astray by our adversary’s servants. And for those who were the leaders of the schism and the sedition, they too should look to the common hope. For those who live in pious fear and in love are willing to endure torment rather than have their neighbour suffer; and they more willingly suffer their own condemnation than the loss of that harmony that has been so nobly and righteously handed down to us. For it is better for a man to confess his sins than to harden his heart.
    Who then among you is generous, who is compassionate, who is filled with love? He should speak out as follows: If I have been the cause of sedition, conflict and schisms, then I shall depart; I shall go away wherever you wish, and I shall do what the community wants, if only the flock of Christ live in peace with the presbyters who are set over them. Whoever acts thus would win great glory for himself in Christ, and he would be received everywhere, for the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. Thus have they acted in the past and will continue to act in the future who live without regret as citizens in the city of God.


    In other parts of the world and other calendars:

    Saint Withburga, Abbess

    From the Decree on the Appropriate Renewal of the Religious Life of the Second Vatican Council
    The Church follows her only spouse, Christ

    From the very first days of the Church there were men and women who aimed to follow Christ with greater freedom and imitate him more closely, by the practice of the evangelical counsels. They dedicated their lives to God in various ways. Many of them, inspired by the Holy Spirit, led the life of hermits, or raised up religious families to which the Church readily gave her authoritative approval. And so, in accordance with God’s plan a wonderful variety of religious communities has grown up. These have enabled the Church not only to be equipped for every good work and prepared for the work of the ministry of building up the Body of Christ, but also, arrayed in the different gifts of her sons, to appear as a bride adorned for her husband; and thus, through the Church the manifold wisdom of God is made known.
    Amidst this great variety of gifts, all who are called by God to the practice of the evangelical counsels and loyally profess them, are dedicating themselves to the Lord in a special way by following Christ, the example of all chastity and poverty; who by his obedience, even to death on the cross, redeemed and sanctified mankind. Fired by the love which the Holy Spirit pours out in their hearts, they live their lives ever increasingly for Christ and for his Body which is the Church. Consequently, the more fervent their union with Christ through this giving of themselves, which includes the whole of their lives, the richer the life of the Church becomes and the more fruitful her apostolate.
    Members of any sort of religious institute must bear particularly in mind that the profession of the evangelical counsels was their response to God’s call, so that they might not only be dead to sin but also renounce the world and live for God alone. They have made over the whole of their lives to his service and this is a special type of consecration, deeply rooted in the consecration of baptism, which it expresses more fully.
    Those who profess the evangelical counsels should above all else seek and love God, who has first loved us. In everything they must endeavour to nourish a hidden life with Christ in God, which will lead to and encourage that love of one’s neighbour which is for the salvation of the world and the building up of the Church. It is from this love that the actual practice of the evangelical counsels takes its life and direction.
    Chastity ‘for the kingdom of heaven’, which religious profess, must be seen as a special gift of grace. It frees man’s heart in a particular way so as to increase the flame of his love for God and all men. It is thus a special token of the rewards of heaven, as well as a most suitable way for the religious to dedicate himself readily to the service of God and the works of the apostolate. In this way they are a reminder for all believers in Christ of the marriage in which the Church has Christ as its one spouse, that marriage established by God, which will be made manifest in the world to come.

    Copyright © 1996-2022 Universalis Publishing Limited: see www.universalis.com. Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible are published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. Text of the Psalms: Copyright © 1963, The Grail (England). Used with permission of A.P. Watt Ltd. All rights reserved.