Don’t neglect your spiritual reading. Reading has made many saints.”
St. Josemaría Escrivá
Make our lives new as they were at the beginning
Athanasius (295-373 A.D.) was born in Alexandria. He assisted Bishop Alexander at the Council of Nicaea, and later succeeded him as bishop. He fought hard against Arianism all his life, undergoing many sufferings and spending a total of 17 years in exile. He wrote outstanding works to explain and defend orthodoxy. The matters in dispute with the Arians were vital to the very nature of Christianity; and, as Cardinal Newman put it, the trouble was that at that time the laity tended to be champions of orthodoxy while their bishops (seduced by closeness to imperial power) tended not to be. The further trouble (adds Henry Chadwick) is that the whole thing became tangled up with matters of power, organization and authority, and with cultural differences between East and West. Athanasius was accused of treason and murder, embezzlement and sacrilege. In the fight against him, any weapon would do. Arianism taught that the Son was created by the Father and in no way equal to him. This was in many ways a “purer” and more “spiritual” approach to religion, since it did not force God to undergo the undignified experience of being made of meat. Islam is essentially Arian. But Arianism leaves an infinite gap between God and man, and ultimately destroys the Gospel, leaving it either as a fake or as a cruel parody. Only by being orthodox and insisting on the identity of the natures of the Father and the Son and the Spirit can we truly understand the goodness of creation and the love of God, and live according to them. For this reason many extracts from the works of St Athanasius have been adopted as Second Readings in the Office of Readings. Credit: Universalis.com
An oration by St Athanasius on the incarnation of the Word
God the Word of the great and good Father did not abandon human nature as it was falling into corruption and decay. By offering his own body he wiped out the death towards which mankind was heading. By his teaching he healed their ignorance, and by his power and might he re-founded the whole of human nature.
If you want confirmation of this, look to the authority of Christ’s own disciples and what they have written about God: The love of Christ overwhelms us when we reflect that if one man has died for all, then all men should be dead; and the reason he died for all was so that living men should live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised to life for them, our Lord Jesus Christ. And again: We see in Jesus one who was for a short while made lower than the angels and is now crowned with glory and splendour because he submitted to death; by God’s grace he had to experience death for all mankind. Then he gives the reason why only God the Word could become man: It was appropriate that God, for whom everything exists and through whom everything exists, should make perfect, through suffering, the leader who would take them to their salvation. These words mean that the rescue of mankind from corruption and decay was the task of none other than God the Word, by whom they were originally created.
The Word’s purpose behind taking on a body was that he should become a sacrifice for bodies of the same kind, as scripture says: Since all the children share the same blood and flesh, he too shared equally in it, so that by his death he could take away all the power of him who had power over death, and set free all those who had been held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. So by offering up his own body he brought an end to the law that had been condemning us, and by giving us the hope of resurrection he gave our lives a new beginning.
It was through the act of man that death received power over man, and through the act of God the Word for man that death lost its power and the resurrection of life took its place. Thus Paul said: Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ… and so on. We no longer die to be condemned, we die to be raised up and await the resurrection of all, which God will bring about at a time of his choosing, the creator of all things and the giver of all gifts.
Credit: Divine Office: Office of Readings; Saturday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time. Information herein posted under the "rules of fair use" to foster education and discussion in accordance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976.
If the world goes against truth, then I go against the world.”
Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ.”
“From ancient times the Church has had the custom of celebrating each day the liturgy of the hours. In this way the Church fulfills the Lord’s precept to pray without ceasing, at once offering its praise to God the Father and interceding for the salvation of the world.” — Office of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. The Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of the whole People of God. In it, Christ himself “continues his priestly work through his Church.” His members participate according to their own place in the Church and the circumstances of their lives. The laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office either with the priests, among themselves, or individually. The celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours demands not only harmonizing the voice with the praying heart, but also a deeper “understanding of the liturgy and of the Bible, especially of the Psalms.” The hymns and litanies of the Liturgy of the Hours integrate the prayer of the psalms into the age of the Church, expressing the symbolism of the time of day, the liturgical season, or the feast being celebrated. Credit: https://divineoffice.org/liturgy-of-the-hours/
Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.”
Saint Francis de Sales
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Holy Spirit, Light and Life of my Soul, enliven my prayer life.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.