Don’t neglect your spiritual reading. Reading has made many saints.”
St. Josemaría Escrivá
The word of God is alive and active
Baldwin (d. 1190) was born in Exeter, but his date of birth is unknown. He was ordained priest and made archdeacon by Bartholomew, Bishop of Exeter. He subsequently became a Cistercian monk at the Abbey of Ford, in Devonshire, and within a year was made Abbot of Ford. In 1180 he was promoted to the Bishopric of Worcester and in the same year was elected to the primatial see of Canterbury by the bishops of the province. The election was disputed by the monks of Canterbury, necessitating the intervention of King Henry II. Even after his appointment was ratified he was engaged in disputes with the Canterbury monks, so that King Richard and the Holy See had to become involved.
Baldwin acted as legate in Wales, where he held a visitation in 1187. In 1188 he preached the Crusade, after having himself taken the cross on hearing the news of the loss of Jerusalem. In 1190 he set out for the Holy Land, in company with Hubert, Bishop of Salisbury, and others, providing at his own expense two hundred knights and three hundred retainers. While there he acted a vicegerent of the patriarch. He died during the siege of Acre, leaving all he possessed for the relief of the Holy Land and naming Bishop Hubert as his executor.
The Spiritual Tractates were written almost entirely during the decade Baldwin lived at Ford, probably as sermons which were later re-cast. They reveal a man thoroughly and happily at home in Cistercian spirituality, an acute theologian well aware of contemporary currents, and one of the last true representatives of the rich patristic-monastic tradition. The Tractate on the Angel’s Salutation, in particular (read on Thursday of the 20th week in Ordinary Time), marks an important stage in the evolution of Marian spirituality.
From Bishop Baldwin of Canterbury: treatise 6
The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts like any double-edged sword but more finely. These words tell us how much power and wisdom there is in the word of God for those who seek Christ, who is the word and the power and the wisdom of God. This word, with the Father from the beginning and co-eternal with him, came at its own chosen time, was revealed to them, was proclaimed by them, and was humbly received in faith by its believers. A word, therefore, in the Father; a word in the mouth; and a word in the heart.
This word of God is alive. The Father gave it life coming from itself just as the Father’s own life comes from himself. The word is not just alive, therefore, it is life, as it said itself: I am the way, the truth, and the life. Since the word is life, the word is alive to give life. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life to anyone he chooses. He gives life, as when he calls the dead man out of the tomb, saying Lazarus, come forth.
When this word is preached, the voice of its preaching which is heard outwardly calls forth a voice of power that is heard inwardly, that voice by which the dead are restored to life and their praise raises up sons for Abraham. So this word is alive in the heart of the Father, alive in the mouth of the preacher, and alive in the hearts of those who believe and love. If a word is alive in this way, how can it not also be active?
The word is active in creating, active in guiding the world, active in redeeming the world. What could be more active? What could be more powerful? Who shall tell of his powerful deeds? Who shall proclaim the praises of the Lord? It is active when it works, it is active when it is preached. For it does not come back empty-handed: wherever it is sent, it prospers.
It is active and cuts finer than a double-edged sword when it is believed and loved. For what is impossible to the believer? What is hard for the lover? When this word speaks, its words transfix the heart like a flight of sharp arrows, like nails hammered deep into its very essence. This word is sharper than a double-edged sword in that it cuts deeper than any strength or power, it is finer than anything made by human ingenuity, sharper than any human wisdom or learned speech.
Credit: Divine Office: Office of Readings; Friday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time; https://divineoffice.org/welcome/ Information herein posted under the "rules of fair use" to foster education and discussion in accordance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976.
Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”
Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrneans 8, ca. A.D. 110
The need for God never disappears. Those who deny the existence of water are still thirsty, and those who deny God still want him in their craving for beauty, and love and peace, which He alone is. “
Bishop Fulton Sheen
“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.