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Monk in White, Seated, Reading by Camille Corot (c. 1857)

Don’t neglect your spiritual reading. Reading has made many saints.”

St. Josemaría Escrivá
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D), or Basil of Caesarea, was one of the three men known as the Cappadocian Fathers. The others are his younger brother, St Gregory of Nyssa, and St Gregory Nazianzen. They were active after the Council of Nicaea, working to formulate Trinitarian doctrine precisely and, in particular, to pin down the meaning and role of the least humanly comprehensible member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Basil was the leader and organizer.  

In addition to his role in doctrinal development, Basil is also the father of Eastern monasticism. He moderated the heroic ascetic practices that were characteristic of earlier monastic life, to the point where they could be part of a life in which work, prayer and ascetic practices could be in harmonious balance. Knowledge of Basil’s work and Rule spread to the West and was an influence on the founding work of St Benedict.   

The works of Basil that appear in the Second Readings are mostly from his works on the Holy Spirit, but there are also extracts from his monastic Rule. 

Credit: Universalis; https://www.universalis.com

The Lord gives life to the body in the Spirit

From the book On the Holy Spirit by Saint Basil the Great, bishop

Someone who no longer lives according to the flesh, but, being led by the Spirit of God, is called a Son of God and is conformed to the image of the Son of God, is described as spiritual. As is the power of seeing in the healthy eye, so is the operation of the Spirit in the purified soul.

The word exists in the soul sometimes as a thought in the heart and at other times as speech uttered by the tongue. So too the Holy Spirit sometimes adds his witness to that of our spirit and cries in our hearts Abba, Father, sometimes speaks on our behalf, as it is said, It is not you that speak, but the Spirit of our Father who speaks in you.

  Again, the Spirit is conceived of, in relation to the distribution of gifts, as a whole in different parts. For we are all part of one another, having different gifts according to the grace that God has given us.
  So the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you; nor the head to the feet, I have no need of you, but all come together to make up the whole Body of Christ in the unity of the Spirit. From the gifts that have been given them they each give the others whatever service is needed.
  For God has arranged the parts of the body, each of them in the place he chose for it. And the various parts have the same care for one another, in the spiritual unity that comes from the inborn affections that they have been given. Therefore when one part of the body suffers, all the parts suffer with it; when one part is honoured, all share its joy. To summarise, our relations in the Spirit are the same as the relation of the part to the whole, because we were all baptized in one body into one spirit.
  Just as the Father is seen in the Son, so is the Son seen in the Spirit. To speak of spiritual worship is to speak of the action of our intelligence made visible. This can be learned from the words that were spoken to the woman of Samaria. She was deceived by the customs of her country into the belief that worship was local but our Lord corrected her by saying that worship ought to be offered in Spirit and in truth, clearly meaning that he himself was the Truth.
  We speak of the worship offered in the Son, meaning worship offered in the image of God the Father. In the same way we can speak of worship offered in the Spirit, the one who shows in himself the divinity of the Lord.
  So it is right, and in accordance with the true nature of things, that the illumination of the Spirit should allow us to glimpse the splendour of the glory of God. We move from the imprint of a seal to the One whose exact and perfect seal it is.
Credit: Divine Office: Office of Readings; 2nd Sunday of Christmas; 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.

Hell can’t be made attractive, so the devil makes attractive the road that leads there.”

Saint Basil the Great
Located at the Cathedral of Ohrid, Macedonia, this fresco, from the 11th century, depicts Saint Basil (Basil the Great) blessing gifts in the Divine Liturgy. Basil was born c. 330 and died 379 A.D.

There is still time for endurance, time for patience, time for healing, time for change. Have you slipped? Rise up. Have you sinned? Cease. Do not stand among sinners, but leap aside.”

Saint Basil the Great
Liturgy from CCC 1069

“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

How to Pray Liturgy of the Hours

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 - Dove

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.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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