Don’t neglect your spiritual reading. Reading has made many saints.”
St. Josemaría Escrivá
Little is known about the early life of Quodvultdeus. Of Berber origins, he was born in Africa, probably at Carthage, towards the end of the fourth century. His name means “What God wills”. He was ordained deacon by St Augustine, who later wrote a work against heresies at his request and dedicated it to him [though one German scholar claims that this “deacon Quodvultdeus” was a different person of the same name]. Quodvultdeus became bishop of Carthage in 435. He severely criticized Christians who were more interested in attending the circus than in being inspired by the example of the saints and martyrs, and attributed the calamities that befell his province to the wrath of God. When Carthage fell to the Vandal king Genseric in 439, Quodvultdeus refused to renounce his faith and become an Arian like the king. Together with the clergy who were faithful to him, he was cast adrift on a disused ship without oars or sails. Providentially, they reached Naples, where Quodvultdeus spent the rest of his life. He wrote “The Book of the Promises and Prophecies of God”, and took part in the fight against Pelagianism. He died at Naples in 454 and is buried in the Catacombs of St Januarius at Capodimonte. The “Sermon on the Creed”, from which an extract is used on the feast of the Holy Innocents, was formerly attributed to St Augustine. Credit: Universalis
Even before they learn to speak, they proclaim Christ
A sermon of St Quodvultdeus
A tiny child is born, who is a great king. Wise men are led to him from afar. They come to adore one who lies in a manger and yet reigns in heaven and on earth. When they tell of one who is born a king, Herod is disturbed. To save his kingdom he resolves to kill him, though if he would have faith in the child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and for ever in the life to come.
Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king? He does not come to drive you out, but to conquer the devil. But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage, and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.
You are not restrained by the love of weeping mothers or fathers mourning the deaths of their sons, nor by the cries and sobs of the children. You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart. You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong your own life, though you are seeking to kill Life himself.
Yet your throne is threatened by the source of grace, so small, yet so great, who is lying in the manger. He is using you, all unaware of it, to work out his own purposes freeing souls from captivity to the devil. He has taken up the sons of the enemy into the ranks of God’s adopted children.
The children die for Christ, though they do not know it. The parents mourn for the death of martyrs. The child makes of those as yet unable to speak fit witnesses to himself. See the kind of kingdom that is his, coming as he did in order to be this kind of king. See how the deliverer is already working deliverance, the saviour already working salvation.
But you, Herod, do not know this and are disturbed and furious. While you vent your fury against the child, you are already paying him homage, and do not know it.
How great a gift of grace is here! To what merits of their own do the children owe this kind of victory? They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ. They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory.
Credit: Divine Office: Office of Readings; 28 Dec in the Octave of Christmas, Feast of the Holy Innocents; 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.
Just as when Eve was made from the side of a sleeping Adam, so the Church was formed from the side of Christ, hanging on the cross. For his side was pierced, as the Gospel says, and immediately there flowed out blood and water, which are the twin sacraments of the Church: the water, which became her bath; the blood, which became her dowry. In this blood the holy martyrs, friends of the Bridegroom, washed their robes, made them white, came as invited guests to the marriage of the Lamb (Rv 22:14), took the cup from the Bridegroom, drank, and gave their pledge to him. They drank the blood of him for whom they poured out their blood….”
To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement.”
Saint Augustine of Hippo
“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.