Thursday, September 3, 2020

Thursday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

Pope Saint Gregory the Great (540-604), Doctor of the Church, one of the great Latin fathers with Saint Ambrose (340-397), Saint Jerome (347-420), and Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

Readings of the Day
RB: Prologue 14-20
Mass: 1 Cor :18-23; Resp Ps 24; Lk 5:1-11

The Lord's are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it.

Is there anyone here who yearns for life and desires to see good days?
(Ps 33[34]:13/RB Prol 15)

While you ponder Saint Benedict's question from the Prologue of the Holy Rule, it is well-worth saying something about the saint of the day, Pope Saint Gregory the Great. We pray to him with gratitude. We also want to remember his dear mother, Saint Silvia (515-592). Saint Silvia is venerated as a patroness of pregnant women. We ask her to intercede for all pregnant women, for their health and well-being. Now, here are Saint Gregory's impeccable credentials, from a footnote of a thesis I wrote in 2012.

Around 575 Gregory converted his home on the Coelian Hill in Rome into a monastery and founded six other monasteries in Sicily. Gregory became a deacon to Pelagius II and was then elected Pope in 590. He left voluminous writings for all the faithful-laity, monks, and clergy-including 850 letters, works on the moral life, the priesthood, homilies, and his Dialogues, the Dialogorum Libri, presented as a dialogue between Gregory and his deacon, Peter. The first three books of the Dialogue contain stories about the lives and miracles of Italian saints. The fourth book contains teaching on the moral life. Book II is "the best and practically only source of information about St. Benedict."

It is Saint Gregory the Great we turn to, then, as the principal source for the life of our holy father Saint Benedict of Norcia. It is important also to include something Saint Gregory wrote in Book II of his Dialogues: "There is one more point, however, that I want to call to your attention. With all the renown [Benedict] gained by his numerous miracles, the holy man was no less outstanding for the wisdom of his teaching. He wrote a Rule for Monks that is remarkable for its discretion and its clarity of language. Anyone who wishes to know more about his life and character can discover in his Rule exactly what he was like as an abbot, for his life could not have differed for his teaching."

For all those who answer the above question in the affirmative, we turn again to the Holy Rule for what comes next.

If you hear this and your answer is "I do," God then directs these words to you: If you desire true and eternal life, keep your tongue free from vicious talk and your lips from all deceit; turn away from evil and do good; let peace be your quest and aim. Once you have done this, my eyes will be upon you and my ears will listen for your prayers; and even before you ask me, I will say to you: Here I am. What, dear brothers. is more delightful than this voice of the Lord calling to us? See how the Lord in his love shows us the way of life. Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the Gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see him who has called us to his kingdom.
(RB Prol 16-21)


Today's photo: Not one of ours, this gorgeous elk looks at us from Cannon Beach, OR. Thanks d.

© Gertrude Feick 2020

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