Collect: “Lord of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things; Graft in our hearts the love of thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Monday, August 5: Saint Dominic
St. Dominic was born between 1173 and 1175 in the Castilian village of Caleruega. While pregnant, his mother had several dreams which foretold that Dominic would be a light to the world. After being educated in theology and ordained, Dominic lived as a canon in the Rule of St. Augustine for around six years. While on official business traveling from Spain to Castile, Dominic and his companion encountered some Cistercian monks who shared their difficulties preaching against the popular Albigensian heresy in Southern France. The Albigensians believed that all matter was evil, thus denying the incarnation and the sacraments. In their extreme asceticism, they demanded celibacy, rigorous fasting and even esteemed suicide, but the laudible purity of their lives reflected poorly upon orthodox clergy. Dominic formed an Order of Preachers, who would preach powerfully and live righteously in order to counteract the Albigensians. This order, which came to be called the Dominicans, spread to many countries in just a few years. Dominic died at Bologna on August 6 in 1221.
Tuesday, August 6: The Transfiguration
The Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ is recorded in Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, and Luke 9:28-36. Jesus took Peter, James, and John to a mountain, traditionally Mount Tabor. As Jesus prayed, he is transfigured before the disciples — his clothing becomes radiantly white and his face shines like the sun. And then, Moses and Elijah appeared and talked to him. Peter responded ( apparently not knowing what he was saying) with a desire to build three tents and commemorate the event. A cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!” The disciples were terrified but Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” The feast celebrating this day started in the Eastern Church and became universal in the mid-fifteenth century.
Saturday, August 10: St. Laurence
St. Laurence is one of the most famous of all early Christian martyrs. He was one of seven deacons in the Church of Rome in the 3rd century. In 257, when the Roman Emperor Valerian put out his edicts against Christians, Laurence’s bishop and spiritual father, Pope Sixtus II, was taken and executed. The magistrate who arrested Sixtus expected to be presented with all the church’s treasures as a ransom. Instead, Laurence sold all of the valuables of the church and distributed the funds to the needy of Rome. When the magistrate came to demand the treasures, Laurence assembled the poor before him and declared, “These are the treasures of the Church.” Traditionally, Laurence was put to death on a gridiron, even quipping “Don’t you see that my flesh is roasted enough on one side? You can turn me over now.” After praying for the conversion of Rome, Laurence died. Prudentius says that Laurence’s prayer was immediately answered in that several Roman senators witnessed his death and converted to Christianity at that moment.
- Here’s a post from this last week on Family Prayer and Julian of Norwich
“On the outside, it may just look like tired parents wrangling rowdy children and reciting prayers through relentless interruptions. But in truth, we are returning to our source, reaffirming our identity, receiving our promised grace.”
- From 3 years ago, a post on the Churching of Women:
“As modern culture does away with all forms of ceremony, I think we individuals feel increasingly isolated and cut off from anything beyond ourselves. But when an individual woman takes part in the Churching of Women, she finds herself kneeling in the same position as the many mothers who have gone before her. She finds herself taking the same posture as Mary herself, who could declare, “I am the Lord’s handmaiden, may it be to me as you have said.” When she may not know what to say – overwhelmed with post-partum hormones, sleep deprivation, joy, and often frustration – she is given living and fitting words that can bring shape to her soul.”