From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Thu Dec 2 23:39:59 2021
Love God with one's whole self
"Human life consists in a threefold unity. We are taught similarly by
the apostle in what he says to the Ephesians, praying for them that
the complete grace of their 'body and soul and spirit' may be
preserved at the coming of the Lord. We use the word 'body,' for the
nutritive part, the word for the vital, 'soul,' and the word 'spirit'
for the intellective dimension. In just this way the Lord instructs
the writer of the Gospel that he should set before every commandment
that love to God which is exercised with all the heart and soul and
mind (Mark 12:30; Matthew 22:37; Luke 10:27). This single phrase
embraces the human whole: the corporeal heart, the mind as the higher intellectual and mental nature, and the soul as their mediator."
--Gregory of Nyssa, 330-395 AD(excerpt from ON THE MAKING OF MAN 8.5.10)
December 3rd - St. Berinus of Dorchester
Also known as Birinus of Genoa
Apostle of Wessex
Frankish priest, born c.600. Died 3 December 650 at Dorchester.
Birinus was probably a Frank, consecrated a bishop by Archbishop
Asterius in Genoa. In 634, he was sent by Pope Honorius I to convert
the pagan people of Mercia. He landed at Portchester (Hampshire) and
moved up through the Christian Celts of Hampshire to Silchester
(Hampshire). Before he reached Mercia though, he encountered the pagan
Saxons of the Thames Valley. Finding them greatly in need of Christian teaching, he decided to stay and was directed to the King's estate on
the Berkshire Downs, probably at Cholsey (Berkshire). Here he met King
Cynegils of Wessex who chose Churn Knob (Blewbury, Berkshire) as the
site for the saint's first sermon. He must have thought this ancient
pagan place to be a fine spot to intimidate the newcomer. However,
Birinus was unperturbed and even managed to persuade the King of the
merits of Christianity. Cynegils allowed Birinus to preach throughout
his Kingdom, but it took a while before he himself was totally
The King was, at the time, desperately trying to finalise an alliance
with the powerful King Oswald of Northumbria. Together he hoped they
could defeat the hated Mercians. Cynegils arranged negotiations at his
palace in Easthampstead (Berkshire), and the King of Northumbria
traveled down to meet him. On reaching Finchampstead (Berkshire), the
King became thirsty and prayed for water. The Holy Dozell's (or St.
Oswald's) Well instantaneously sprang up and flowed fresh water. At
the Royal talks, the only sticking point was that Oswald was a
Christian and would not ally himself to any pagan. So the King of
Wessex decided it was time to be baptised into this new church. Oswald
agreed the alliance could then be cemented by the marriage of his
daughter and the southern King. Birinus was sent for and, at the
nearby Fountain Garth (Bracknell, Berkshire), Cynegils was baptised immediately.
The bishop was given the old Roman town of Dorcic
(Dorchester-on-Thames, Oxfordshire) in which to build himself a
cathedral, and the Royal party travelled north to examine the site. On
the way many of the Royal courtiers also expressed a desire to become Christian, so at the Brightwell (Berkshire) crossing of the Thames
near Dorchester, Birinus arranged for a large proportion of his Court
to be baptised en mass. The King's son, Cwichelm, resisted at first,
but he was eventually converted to Christianity the following year.
King Cynegils died in 643 and, about five years later, the new King,
Cenwalh, invited Birinus to establish an important minster at
Winchester. Other churches in Wessex have a lesser claim to a Birinian foundation: St. Mary's, Reading (Berkshire); St. Helen's, Abingdon
(Berkshire) and the parish church of Taplow (Buckinghamshire), where
the saint is said to have baptised the local Saxons in Bapsey Pond.
These were the beginnings of the See of Wessex. Birinus became its
first Bishop and remained so until his death in 649. His shrine at
Dorchester became a great place of pilgrimage, but controversy later
arose when the Bishop moved his seat to Winchester and claimed to have
taken the body of Birinus with him. Winchester Cathedral still has his
Birinus had great devotion for the Body of Our Lord, as is shown in
the account of his walking on the sea to procure the corporal given
him by Pope Honorius, wherein he ever carried the Blessed Eucharist.
Many miracles took place at the discovery of Birinus's relics, and
Huntingdon among others speaks of "the great miracles of Birin". At
present, there is a growing devotion to him in the Established Church,
due probably to the connection of the British royal family with
Cedric, a side branch of whose stock was Cynegils.
Sometimes the devil inspires souls with an inordinate zeal for a
certain virtue or some special pious exercise, so that they will be
motivated by their passion to practice it more and more. This
temptation is more to pride rather than virtue....Sometimes, on the
other hand, the devil coaches souls to do less than they can really
do. This temptation is more to false humility...In both cases, the
devil's goal is to make the soul discouraged when the virtue is found
to be unattainable; and to be wearied and disgusted if his efforts are
below his abilities. The soul ends up neglecting everything. It is as
necessary to overcome the one snare as the other.
-- Saint Catherine of Bologna, from On the Seven Spiritual Weapons
Daily Thoughts and Prayers for Our Beloved Dead
"Have pity on me, have pity on me, at least you my friends, because
the hand of the Lord hath touched me" Job. 19-21.
They are not strangers who implore our help--they are our own; our
parents, brothers and friends. They are the devoted hearts who loved
us so tenderly and for us so earnestly toiled and suffered. Now that
they are gone from our midst, does not our heart reproach us for not
having sufficiently shown our affection in the past?
Prayers: Our Father, Three Hail Marys, Gloria, De Profundis.
Out of the depths, I have cried to Thee,
O Lord, Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive to the
voice of my supplication.
If Thou, O Lord, shalt mark my iniquities,
O Lord, who shall stand it?
For with Thee there is merciful
forgiveness: and by reason of Thy
law I have waited for Thee, O Lord.
My soul hath relied on His word;
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even until
night; let Israel hope in the Lord.
Because with the Lord there is mercy;
And with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel from
all its iniquities.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
And let perpetual light shine upon them:
May they rest in peace. Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ, have compassion on Thy Church suffering. Temper
Thy justice with pity and open the gates of Heaven for the Souls in
Purgatory, that they may praise and glorify Thee forever. Amen.