From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Sat Apr 2 23:50:44 2022
The Proving of a True Lover (3)
(The Voice of Christ)
All is not lost, then, if you sometimes feel less devout than you
wish toward Me or My saints. That good and sweet feeling which you
sometimes have is the effect of present grace and a certain foretaste
of your heavenly home. You must not lean upon it too much, because it
comes and goes. But to fight against evil thoughts which attack you is
a sign of virtue and great merit. Do not, therefore, let strange
fantasies disturb you, no matter what they concern. Hold strongly to
your resolution and keep a right intention toward God.
--Thomas à Kempis --Imitation of Christ Book 3, Chapter 6
April 3rd - St. Richard of Chichester, Bishop
Saint Richard of Chichester was born in 1197 in a little town a few
miles from Worcester, England. He and his elder brother were left
orphans while still young, and his brother was imprisoned as a result
of their property’s unpaid debts. Richard gave up the studies which he
loved, to farm his brother’s impoverished estate. His brother, in
gratitude for Richard’s successful labors, proposed to turn over to
him all his lands; but he refused both the estates and the offer of a
brilliant marriage, to study for the priesthood at Oxford.
In 1235 Saint Richard was appointed, for his learning and piety,
chancellor of that University and afterwards chancellor of his diocese
by Saint Edmund, Archbishop of Canterbury. The new Chancellor stood by
the Saint in his long contest with the king, and then accompanied him
into exile in France, in the Abbey of Pontigny. After Saint Edmund’s
death there, he studied theology in Orleans before returning to
England to toil as a simple parish priest. He was, however, soon
elected by the Canons of Chichester, when their see became vacant, for
their Bishop. This election greatly displeased the king, who had
nominated another candidate whom the Canons judged unworthy.
The king in revenge refused to recognize the election, and seized the
revenues of the see. Thus Saint Richard found himself fighting the
same battle in which Saint Edmund had died. He went to Lyons, where he
was consecrated bishop by Innocent IV in 1245, and returning to
England he exercised fully his episcopal rights despite his poverty
and the king’s hostility, and thoroughly reformed his see. Young and
old loved Saint Richard, and after two years his revenues were
restored. To feed the poor and heal the sick, he gave all he had and
worked miracles; and when the rights or the sanctity of the Church
were concerned, he was inexorable.
A priest of noble blood polluted his office by sin; Richard deprived
him of his benefice, and refused the king’s petition in his favor. On
the other hand, when a knight violently imprisoned a priest, Richard
compelled the knight to walk around the priest’s church with the same
log of wood on his neck to which he had chained him. And when the
burgesses of Lewes tore a criminal from the church and hanged him,
Richard made them dig up the body from its unconsecrated grave, and
bear it back to the sanctuary they had violated. Richard died in 1253
while preaching, at the Pope’s command, a crusade against the
Reflection. As a loyal brother, as Chancellor and as Bishop, Saint
Richard faithfully performed each duty of his state without a thought
for any personal interest. He who is faithful in little things, will
also be faithful in the great ones, declared Our Lord; and the
contrary is also an invariable law.
Sources: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea
(Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894)
Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ For all the benefits Thou hast
given me, For all the pains and insults Which Thou has borne for me. O
most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother, May I know Thee more
clearly, Love Thee more dearly, Follow Thee more nearly, Day by day.
-- Saint Richard of Chichester
Everyone who has listened to the Father, and has learned, comes to Me.
An act of the Firm Purpose of Amendment, for Confession:
O Almighty and Eternal God, would from the bottom of my heart that I
had never sinned against Thee; but since I have been so unhappy as to
sin against Thine Infinite Majesty, O grant me now Thy grace, that I
may never do so again.
Thou hast said, "I Will not the death of a sinner, but rather that he
be converted and live;" convert me, then, and save my soul. "Have
mercy on me, according to Thy great mercy; and according to the
multitude of Thy tender mercies, blot out mine iniquities."
I abhor and detest all of my sins, and firmly purpose to walk
henceforth in the path of holiness and justice. Accept, O Lord, of
this my resolution, and grant that by the help of Thy Holy grace, and
through the infinite merits of Thine only Son our Lord Jesus Christ, I
may keep it faithfully during the whole course of my life.
O most gracious and bountiful Lord, Thou hast ordained the day for
labour and the eve for us to take our rest, I praise Thee for the
blessing of this day past, and I beseech Thee to protect me during
this night. Look upon me with a merciful Eye, and let Thy holy Angels
keep their watch over me, that, being safely delivered from all
dangers, I may be enabled to perform so faithfully the duties of my
state, that, having passed my days in Thy holy service and love, I may
end them in Thy favour, and reign with Thee for ever in Thy Heavenly
Kingdom, through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who, with Thee and
the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth ever one God, world without end.
Holy Mary, Mother of confessors, pray for me a sinner