Saturday, November 14, 2015

Saint November 15 : St. Albert the Great : Patron of #Sciences; #Philosophers; #Scientists; Students

“It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for ‘God is Charity.’”
Today, November 15, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Albert the Great (1206-1280), Doctor of the Church, bishop, teacher, theologian, and one of the Church’s greatest intellects. Widely admired for his wisdom and learning, he was known as “Albertus Magnus” to his contemporaries (“Albert the Great”), and by those who came after him as “Doctor universalis” (“Teacher of all that there is to know”). Saint Albert is the patron saint of scientists. His works constantly remind us of the importance of both faith and reason, and that there can be no separation between these—in fact, faith and reason reinforce and sustain each other.
Albert was born the son of a military Lord in service to Emperor Frederick II. The family lived in Lauingen on the Danube, near Ulm, Germany. His parents were wealthy, which afforded him the finest education. Also quite pious, they instructed him in the ways of the faith. As a child, he was drawn to scientific pursuits, and demonstrated an unexpected aptitude for reasoning given his age. So advanced was his thinking, he began studying humanities and natural sciences at the university of Bologna at just 15. The university, closely associated with the Dominican Order, drew Albert closer to his commitment to serving the Lord. This was further fired by the arrival of Blessed Reginald of Orleans, a Dominican preacher and former professor in Paris, who arrived at the college to preach.
Not long after, a second Dominican, Blessed Jordan of Saxony, arrived in Padua. An eloquent preacher, he drew many—including young Albert—toward religious life. Albert’s family was opposed to his entering the Order, given his youth and exceptional scientific prowess, but Albert was torn. One night, in his dreams, he saw himself entering the order, only to depart soon afterwards. The very next day, he heard Blessed Jordan preach, specifically about how the Devil turns those who would enter religious orders away from their calling through dreams and false promises. After Mass, Albert found Blessed Jordan, inquiring: “Master, who revealed my heart to you?” He subsequently entered the Order that summer, at the age of 16.
As a Dominican, Albert continued his studies, earning a Doctorate in theology. He obediently taught, wherever he was sent, traveling to Cologne, Padua, Bologna, Saxony, Fribourg, Ratisbonne, and Strasbourg. In each of these places he attracted numerous disciples, some of them destined for illustrious careers. However, Albert himself remained humble and focused only o the Lord.
When Blessed Jordan died in 1237, Albert assumed his duties as General until his successor was elected. At that point, he returned to Cologne, where he was to meet his most illustrious disciple, Saint Thomas Aquinas. While his classmates saw Thomas as a mute and unlearned man, Albert recognized in him the grace and glory of the Lord. Together, they traveled to the University of Paris, where Saint Albert’s theology and philosophy blossomed and changed the manner in which the world thought. While he wrote many scientific works, he was, first and foremost, a Catholic. Gifted with encyclopedic knowledge, he used this gift in service to the Church. He used his reason and thinking diligently. He was a brilliant scholar, student and seeker for truth. His writings fill thirty-eight volumes. His explanations on vast subjects took twenty years to complete. Albert possessed boundless writing energies and wrote exclusively on natural science, logic, rhetoric, mathematics, astronomy, ethics, economics, politics, metaphysics, physics, mineralogy, chemistry, biology, botany and human/animal physiology.
While Saint Albert would have been quite content to remain in Paris, writing and teaching, obedience to his Order bade him travel back to Germany when he was elected Provincial. He thereafter served his community, traveling to all the monasteries in his jurisdiction by foot, without any money, across long distances—Austria, Bavaria, Saxony, and Holland. In 1260, he was appointed bishop of Regensberg. After three years, he was permitted to resign, but was subsequently called to be an adviser to the pope and was sent on several diplomatic missions. Amid his journeys and works of zeal, Saint Albert found the time to write his thirty-eight volumes on the natural sciences, philosophy and theology.
Saint Albert died, apparently of fatigue, at the age of seventy-three. His body was buried at the Dominican Church, Saint Andrea’s, in Cologne. Three years after his death, his body was in a state of perfect preservation and his body exuded the delightful fragrance or sanctity recorded at the graves of many saints. Miraculous healings were reported at his tomb side. Others received visions that were recorded due to Albert's intercession. His relics continue to be venerated there today.
It is often said of Saint Albert the Great: "He was great in science, greater in philosophy, greatest in theology." He discovered a science above all other sciences—the knowledge that only God can impart, a heavenly wisdom that comes when reason and faith are joined together in charity towards others in prayer and action. Saint Albert reminds us not to rely on anything or trust anyone more than God. In this trust, faith and reason unite, leading us toward a greater knowledge of eternity.
Marian Prayer of Saint Albert the Great:
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” For note, Mary, for you have found grace, not taken it as Lucifer tried to so. You have found grace, not lost it as Adam did. You have found favor with God because you desired and sought it. You have found uncreated Grace, that is, God himself became your Son, and with the Grace you have found and obtained every uncreated good.”
Selected Quotation from Saint Albert the Great:
"There are some people who attribute all these things to divine order and say that we must not consider in them any other cause but the will of God. This in part we can agree to. Yet we do not say that he does this because of a natural cause of which he is the first mover, since he is the cause of all movement; for we are not seeking a reason or explanation of the divine will but rather investigating natural causes which are as instruments through which God's will is manifested. It is not sufficient to know these things in a general sort of way; what we are looking for is the cause of each individual thing according to the nature belonging to it. This is the best and most perfect kind of knowledge."
God Our Father,
you endowed St. Albert with the talent of combining human wisdom with divine faith. Keep us true to his teachings that the advance of human knowledge may deepen our knowledge and love of you. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Sat. November 14, 2015

Saturday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 496


Reading 1WIS 18:14-16; 19:6-9

When peaceful stillness compassed everything
and the night in its swift course was half spent,
Your all-powerful word, from heaven’s royal throne
bounded, a fierce warrior, into the doomed land,
bearing the sharp sword of your inexorable decree.
And as he alighted, he filled every place with death;
he still reached to heaven, while he stood upon the earth.

For all creation, in its several kinds, was being made over anew,
serving its natural laws,
that your children might be preserved unharmed.
The cloud overshadowed their camp;
and out of what had before been water, dry land was seen emerging:
Out of the Red Sea an unimpeded road,
and a grassy plain out of the mighty flood.
Over this crossed the whole nation sheltered by your hand,
after they beheld stupendous wonders.
For they ranged about like horses,
and bounded about like lambs,
praising you, O Lord! their deliverer.

Responsorial PsalmPS 105:2-3, 36-37, 42-43

R. (5a) Remember the marvels the Lord has done!
or:
R. Alleluia.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done!
or:
R. Alleluia.
Then he struck every first born throughout their land,
the first fruits of all their manhood.
And he led them forth laden with silver and gold,
with not a weakling among their tribes.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done!
or:
R. Alleluia.
For he remembered his holy word
to his servant Abraham.
And he led forth his people with joy;
with shouts of joy, his chosen ones.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done!
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaSEE 2 THES 2:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God has called us through the Gospel,
to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 18:1-8

Jesus told his disciples a parable
about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.
He said, “There was a judge in a certain town
who neither feared God nor respected any human being.
And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,
‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought,
‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being,
because this widow keeps bothering me
I shall deliver a just decision for her
lest she finally come and strike me.’”
The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.
Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones
who call out to him day and night?
Will he be slow to answer them?
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Saint November 14 : St. Lawrence O'Toole


St. Lawrence O'Toole
CONFESSOR
Feast: November 14
Information:
Feast Day:
November 14
Born:
1128, Castledermot, Kildare, Ireland
Died:
November 14, 1180, Normandy, France
Canonized:
1225 by Pope Honorius III
Major Shrine:
St Lawrence's church in Chorley, England

Confessor, born about 1128, in the present County Kildare; died 14 November, 1180, at Eu in Normandy; canonized in 1225 by Honorius III.
His father was chief of Hy Murray, and his mother one of the Clan O'Byrne. At the age of ten he was taken as a hostage by Dermot McMurrogh, King of Leinster. In 1140 the boy obtained permission to enter the monastic school of Glendalough; in that valley-sanctuary he studied for thirteen years, conspicuous for his piety and learning. So great was his reputation in the eyes of the community that on the death of Abbot Dunlaing, early in 1154, he was unanimously called to preside over the Abbey of St. Kevin. Dermot, King of Leinster, married Mor, sister of St. Lawrence, and, though his character has been painted in dark colours by the native annalists, he was a great friend to the Church. He founded an Austin nunnery, of the reform of Aroaise, in Dublin, with two dependent cells at Kilculliheen (County Kilkenny) and at Aghade (County Carlow), in 1151. He also founded an abbey for Cistercian monks at Baltinglass, and an abbey for Austin canons at Ferns.
St. Lawrence, through humility, declined the See of Glendalough in 1160, but on the death of Gregory, Archbishop of Dublin (8 October, 1161), he was chosen to the vacant see, and was consecrated in Christ Church cathedral by Gilla Isu (Gelasius), Primate of Armagh, early in the following year. This appointment of a native-born Irishman and his consecration by the successor of St. Patrick marks the passing of Scandinavian supremacy in the Irish capital, and the emancipation from canonical obedience to Canterbury which had obtained under the Danish bishops of Dublin. St. Lawrence soon set himself to effect numerous reforms, commencing by converting the secular canons of Christ Church cathedral into Aroasian canons (1163). Three years later he subscribed to the foundation charter of All Hallows priory, Dublin (founded by King Dermot), for the same order of Austin canons. Not content with the strictest observance of rules, he wore a hair shirt underneath his episcopal dress, and practised the greatest austerity, retiring for an annual retreat of forty days to St. Kevin's cave, near Glendalough. At the second siege of Dublin (1170) St. Lawrence was active in ministration, and he showed his political foresight by paying due deference to Henry II of England, during that monarch's stay in Dublin. In April, 1178, he entertained the papal legate, Cardinal Vivian, who presided at the Synod of Dublin. He successfully negotiated the Treaty of Windsor, and secured good terms for Roderic, King of Connacht. He attended the Lateran Council in 1179, and returned as legate for Ireland. The holy prelate was not long in Dublin till he deemed it necessary again to visit King Henry II (impelled by a burning charity in the cause of King Roderic), and he crossed to England in September of that year. After three weeks of detention at Abingdon Abbey, St. Lawrence followed the English King to Normandy. Taken ill at the Augustinian Abbey of Eu, he was tended by Abbot Osbert and the canons of St. Victor; before he breathed his last he had the consolation of learning that King Henry had acceded to his request.