From the Pastor
21st Sunday in
Ordinary Time – A
August 27, 2017
This week we honor the patron saint of brewers and beer. [I’m sure that got your attention!] He was born on November 13, 354, lived in what is now Algeria, North Africa, and died on August 28, 430 which is now his feast day. He became the patron of breweries due to his conversion from a raucous life of parties, entertainment, worldly ambitions, fathering a child out of wedlock, and causing his mother, Saint Monica, countless tears. He himself even prayed, “Lord, grant me chastity … but not yet!” However, we’ve just … tapped the keg … when it comes to Saint Augustine, Bishop & Doctor of the Church.
Collect – Saint Augustine, Bishop & Doctor
Renew in your Church, we pray, O Lord,
the spirit with which you endowed
your Bishop Saint Augustine that,
filled with the same spirit,
we may thirst for you,
the sole fount of true wisdom,
and seek you, the author of heavenly love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ … and ever. Amen.
“OUR HEARTS ARE RESTLESS UNTIL THEY REST IN GOD.”
Although Saint Augustine’s
father was a pagan, his mother made sure he had a Christian education. Back then, infants and children were not normally baptized; once, the very ill future Saint became a catechumen, but quit baptismal preparations when he recovered. He became a father at 18, and then sought to satisfy his thirst for the meaning of all life, and his own life, through philosophy and non-Christian beliefs. While studying in Milan he met the future Saint Ambrose, whose powerful preaching piqued his curiosity about the Catholic Faith. After three years of struggle, his mother’s anguished prayers, and the grace of God, Saint Augustine was baptized in 386. A year later, his mother, Saint Monica, died.
In art, he is depicted with a heart on fire, often with arrows
shot through it – a symbol similar to a Saint Valentine’s Day
heart, shot by Cupid with arrows of love from the one seeking to win that heart. For as he wrote in his Confessions:
“Our hearts are restless until they rest in God.”
He also lamented, “Too late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient, O Beauty so new. Too late have I loved you!” For although, as he wrote, God had been calling him – or shooting arrows of love at him – from so many sources [nature, biblical revelation, his mother’s tears, his life experiences, etc.] he had been deaf to – and in denial of – God’s gracious call. May we be ever attentive to what God is calling us to do!
Prayer over the Offerings – Saint Augustine
Celebrating the memorial of our salvation,
we humbly beseech your mercy, O Lord,
that this Sacrament of your loving kindness
may be for us the sign of unity
and the bond of charity.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
“PRAY AS THOUGH EVERYTHING DEPENDED ON GOD. WORK AS THOUGH EVERYTHING DEPENDED ON YOU.”
This quote from Saint Augustine summarized his life. He was not ordained a Priest until 391, at 37; but had not sought Holy Orders. It was the people of the local church who begged their Bishop to ordain him! He reluctantly accepted the call, but was NOT given faculties to preach: a privilege Bishops reserved to themselves in those days. But as a presenter at a Council dealing with one of the many heresies that rocked the Church at that time, his oratory skills were noticed – and 5 years later, in 396, at 42 – he was ordained Bishop of Hippo – a diocese he shepherded for 34 years until his death in 430 at 76. May we also let God work through us!
Prayer after Communion – Saint Augustine
May partaking of Christ’s table
sanctify us, we pray, O Lord,
that, being made members of his Body,
we may become what we have received.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
“EVERY SAINT HAS A PAST; EVERY SINNER HAS A FUTURE.” This quote from Saint Augustine offers great hope. For just as he never gave up on himself, and his mother and others never gave up on him, we who receive Jesus in the Eucharist have the same support system! Saint Augustine, pray for us.
In His holy Name,
Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS