That has doubtless fallen... pft, it is 36 degrees F. and damp: there is no snow. My new, realistic hope is that we will enjoy a second snow event in the next few days. It is the feast of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, 'golden-mouthed' because of the renown of his preaching and oratory (CE, Introibo, Wiki)-- it is always a bit disheartening when his feast recurs, or others' feasts at which texts of his are provided as lessons at Matins, and I realize that I must still use the Latin version because I can't read more than a few words of the Greek. Holy Mass is celebrated at 1000 at Saint-Eugène.
Cardinal Schuster-- he was very much a man of his time insofar as the relations of the Roman and the Eastern Churches are concerned; I've left those bits out-- in his Liber sacramentorum.
This undaunted defender of the truth perished under the hardships of his exile at Comana in Pontus on September 14, 407; but as on that day the Roman Church celebrated first the feast of the martyrs Cornelius and Cyprian, and then the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, his festival was transferred to this day, on which recurs the anniversary of the translation of his body to Constantinople.
St John Chrysostom died a victim to the miseries and sorrows which he suffered for the Faith in the undaunted pursuit of his episcopal duties in defiance of the depraved Court of Byzantium. But because certain prelates, who undoubtedly professed the Catholic Faith, took part in the persecution which was stirred up against him-- this being permitted by God for his greater refining-- and because he did not actually die a violent death in defence of Catholic dogma, therefore the Mass offered in his honour is not that of a martyr, but of a Confessor and Bishop.
The feast of St John Chrysostom in the Roman Calendar has a special significance, and shows how the Papal primacy becomes a source of good and a guarantee of liberty for the whole Catholic Church. John, being overwhelmed by his opponents and deposed from his see by the sentence of those bishops who were subservient to the Court, appealed to the Apostolic See. Pope Innocent I immediately took up his cause, annulled the unjust sentence, and, after the death of the saint, required of his adversaries as a condition of their remaining in communion with the Holy See that Chrysostom’s name should once more be inscribed in the episcopal diptychs, which action, according to the legal customs of that time, almost amounted to an equipollent canonization of the famous Confessor...
The Introit is identical with that assigned for the feast of St Ambrose on December 7, and is common to all feasts of Doctors. In the Collect the Church begs through the merits of the great 'Exile' for heavenly grace, especially for that of an inspired faith rich in strenuous works. The Lesson is also that of the feast of St Ambrose. Paul, on the eve of his martyrdom, or, as he himself expresses it, 'being ready to be sacrificed,' warns Timothy of the dangers threatening the Church through the work of false teachers and of the necessity of opposing all these inventions of human pride, by a pure doctrine and by a patient and forbearing apostolate worthy of a minister of Jesus Christ...
The Gradual is the same as that of the feast of St Damasus on December 11. The Alleluia verse (James 1,12) is not from the Common of Bishops or Doctors, but is very applicable to St John Chrysostom, who succumbed to the cruelty of his persecutors. The Secret runs thus: 'May the loving prayer of thy holy bishop John Chrysostom fail us not, O Lord; may it make our gifts acceptable to thee, and ever win for us thy forgive¬ ness. Through our Lord.’ The Communion is like that of the feast of St Sabbas on December 5, but contrary to the ancient custom in Masses of the saints, it does not correspond to the text of today’s Gospel. This shows that the final compilation of the Mass for Doctors was made at a very late period, when this liturgical law had already fallen into disuse. In the Post-Communion we say: 'May blessed John Chrysostom, thy bishop and illustrious doctor, draw nigh, O Lord, we beseech thee, to make intercession for us; so that thy sacrifice may give us health. Through our Lord.'
Δόξα τῷ θεῷ πάντων ἕνεκεν, in all things may God be praised: this was the last cry of this valiant champion of the Faith when death was already drawing near to put an end to his sufferings and to deliver him from the hand of his tormentors. Most assuredly may God be praised in all things, but most of all when he grants us the inestimable honour of enduring something for his sake, for the cross is ever the surest means of making good progress in the ways of the Lord.
Almost time for Prime but I will find a quotable passage of Saint John on the Psalms, later on.
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