The Breviary says of St Clare: “Following the example of St. Francis, she distributed all her possessions among the poor. She fled from the noise of the world and betook herself to a country chapel, where St. Francis himself sheared off her hair and clothed her with a penitential garb (on March 18, 1212, at the age of eighteen). Then she resided at the Church of St. Damian, where the Lord provided for her a goodly number of companions. So she established a community of nuns and acted as their superior at the wish of St Francis. For forty-two years she directed the nunnery with zeal and prudence, her own life serving as a constant sermon for her sisters to emulate. Of Pope Innocent IV she requested the privilege that she and her community live in absolute poverty. She was a most perfect follower of St. Francis of Assisi.
“When the Saracens were besieging Assisi and were preparing to attack the convent, St. Clare asked to be assisted as far as the entrance, for she was ill. In her hand she carried a vessel containing the blessed Eucharist as she prayed: O Lord, do not deliver over to beasts the souls that praise You! (Ps. 73). Protect Your servants, for You have redeemed them by Your precious Blood. And in the midst of that prayer a voice was heard, saying: Always will I protect you ! The Saracens took to flight.”
Heroic in suffering (she was sick for twenty-seven years), she was canonized only two years after her death. Thomas of Celano coined the saying: Clara nomine, vita clarior, clarissima moribus.
Clare was the first flower in the garden of the Poor Man of Assisi. Poor in earthly goods, but rich in her utter poverty, she was a replica of Jesus, poor in the crib and on the Cross. At her time the Church generally and many Church men were enmeshed in financial matters and political maneuvering. Through the renewal of the ideal of poverty, St. Francis effected a “reform of Christian life in head and members.”
In our twentieth century there still remain large areas with millions suffering under extreme poverty. Poverty in itself is no virtue; but it should be made into a virtue. Let us recall a few of the examples and texts from holy Scripture which show how precious poverty is and what deep reverence we should have toward it. Christ was poor. His entrance into the world and His departure from it took place in circumstances of greatest need. He had no house wherein to be born, no crib; no house wherein to die, no deathbed. Poverty stood watch at birth and remained to see His death. “The foxes have dens and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matt. 3:20).
Commemoration of Sunday XII Post Pentecost: We have been initiated into spiritual life by the Sacrament of Baptism and strengthened, perfected, by the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Feast of Pentecost has celebrated the efficacy of Baptism and Confirmation: The Graces and Fruits Given by the Holy Ghost. The Church recalls in the Liturgy today the duty of charity which derives therefrom. The Law of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the perfect development of the Law of Moses as the Epistle points out. Let us follow the path of the interpretation of the law to reduce our duties to a few outward practices. “The letter killeth, the spirit quickeneth.”
The Gospel of St. Luke today treats the parable of the Good Samaritan and the command of our Lord to go and do likewise in loving our neighbor for love of God. The Fathers and early Doctors of the Church all agree, this parable is an allegory of the New Covenant. The victim in saying help is Adam , his posterity is Jerusalem. The man, by heading for Jericho is seeking the world, the flesh and the devil, who is the person in the robbers, who will take care of him or her by succumbing to sin. Those who pass by him without helping are the old Law, while the Samaritan is Christ Who represents the New Law. His beast of burden means the Lord’s humanity and the innate compassion He brings the man to represent the only Church He founded. The wine for the man is the Blood of Christ, the oil is His mercy.
INTROIT Psalm 44: 8
Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. Ps 44:2 My heart hath uttered a good word I speak my works to the king; V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Thou hast loved justice…
Graciously hear us, O God our Savior, that as we rejoice in the festival of blessed Clare, Your Virgin, so may we be nourished by the food of her heavenly teaching that we may be enlightened by the fervor of her dedicated holiness. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Commemoration of St Laurence
Grant us, we beseech Thee O almighty God, to extinguish the flames of our evil dispositions, as Thou didst grant blessed Lawrence to overcome the fires of his torments. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Commemoration of Sunday XII Post Pentecost
Almighty and merciful God, by Whose grace Your faithful people serve You worthily and righteously, grant, we beseech You, that we may hasten without stumbling to those things You have promised us. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
EPISTLE 2 Corinthians 10:17-18; 11:1-2
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Brothers: He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commendeth himself, is approved, but he, whom God commendeth. Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly: but do bear with me. For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 44:5
With thy comeliness and thy beauty set out, proceed prosperously, and reign. Because of truth and meekness and justice: and thy right hand shall conduct thee wonderfully. Allelúja, allelúja. Ps 44:15-16 After her shall virgins be brought to the king: They shall be brought with gladness and rejoicing: Allelúja.
GOSPEL Matthew 25:1-13
In that time Jesus said to the people: shall the kingdom of heaven be like to ten virgins, who taking their lamps went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride. And five of them were foolish, and five wise. But the five foolish, having taken their lamps, did not take oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with the lamps. And the bridegroom tarrying, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him. Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise: Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out. The wise answered, saying: Lest perhaps there be not enough for us and for you, go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. Now whilst they went to buy, the bridegroom came: and they that were ready, went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. But at last come also the other virgins, saying: Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answering said: Amen I say to you, I know you not. Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 44: 10
The daughters of kings have delighted thee in thy glory. The queen stood on thy right hand, in gilded clothing; surrounded with variety.
May the offering made by Your devoted people be pleasing to You, O Lord, in honor of Your Saints, through whose merits they know they have received help in times of trial. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Commemoration of St Laurence
Accept, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gifts offered Thee, and, by the interceding merits of blessed Lawrence, grant that they may be to as a help unto our salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
Commemoration Dominica XII Post Pentecosten
O Lord, we beseech You, graciously look upon the offerings which we lay upon Your sacred altar; so that they may bring us plentiful forgiveness while they give honor to Your name.
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
PREFACE of the Holy Trinity
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God; Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, art one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance. For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored. Which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out, with one voice saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth!
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matt 25:4; 25:6
The five wise virgines took oil in their vessels with the lamps. And at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him.
You have filled Your people, O Lord, with sacred gifts; we beseech You to ever comfort us by the intercession of her whose festival we are celebrating. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Commemoration of St Lawrence
Filled with Thy sacred gift, we humbly beseech Thee, O Lord, that what we celebrate with our homage duly given by the intercession of Thy blessed martyr Lawrence, we may also know as an increase of Thy saving grace within us. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
Commemoration Dominica XII Post Pentecosten
May the holy reception of this sacrament, we beseech You, O Lord, restore us to life, and bestow upon us forgiveness and protection. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
PROPER LAST GOSPEL Luke 10:23-37 of Sunday XII Post Pentecost
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I say to you, many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and they have not seen it; and to hear what you hear, and they have not heard it. And behold, a certain lawyer got up to test Him, saying, Master, what must I do to gain eternal life? But He said to him, What is written in the Law? How do you read? He answered and said, You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and with your whole soul, and with your whole strength, and with your whole mind; and your neighbor as yourself. And He said to him, You have answered rightly; do this and you shall live. But he, wishing to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor? Jesus answered and said, A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell in with robbers, who after both stripping him and beating him went their way, leaving him half-dead. But, as it happened, a certain priest was going down the same way; and when he saw him, he passed by. And likewise a Levite also, when he was near the place and saw him, passed by. But a certain Samaritan as he journeyed came upon him, and seeing him, was moved with compassion. And he went up to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. And setting him on his own beast, he brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I, on my way back, will repay you.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, proved himself neighbor to him who fell among the robbers? And he said, He who took pity on him. And Jesus said to him, Go and do also in like manner.