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Ordinary Time: February 28th

Tuesday of the Eight Week of Ordinary Time; Fat Tuesday

MASS READINGS

February 28, 2017 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Turn our hearts to you, eternal Father, and grant that, seeking always the one thing necessary and carrying out works of charity, we may be dedicated to your worship. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Old Calendar: St. Hilary, pope (Hist); St. Romanus, abbot (Hist); Shove Tuesday (Hist)

Historically today is the feast of St. Hilary, pope from 461 to 468 and guardian of Church unity and St. Romanus of Condat who founded the abbeys of Condat and Leuconne, and the convent of La Beaume, among others.

Bl. Daniel Brottier was beatified by St. John Paul II on November 25, 1984. He was a French Roman Catholic priest in the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (who currently refer to themselves as Spiritans). He was awarded the Croix de guerre and the Légion d'honneur for his services as a chaplain during World War I, did missionary work in Senegal, and administered an orphanage in Auteuil, a suburb of Paris.


Preparing for Lent
No Lent is worthy of the name without a personal effort of self-reformation, of leading a life more in accordance with God's commands and an attempt by some kind of voluntary self-denial to make reparation for past negligence. But the Church, together with the personal effort which she requires of all of us, her children, sets up in the sight of God the cross of Christ, the Lamb of God who took upon Himself the sins of man and who is the price of our redemption. As Holy Week approaches the thought of the passion becomes increasingly predominant until it occupies our whole attention, but from the very beginning of Lent it is present, for it is in union with the sufferings of Christ that the whole army of Christians begins on the holy "forty days", setting out for Easter with the glad certitude of sharing in His resurrection.

"Behold, now is the acceptable time, behold, now is the day of salvation." The Church puts Lent before us in the very same terms that formerly she put it before the catechumens and public penitents who were preparing for the Easter graces of baptism and sacramental reconciliation. For us, as it was for them, Lent should be a long retreat, one in which under the guidance of the Church we are led to the practice of a perfect Christian life. She shows us the example of Christ and by fasting and penance associates us with his sufferings that we may have a share in His redemption.

We should remember that Lent is not an isolated personal affair of our own. The Church avails herself of the whole of the mystery of redemption. We belong to an immense concourse, a great body in which we are united to the whole of humanity which has been redeemed by Christ. The liturgy of this season does not fail to remind us of it.

This, then, is the meaning of Lent for us: a season of deepening spirituality in union with the whole Church which thus prepares to celebrate the Paschal mystery. Each year, following Christ its Head, the whole Christian people takes up with renewed effort its struggle against evil, against Satan and the sinful man that each one of us bears within himself, in order at Easter to draw new life from the very springs of divine life and to continue its progress towards heaven.

Excerpted from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal


Shrove Tuesday
Here are a few suggestions to help you celebrate the final day before Lent.

  • Today is Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras! Try some of the traditional recipes linked here. When eggs were among the foods that were forbidden by the Church during Lent, people would use them up on Fat Tuesday by mixing up large quantities of pancakes or doughnuts (also known as fastnachts).

  • Read Maria von Trapp's explanation of the traditions associated with Carnival, or Fat Tuesday here.

  • Sing this American favorite, Turkey in the Straw, with your children as part of your Mardi Gras celebrations.

  • Discuss Jesus' Gospel teaching for today, He who would be first must be last, with your children and ask them how they can put others in the family before themselves. Keep it simple and practical — setting the table, washing the dishes, folding laundry, watching the littler ones, doing homework right away.

  • What does it mean to become a child spiritually, that we may enter Heaven and be received by Christ Himself? We can learn much from St. Therese of the Child Jesus about spiritual childhood. Begin reading her Story of a Soul.

  • Read Fr. William Saunder's article, Shrove Tuesday and Shrovetide, from the Catholic Culture Library.


St. Hilary
To replace a man like Leo was not easy, but the next pope was a man after Leo's heart, the archdeacon Hilary. Hilary was a Sardinian who had joined the Roman clergy and had been sent by St. Leo as one of the papal legates to the council at Ephesus in 449. This council, intended to settle the Monophysite affair, got out of hand. Packed with Monophysites and presided over by Dioscorus, the patriarch of Alexandria, the assembly refused to listen to the protests of the papal legates. Dioscorus steam-rollered through the council a condemnation of the orthodox and saintly Flavian, patriarch of Constantinople, and an approval of the Monophysite leader Eutyches. In vain Hilary protested. He had to fly in fear for his life and hide in a chapel of St. John the Evangelist. It was only with difficulty that he got back to Rome. No wonder St. Leo called this Ephesus council a gathering of robbers!

As pope, Hilary worked hard to foster order in the Gallic hierarchy. When a certain Hermes illegally made himself archbishop of Narbonne, two Gallic delegates came to Rome to appeal to Pope Hilary. He held a council at Rome in 462 to settle the matter. He also upheld the rights of the see of Arles to be the primatial see of Gaul. From Spain also came appeals of a similar nature. To settle these Hilary held a council at Rome in 465. This is the first Council at Rome whose acts have come down to us. According to the "Liber Pontificalis" he sent a letter to the East confirming the ecumenical councils of Nicaea, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, and the famous dogmatic letter of his predecessor St. Leo to Flavian. He also publicly in St. Peter's rebuked the shadow-emperor Anthemius for allowing a favorite of his to foster heresy in Rome.

St. Hilary deserves great credit for his work in building and decorating churches in Rome. Of especial interest is the oratory he built near the Lateran, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. The Pope attributed his escape from the wild Monophysites at Ephesus to the intercession of the Beloved Disciple, and to show his gratitude he built this beautiful oratory. Over its doors may still be seen the inscription, "To his deliverer, Blessed John the Evangelist, Bishop Hilary, the Servant of Christ." Hilary built two more churches and spent freely in decorating still others. The gold and silver and marble used so lavishly by this Pope in adorning the Roman churches indicate that the wealthy families of Rome must have saved something from the grasping hands of Goths and Vandals.

St. Hilary died on February 29. His feast is kept on February 28.

Excerpted from Defending the Faith


Saint Romanus of Condat
Saint Romanus of Condat (c. 390 - c. 463) is a saint of the fifth century. At the age of thirty five he decided to live as a hermit in the area of Condat. His younger brother Lupicinus followed him there. They became leaders of a community of monks that included Saint Eugendus.

Romanus and Lupicinus founded several monasteries. These included Condat Abbey, which was the nucleus of the later town of Saint-Claude, Jura), Lauconne (later Saint-Lupicin, as Lupicinus was buried there), La Balme (Beaume) (later Saint-Romain-de-Roche), where Romanus was buried, and Romainmôtier (Romanum monasterium) in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland.

Romanus was ordained a priest by St. Hilary of Arles in 444.

Excerpted from Wikipedia


Bl. Daniel Brottier
Blessed Daniel Brottier was a French Spiritan born in France in 1876 and ordained priest 1899. His zeal for spreading the Gospel beyond the classroom or the confines of France made him to join the Spiritan Congregation.

He was sent to Senegal, West Africa. After eight years there, his health suffered and he went back to France where he helped raise funds for the construction of a new cathedral in Senegal.

At the outbreak of World War I Daniel became a volunteer chaplain. He attributed his survival on the front lines to the intercession of Saint Therese of Lisieux, and built a chapel for her at Auteuil when she was canonized.

After the war he established a project for orphans and abandoned children "the Orphan Apprentices of Auteuil" in the suburb of Paris.

He gave up his soul to God on the 28th of February, 1936 and was beatified only 48 years later in 1984 by Pope John Paul II.
   
Excerpted from Evangelizo.org

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