Fourth Day in the Octave

Breviary Ordo

ix Lessons. At Matins Inv. & Hymn from the Feast. Psalms & Antiphons at all Hours of the feria. Nocturn I occurrent Scripture, Nocturn II & III of Fourth Day in the Octave. Other Hours from Chapter of the Feast. Collect of the Feast. Te Deum is taken, no Preces, no Commem. Vespers from Chapter of St. Ireneaus using Common 5 for what is not given a proper. Commem. of the Octave.

Daily Scripture

Taken from “How to read the Bible Every Day” by Carmen Rojas plan 2.

Psalms 131-135. Click here for J.M. Neale’s commentary Volume iv p. 254 -etc.

Patristic Reading

St. Athanasius Against the Heathen Bk. I, Ch. 4., vs. 1-3.

Having departed from the contemplation of the things of thought, and using to the full the several activities of the body, and being pleased with the contemplation of the body, and seeing that pleasure is good for her, she was misled and abused the name of good, and thought that pleasure was the very essence of good: just as though a man out of his mind and asking for a sword to use against all he met, were to think that soundness of mind. 2. But having fallen in love with pleasure, she began to work it out in various ways. For being by nature mobile, even though she have turned away from what is good, yet she does not lose her mobility. She moves then, no longer according to virtue or so as to see God, but imagining false things, she makes a novel use of her power, abusing it as a means to the pleasures she has devised, since she is after all made with power over herself. 3. For she is able, as on the one hand to incline to what is good, so on the other to reject it; but in rejecting the good she of course entertains the thought of what is opposed to it, for she cannot at all cease from movement, being, as I said before, mobile by nature. And knowing her own power over herself, she sees that she is able to use the members of her body in either direction, both toward what is, or toward what is not.

St. Athanasius is talking about the inner man or soul. The soul is by nature mobile and thus of necessity moves in one direction or another. When she moves according to virtue she is able to “see” (contemplatively know) God. This is what the soul is for. However, if she moves in the opposite direction she abusing her mobility and imagines false things that is she is receiving false and deceptive knowledge. The movement toward pleasure and falsehood is a descent whereas the movement toward virtue is an ascent to God. This mobility of the soul is in contrast to the immobile and utterly stable nature of God. God cannot descend into sin nor move up to virtue. Mobility and immobility indicate the divide between creature and Creator. The descent of the soul is a movement into fragmentation and chaos, whereas the ascent to God is of increasing virtue and stability.

Fr. Gregory Wassen


About Father Gregory

I am an Anglican Catholic Priest, currently residing in Orvelte, the Netherlands.
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