Friday, 1 August 2008

Lammas


Especially in England today is (was) known as Lammas Day. Literally meaning loaf-mass day, it was the custom to take to churches a newly baked loaf for Mass. On this day, in fact, people gave thanks to God for the first fruits. The first fruits (as in Biblical ordinance) are offered to God who in turn, in His generosity, blesses the rest of the fruits and crops. This explains the ritual in the liturgies attributed to St Gregory the Great of blessing the first fruits on this day or on the sixth day of this month.
Many of us do not live in an agricultural setting and most of us do not have any loaves taken to church on this day (although someone somewhere must still do it). But still at the beginning of this month we are reminded to offer God our first fruits of virtues, and especially the fruit of obedience and fidelity to Christ.

Also today is the feast of St Alphonse Maria de Liguori; the leading lawyer who left the courtroom to give himself completely to Christ. This saintly bishop (founder of the Redemptorists) is a great spiritual master. Misunderstood and banned for some time even by church authorities he kept the faith and his eyes firmly fixed on Christ our only redeemer. As today happens to be the first Friday of the month, the day we focus on the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we can bring to this heart our first fruits for offering and blessing and keep our eyes fixed on that heart that loves like no other.



August is associated with rest and holiday; it must be a time of re-creation in its real sense. Later on today my family and I go home to Malta for a period of rest. I will try to update the blog as and when I can, hopefully not only with pictures of the very simple religious customs of the islanders but also with shots of places of interest. But what I prayed for my family I pray for all of you: may this month bring you re-creation and renewed zeal.

2 comments:

Frances said...

Father,
I very much look forward to reading about the simple religious customs of your homeland.

Enjoy your holiday, you deserve it! See you in a few weeks.

Father Ed said...

Have a wonderful break Father- you deserve it after a magnificent start in Sevenoaks!