Essays/Articles and Scriptural Studies


For this week's meditation on the Collects of the Roman Missal, we consider the Collect for the Feast of St. Edward the Confessor, celebrated on October 13 (MR '62). Below is the unofficial translation of the Collect in the Angelus Press edition of the Daily Roman Missal:

"O God, Who hast crowned blessed King Edward, Thy Confessor, with eternal glory, make us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate him on earth, that we may be able to reign with him in heaven. Through our Lord. Amen."

St. Edward, King of England from 1042-1066, is given the title "Confessor," because of his holiness of life, and his protection and promotion of the Church in his reign. The Catechism of the Catholic Church in nos. 898ff. does a marvelous job explaining the rights and responsibilities proper to the lay state. St. Edward is among those lay faithful in Church history who lived these teachings to the full. Here are some excerpts:  

898 "'By reason of their special vocation it belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God's will...'"

899 "The initiative of lay Christians is necessary especially when the matter involves discovering or inventing the means for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine and life."

900 "...lay Christians are entrusted by God with the apostolate by virtue of their Baptism and Confirmation, they have the right and duty...to work so that the divine message of salvation may be known and accepted by all men throughout the earth."

901 "'For all their works, prayers, and apostolic undertakings, family and married life, daily work, relaxation of mind and body, if they are accomplished in the Spirit - indeed even the hardships of life if patiently born - all these become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. In the celebration of the Eucharist these may most fittingly be offered to the Father along with the body of the Lord. And so, worshipping everywhere by their holy actions, the laity consecrate the world itself to God, everywhere offering worship by the holiness of their lives.'"

908 "By his obedience unto death, Christ communicated to his disciples the gift of royal freedom, so that they might 'by the self-abnegation of a holy life, overcome the reign of sin in themselves'"

The following are the credits for which St. Edward is commonly known: his deep piety, his chastity, his alms to the poor, and his rebuilding of Westminster Abbey. This latter item especially, indicates the primacy he gave to the Church's worship and what he perceived to be the irreplaceable contribution of ecclesial and monastic life to England. Though he was a king, St. Edward nevertheless manifests the ideal for all the faithful in whatever their sphere, because all the baptized share in Christ's kingship. As we can see in the paragraphs above, the path to sanctity is open to us all: by ruling over sin and growing in holiness, by witnessing to Christ in words and deeds, by exercising good stewardship, and by being generous to the Church and to the poor, we all can become saints and reign with Saint Edward in heaven.  

(David Allen)

Mr. David Allen, M.T.S., is the lay Pastoral Associate for our parish of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes.


About Our Parish

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is Newton and Needham Massachusetts's oldest Roman Catholic Parish. Founded as Saint Mary's Parish in 1870 it was renamed "Mary Immaculate of Lourdes" when the new Church was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1910. In addition to being a regular territorial parish of the Archdiocese of Boston it is also a "Mission Parish" since 2007 with a special apostolate for the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal).

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- St. Therese of Lisieux (+1897)

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