Thought for the Day – 7 August – The Memorial of St Albert of Trapani O.Carm. (c 1240-1307)
St Albert has often been portrayed with an open book in his hand, or with the Child Jesus in his arms. This is not by accident, for these are both iconographical attributes which indicate a preacher of the Gospel, which is precisely what Albert was. In order to be authentic proclaimers it is necessary to have encountered Jesus and this is possible, primarily, through the hearing of the Word. It was his familiarity with Scripture, cultivated in lectio divina with purity of heart and openness to the transforming action of the Holy Spirit, which made St Albert capable of proclaiming the Gospel. St Albert is remembered for an extraordinary ability to speak to people with conviction and immediacy. He did not distract his listeners with elegant forms of preaching but stressed the vital content of the message.
Albert’s life shines as an example of virtue and sincerity. His chastity became a radiant expression of a radical, definitive and complete choice for God. The purity practised by Albert is not simply a physical fact, but primarily a spiritual reality. Albert allowed himself to be seized by God – he placed himself totally at God’s service, gave God his life and capacities and welcomed God’s call as a gift and a commitment for life. This example is more relevant than ever in our modern world.
Heal us Lord God
Prayer of St Albert of Trapani
O my God,
You have created the human race
by Your wonderful power.
It is an act of Your clemency that has called us
to share Your glory and eternal life.
When the first sin condemned us to suffer death,
out of Your goodness,
You wished to redeem us
through the blood of Your Son,
To unite us to You through our faith
and Your great mercy.
You have brought us back
from the shame of our sin,
You have veiled our dishonour
in the brightness of Your glory.
Look now and see that what You have created,
giving it subtle limbs and joints
and made beautiful through its immortal soul,
is now subject to the attack of Satan.
Be pleased Lord
to reconstitute Your work and heal it.
May Your power be glorified
and may the malice of the enemy be stunned.