SAINT SIMON STOCK
Simon, an Englishman, died at Bordeaux in the mid-thirteenth century. He has been venerated in the Carmelite Order for his personal holiness and his devotion to Our Lady. A liturgical celebration in his honor was observed locally in the fifteenth century, and later extended to the whole Order.
From the Common of Holy Men (Religious)
OFFICE OF READINGS
The Second Reading
From the Flaming Arrow by Nicholas of France, Prior General
I will lead her into the desert, and there I will speak to her heart
Was it not our Lord and Savior Who led us into the desert, as a mark of His favor, so that there He might speak to our hearts with special intimacy? It is not in public, not in the market place, not amid noise and bustle that He shows Himself to His friends for their consolation and reveals His secret mysteries to them, but behind closed doors.
To the solitude of the mountain did Abraham, unswerving in faith and discerning the issue from afar in hope, ascend at the Lord’s command, ready for obedience’s sake to sacrifice Isaac his son; under which mystery the passion of Christ–the true Isaac–lies hidden. To the solitude of the mountain was it too that Abraham’s nephew, Lot, was told to flee for his life in haste from Sodom.
In the solitude of Mount Sinai was the Law given to Moses, and there was he so clothed with light that when he came down from the mountain no one could look upon the brightness of his face.
In the solitude of Mary’s chamber, as she conversed with Gabriel, was the Word of the Father most high in very truth made flesh.
In the solitude of Mount Tabor it undoubtedly was, when it was His will to be transfigured, that God made man revealed His glory to His chosen intimates of the Old and New Testaments. To a mountain solitude did our Savior ascend alone in order to pray. In the solitude of the desert did He fast forty days and forty nights together, and there did He will to be tempted by the devil, so as to show us the most fitting place for prayer, penance, and victory over temptation.
Top the solitude of mountain or desert it was, then, that our Savior retired when He would pray; though we read that He came down from the mountain when He would preach to the people or manifest His works. He who planted our fathers in the solitude of the mountain thus gave Himself to them and their successors as a model, and desired them to write down His deeds, which are never empty of mystical meaning, as an example.
It was this rule of our Savior, as rule of utmost holiness, that some of our predecessors followed of old. They tarried long in the solitude of the desert conscious of their own imperfection. Sometimes however–though rarely–they came down from their desert, anxious, so as not to fail in what they regarded as their duty, to be of service to their neighbors, and sowed broadcast of the grain, threshed out in preaching, that they had so sweetly reaped in solitude with the sickle of contemplation.
R/. O that I had wings like a dove, to fly away and be at rest;
—so I would escape far away, and take refuge in the desert (alleluia).
V/. The world and its cravings pass away, but those who do God’s will stand firm for ever. —So I would escape far away, and take refuge in the desert (alleluia).
Canticle of Zechariah
Ant. The Lord is all that I have; the Lord is good to the soul that seeks Him (alleluia).
You called St. Simon Stock to serve you
in the brotherhood of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
Through his prayers
help us like him to live in your presence
and to work for man’s salvation.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Canticle of Mary
Ant. Where brethren are united in praising God, there the Lord will bestow His blessing (alleluia).