A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Day after Yom Kippur (B’shem HaShem, Gotts Nommen, The Name of G-d). On 11 Tishrei 1313 BCE, the day after Moses’ final descent from Mount Sinai on Yom Kippur, his father-in-law Jethro encountered him attempting to singlehandedly judge the Jewish nation and advised him not to do this alone but to seek men of valour, leaders over thousands, leaders over hundreds, leaders over fifties and leaders over tens, to judge the nation. Then, Moses gathered the nation of Israel and instructed them to construct a Mishkan (Tabernacle, portable sanctuary to carry in the wilderness so that G‑d’s presence would dwell among them). The Holy of Holies (קֹדֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִׁים, HaDvir, הדְּבִיר, The Sanctuary) was the innermost chamber in the Tabernacle, a space so sacred only one person could enter it, and then only one day out of the entire year, Yom Kippur. It was a perfect cube, 15 feet in each direction and only one thing was housed there, the Ark of the Covenant. Moses ordered the building of the Ark (אֲרוֹן הַבְּרִית, Κιβωτός της Διαθήκης, Kībōtós tis Diathíkis, Ark of the Testimony, Ark of God), the most sacred relic of the Israelites and a pure-gold-covered acacia chest with an elaborate lid called the Mercy Seat. It carried the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s rod and a pot of manna and was borne by Levites 2,000 cubits (800 meters) in advance of the people through the wilderness. This continued when the Israelites were on the march or before their army. G’d was said to have spoken with Moses from between the two cherubim on the Ark’s lid. The Holy of Holies was where G-d’s presence appeared and, according to Hebrew tradition, the area was defined by four pillars that held up the veil under which the Ark of the Covenant was held above the floor. In the wilderness, on the day that the Tabernacle was first raised up, the cloud of the Lord covered it. The uniqueness of the day following Yom Kippur is reflected by the name Gotts Nommen, the Yiddish name for G‑d being used rather than any of the Hebrew terms because each of the Hebrew terms refers to a specific level of G‑dliness, whilst the Yiddish term implies that the dimension of G‑dliness revealed transcends all revealed levels. The B’shem HaShem Angel Song that unifies Jews from every corner of the world and invites the immanent presence of God into any room may be the subject of meditatation. Image: youtube.com.
St Edith of Wilton (Eadgyth, Editha, Ediva) (961-84). Anglican Communion, Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Feast Day for English nun, the daughter of King Edgar the Peaceful and St Wilfrida of Wilton. Edith was born in Kent, where her father had taken her mother from the 871 Benedictine Convent of the 773 Wilton Abbey in Wiltshire four miles west of Salisbury. Mother and daughter returned to the Convent with Edgar continuing to support the Abbey financially and with land grants. Edith was educated by the nuns of Wilton Abbey, where her mother became Abbess. Standing not far from Wilton and a royal residence, as part of its devotional work the Abbey functioned as the contemporary equivalent of a boarding school for young ladies, as did many abbeys at the time. Edith dressed magnificently in luxurious golden garments and, when rebuked by St Æthelwold of Winchester, from whom she had received the veil as a child, she answered that the judgment of God which alone penetrated through the outward appearance, was true and infallible, adding: “For pride may exist under the garb of wretchedness and a mind may be as pure under these vestments as under your tattered furs.” Edgar offered to appoint Edith Abbess of 3 abbeys at under 13 but she refused and he appointed deputies to act in her place. When she reached 13 and he died in 975, she declined the crown despite her belief that purity and humility could exist under royal robes as well as rags. She built a church at Wilton dedicated to Saint Denis and it was consecrated by St Dunstan, who wept during the Mass as he knew that Edith would die within three weeks. She died from a fatal illness on 15 September 984 and was buried in the newly-dedicated church. Venerated in Anglican Communion, Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Alternative Feast Day 16 September. Following her death, Edith became chief patron of Wilton Abbey and churches were dedicated to her in Wiltshire and in other parts of Anglo-Saxon England. In 1003 Sweyn, King of Denmark, destroyed the town of Wilton, but it is not known if the monastery shared its fate. Edith, the wife of Edward the Confessor, who had been educated at Wilton, later that Century rebuilt in stone the monastery which had formerly been of wood and in 1143 King Stephen made it his headquarters but was put to flight by Matilda’s forces under Robert of Gloucester. The Abbess of Wilton held an entire barony from the king, a privilege shared by only three other English nunneries, Shaftesbury, Barking and St Mary, Winchester. Cecily Bodenham, the last Abbess of Wilton, surrendered her convent on 25 March 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The site was granted to Sir William Herbert, afterwards Earl of Pembroke, who commenced the building of Wilton House, still the abode of his descendants but there are no remains of the ancient buildings. Image:findagrave.com.
Prayer Lord, Father and ruler of my life, do not leave me in evil thoughts or give me pride in my eyes, and turn away evil desire from me. Almighty most merciful Lord Who brought forth for Your people a spring of living water from the rock, bring forth from the hardness of my heart tears of contrition. Amen
San Roberto Bellarmino (St Robert Bellarmine SJ, fame is bright) (1542-1621). Catholic Feast Day commemorating the death of the Italian Jesuit Bishop and Cardinal, a Confessor who was one of the most important figures in the Counter-Reformation and one of only 36 Doctors of the Church. Ordained during a period when the study of theology was in a weakened state, he dedicated his time and energy to the study of Church history, the Fathers of the Church and to Scripture, to organising Church teaching and to facing the attacks of the Protestant Reformers. In 1602 he became Archbishop of Capua and supported the reform decrees of the Sixteenth-Century Council of Trent. He is remembered for his role in the Galileo affair. Robert died in Rome on 17 September 1621. Venerated in Catholic Church, Anglican Communion. Major shrine Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola, Rome. Patron of Bellarmine and Fairfield Universities, St Robert’s School, Darjeeling, canonists, canon lawyers, catechists, Bishop Robert Barron, catechumens and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Image: bassairpinia.it.