“And God said: Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth, and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat: And to all beasts of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to all that move upon the earth, and wherein there is life, that they may have to feed upon.
– Genesis 1:29-30
WHAT IS EMBERTIDE? : See previous ember posts
THE PENTECOSTAL / WHIT EMBERTIDE FOR SUMMER
The embertide that honors the advent of Summer and the prolific vibrancy of creation occurs in the week immediately following Pentecost Sunday (aka Whitsun Week).
The key seasonal emphases for this particular embertide are the following two points A] To grow strong and mature in humility, unity, and self-detachment B] to cool our anger and greed in gratitude for God’s constant and fruitful providence.
Further, Blessed Jacopo de Voragine (1230-1298 AD) wrote in his book Legenda Aurea that Pope Callixtus (r. 218-223 AD) had ordained the Early Summer Embertide in Pentecost for the following reasons:
1) To chastise the hot and dry ardor of avarice
2) To be fervent in our love for the Holy Spirit
3) To follow the Jewish tradition of fasting four times a year
4) To temper in three days the three powers of the soul: understanding, will, and mind
5) To cool the heat of wrath and ire
6) To extinguish the fire of concupiscence and greed
7) To be strong and mature in virtue and constancy
8) To make amends in three days for our failings in the three months of the previous season
Scriptures for Ember Wednesday in Whitsun Week:
Scriptures for Ember Friday in Whitsun Week:
Scriptures for Ember Saturday* in Whitsun Week:
*Note: For centuries Ember Saturday was the only day in the Church's year for the conferring of Holy Orders. Now-a-days the sixth sacrament is administered also on other days, feast days and Sundays. But Mother Church has always favored her Ember days as most appropriate for elevating her levites to the Priesthood of Christ, her Bridegroom.
For more Spiritual Meditation: A short meditation for each of the three Early Summer Ember days, written in 1948, can be found at https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=1423
BEING IN A CHOLERIC HUMOR
Bundling people’s tendencies up into four different humors has been done since at least 400 BC. There is a historic association of the season of summer with the fiery, hot, dry humor. This humor, more modernly referred to as The Choleric Temperament (Galen) or The Idealists (Keirsey-Bates), brings its own tendencies of virtues and vices when it is greater than the other three humors within a person.* Honoring the mind-body-soul connection, it is interesting to take note of this association of humor-season-spiritual welfare.
Choleric Virtues: diplomatic, persuasive, enthusiastic, bold, improvement-driven, self-confident, dutiful, industrious, eager, solution-finding, perseverent. “all things to all men, so that I might save all.” – St. Paul
Choleric Vices: willful, irascible, impetuous, argumentative, stubbornness, anger, hardness, pride, obstinacy, ambition, vainglory, perfectionist, self-reliant.
FOR MORE INFO:
Again, two key points of the summer Embertide: A] To grow strong and mature in humility, unity, and self-detachment B] to cool our anger and greed in gratitude for God's constant and fruitful providence.
Therefore, the two key points of the summer Embertide will help to temper one’s choleric humor while maintaining its strengths.
It helps form the proud and greedy grizzly bear into the heroically virtuous lion!
*End note: Over history, the saints on occasion reference the four temperaments, or humors, since the idea is carried through the Catholic spiritual traditions. For those of us who have choleric/idealist tendencies:
Spiritual exercises include examination of conscience, meditations on the humility and meekness of the Sacred Heart, practice smallness and passivity before the Divine Will, reading “The Imitation of Christ” and other ascetical works, humbly accepting correction from others, and avoiding getting the last word. For encouragement and inspiration, saints who tended towards this humor include St Paul, St John the Baptist, St. Jerome, St. Ignatius Loyola, and St. Francis de Sales