Blog Post - April 16th
S. Benedict Joseph Labre| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Benedict Joseph Labre
Benedict Joseph Labre was truly eccentric, one of God's special little ones. Born in France and the eldest of 18 children, he studied under his uncle, a parish priest. Because of poor health and a lack of suitable academic preparation he was unsuccessful in his attempts to enter the religious life. Then, at 16 years of age, a profound change took place. Benedict lost his desire to study and gave up all thoughts of the priesthood, much to the consternation of his relatives.
He became a pilgrim, traveling from one great shrine to another, living off alms. He wore the rags of a beggar and shared his food with the poor. Filled with the love of God and neighbor, Benedict had special devotion to the Blessed Mother and to the Blessed Sacrament. In Rome, where he lived in the Colosseum for a time, he was called "the poor man of the Forty Hours Devotion" and "the beggar of Rome." The people accepted his ragged appearance better than he did. His excuse to himself was that "our comfort is not in this world."
On the last day of his life, April 16, 1783, Benedict Joseph dragged himself to a church in Rome and prayed there for two hours before he collapsed, dying peacefully in a nearby house. Immediately after his death the people proclaimed him a saint.
He was officially proclaimed a saint by Pope Leo XIII at canonization ceremonies in 1883.
In a modern inner city, one local character kneels for hours on the sidewalk and prays. Swathed in his entire wardrobe winter and summer, he greets passersby with a blessing. Where he sleeps no one knows, but he is surely a direct spiritual descendant of Benedict, the ragged man who slept in the ruins of Rome’s Colosseum. These days we ascribe such behavior to mental illness; Benedict’s contemporaries called him holy. Holiness is always a bit mad by earthly standards.
Patron Saint of:
I always have the option of uniting my sufferings with those of Christ. To the degree that I am able to do this, my suffering can actually help make me holy. My suffering is not meaningless.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
When Jesus does not want to answer me, he makes me actually forget to pray for those persons for whom I had firmly decided and intended to pray for.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook One: 11-111
This first notebook of Saint Faustina begins her private revelations given from the Heart of Jesus to her. She writes in a beautiful and simple way. Though, as mentioned in the introduction to this book, her actual words are not quoted in these reflections that follow, the messages that she received and articulated are presented.
In truth, her messages are those contained in Sacred Scripture and in the Tradition of our Church. And if you were to read through the lives and teachings of the saints, you would find the same revelations. God has always spoken to us throughout the ages. He speaks the one Message of Truth, and He reveals that Message in love. The revelations to Saint Faustina are one new way that God continues to speak and reveal Himself to us, His sons and daughters.
The reflections in this first chapter, based on the first notebook, are intentionally short and focused. They are a way for you, the reader, to slowly and carefully listen to the Heart of God spoken to this great saint. Read these reflections slowly and prayerfully. Ponder them throughout the day and allow the Lord to speak to You the message He wants to give.
Reflection 106: Sleeping in Christ
Each night, as you go to sleep, you are invited to sleep in the grace and Mercy of our Lord. You are invited to rest in His arms so as to be rejuvenated and refreshed. Sleep is an image of prayer and, in fact, can become a form of prayer. To rest is to rest in God. Every beat of your heart must become a prayer to God and every beat of His Heart must become the rhythm of your rest (See Diary #486).
Do you sleep in the presence of God? Think about it. When you retire to bed, do you pray? Do you ask our Lord to surround you with His grace and to embrace you with His gentle arms? God has spoken to the saints of old through their dreams. He has put holy men and women into a deep rest so as to restore them and strengthen them. Try to invite our Lord into your mind and heart as you lay your head down to sleep, this night. And as you wake, let Him be the first one whom you greet. Allow each night’s rest to be a resting in His Divine Mercy.
Lord, I thank You for the rhythm of each day. I thank You for the ways You walk with me throughout my day and I thank You for being with me while I rest. I offer to You, this night, my rest and my dreams. I invite You to hold me close to You, that Your Heart of Mercy may be the gentle sound which soothes my weary soul. Jesus, I trust in You.