Blog Post - August 19th
S. John Eudes| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. John Eudes
How little we know where God’s grace will lead. Born on a farm in northern France, John died at 79 in the next “county” or department. In that time he was a religious, a parish missionary, founder of two religious communities and a great promoter of the devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
He joined the religious community of the Oratorians and was ordained a priest at 24. During severe plagues in 1627 and 1631, he volunteered to care for the stricken in his own diocese. Lest he infect his fellow religious, he lived in a huge cask in the middle of a field during the plague.
At age 32, John became a parish missionary. His gifts as preacher and confessor won him great popularity. He preached over 100 parish missions, some lasting from several weeks to several months.
In his concern with the spiritual improvement of the clergy, he realized that the greatest need was for seminaries. He had permission from his general superior, the bishop and even Cardinal Richelieu to begin this work, but the succeeding general superior disapproved. After prayer and counsel, John decided it was best to leave the religious community. The same year he founded a new one, ultimately called the Eudists (Congregation of Jesus and Mary), devoted to the formation of the clergy by conducting diocesan seminaries. The new venture, while approved by individual bishops, met with immediate opposition, especially from Jansenists and some of his former associates. John founded several seminaries in Normandy, but was unable to get approval from Rome (partly, it was said, because he did not use the most tactful approach).
In his parish mission work, John was disturbed by the sad condition of prostitutes who sought to escape their miserable life. Temporary shelters were found but arrangements were not satisfactory. A certain Madeleine Lamy, who had cared for several of the women, one day said to him, “Where are you off to now? To some church, I suppose, where you’ll gaze at the images and think yourself pious. And all the time what is really wanted of you is a decent house for these poor creatures.” The words, and the laughter of those present, struck deeply within him. The result was another new religious community, called the Sisters of Charity of the Refuge.
He is probably best known for the central theme of his writings: Jesus as the source of holiness, Mary as the model of the Christian life. John's devotion to the Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary led Pius XI to declare him the father of the liturgical cult of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Holiness is the wholehearted openness to the love of God. It is visibly expressed in many ways, but the variety of expression has one common quality: concern for the needs of others. In John’s case, those who were in need were plague-stricken people, ordinary parishioners, those preparing for the priesthood, prostitutes and all Christians called to imitate the love of Jesus and his mother.
“Our wish, our object, our chief preoccupation must be to form Jesus in ourselves, to make his spirit, his devotion, his affections, his desires and his disposition live and reign there. All our religious exercises should be directed to this end. It is the work which God has given us to do unceasingly” (St. John Eudes, The Life and Reign of Jesus in Christian Souls).
We Are Called:
We are called to share in the infinite life and love of God. We are called by God to a relationship that is destined to transform us into his likeness, to “divinize” us. This is going to take some stretching, to say the least.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
The Christian must frequently place the holy books before his eyes in order to perceive the faults he must correct and virtues by which he must adorn himself so as to be pleasing in the sight of God.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Three: 189-236
We continue now to the third notebook that Saint Faustina filled with messages of Mercy from our Lord. As you enter into this notebook, pause and reflect upon all that you have read so far. Has it changed your perspective on life? Has it changed you? If it has, then continue down that same path and trust that the Lord will continue to do great things in your life. If it has not, reflect upon why!
Sometimes we need more than the words we read. We also need true prayer, deep prayer and what we may call “soaking prayer.” Consider this as you read through the reflections flowing from this notebook and allow the words to not only enter your mind, but to also enter deeper. Read them prayerfully and carefully. Speak to our Lord as Saint Faustina did. Read some more of her actual diary in addition to these reflections and learn from her humble and childlike faith.
The Lord wants to do great things in your life! Open the door, through prayer and reflection, and let Him in!
Reflection 231: Binding the Hands of Punishment
If you were a criminal, incarcerated for some crime, you would most likely see life from a perspective that is very different from others. You would daily long to have your punishment removed and your status of freedom restored. However, an act of mercy of this sort is rarely offered by secular society. Instead, harshness and judgment is the norm. But God is much different. God is perfectly aware of everything you have ever done in violation of His law. He sees even the minutest sin. And in the end, He will administer His strict justice upon all those who have not been bathed in the justice of His Mercy. So bathe in Mercy now and help others to do the same. God offers this Mercy in varied ways. One specific way God offers the Mercy which appeases His judgment is through your heart. By daily offering your heart to our Lord and by daily offering it for others, God’s judgment is transformed. He sees your holy heart, enters it, and then allows you to offer it for the sanctification of others. In this way you are able to win many souls for God on account of His perfect justice of Mercy (See Diary #1193).
When you look at others, what do you see? Do you see a sinner who deserves punishment for their sins? If so, be careful because this is how God will in turn see you. Strive to see the sins of others as opportunities to pray for them and as opportunities to become an instrument of the Mercy of God. God invites your participation in this act of atonement and withholds nothing when you commit yourself to this act of love.
Lord, please transform the way I see others, especially the sinner. Help me to withhold my own judgment and, in turn, to offer my heart filled with love as an act of Your Divine Mercy. Cleanse every soul, dear Lord, and forgive every sin on account of my love for You. Jesus, I trust in You.