Pope S. Zephyrinus| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Today in the Latin Calendar we commemorate Pope S. Zephyrinus, Martyr. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.
Saint Zephyrinus Pope and Martyr († 217)
Saint Zephyrinus, a native of Rome, succeeded Victor I in the pontificate in the year 198. In 202 Septimus Severus, a military despot, raised the fifth and most bloody persecution against the Church, which continued for nine years until the death of the emperor in 211. Until this furious storm ended, the holy pastor remained concealed for the sake of his flock, supporting and comforting the distressed disciples of Christ. He suffered by charity and compassion what every confessor underwent. The triumphs of the martyrs were indeed his joy, but his heart received many deep wounds from the fall of apostates and heretics. Nor did this latter affliction cease when peace was restored to the Church. The holy Pope had the affliction of witnessing the fall of Tertullian. He saw to his joy, however, the conversion of Natalis, who had become a heretical bishop when he lapsed into the Theodotian heresy. God, wishing to bring him back to the Church, sent him a solid correction which opened his eyes, and he came to kneel at the feet of the Vicar of Christ, wearing a hair shirt and humbly asking pardon for his revolt.
Eusebius tells us that this holy Pope exerted his zeal so strenuously against the blasphemies of the heretics, that they treated him with the utmost contempt. To his glory, however, they also called him the principal defender of Christ's divinity. Saint Zephyrinus governed the Church for nineteen years, dying in 217 as a martyr under Antoninus Caracalla. He was buried in his own cemetery on the 26th of August.
Reflection: God has always raised up holy pastors zealous to maintain inviolable the faith of His Church, and to watch over the purity of its morals and the sanctity of its discipline. We enjoy the greatest advantages of divine grace through their labors, and owe to God a tribute of perpetual thanksgiving and immortal praise for all the mercies He has accorded His Church.
He will see us and our hearts will rejoice, and our joy no man shall take from us; for this is the sole reward for those who suffer for God's sake, to rejoice forever in his sight. —St. Bede the Venerable
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Flee with all your strength the perturbations and anxieties of the heart, otherwise all your efforts will bear little or no fruit at all.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Four: 237-262
We continue to the fourth notebook that Saint Faustina filled with reflections and revelations from Jesus. As we enter into this notebook, allow yourself to seek God in the silence. This chapter begins with Saint Faustina revealing that she was experiencing a “dark night” (Diary #1235). She lacked the sensory feelings of closeness to God. By analogy, it would be as if you were in a dark room filled with treasures and someone told you that all the treasures of this room were yours. You could not see them but you trusted the person who spoke about all that was around you. Knowledge of these treasures filled your mind even though the darkness hid them from your eyes.
So it is with God. Saint Faustina loved our Lord with all her heart and with every beat of her heart. She knew His closeness and love. But it appears that she could not sense this through her human senses. This gift of darkness allowed her to enter into a relationship with God on a spiritual level far deeper.
Seek this depth of relationship with God as you read through this chapter. Move beyond a desire to feel close to God and allow yourself to become close to God. He wants to enter your heart on a much deeper level than you ever knew possible. Be open to the newness of a relationship shrouded in darkness and allow the Lord to communicate His Mercy to you on this new level of love.
Reflection 238: Fidelity in Times of Darkness
Though Saint Faustina and many other great saints entered into a unique spiritual darkness, defined by St. John of the Cross as the “Dark Night of the Soul” and the “Dark Night of the Spirit,” we all will experience a certain “darkness” of one form or another in our walk of faith. Our darkness may not be the result of the extraordinary purification of the soul that takes place on the journey toward perfection, but our response must be the same. No matter what we go through in life, when challenges arise we must speak the words spoken by the great saints, “Thy Will be done!” Holiness is all about doing the Will of God despite any confusion or apparent obstacle in our lives (See Diary #1237).
Reflect upon the level of conviction you pray that prayer, “Thy Will be done!” Do you mean this? Can you say it with all the powers of your mind, will and soul? Have you chosen the Will of God above everything else in life? Embracing the Will of God in times of trial is especially fruitful for a life of faith. When temptations set in, especially temptations toward despair, you must reaffirm your commitment to God’s perfect Will. Reflect upon this holy act today. Say those words and mean them as completely as you can. Nothing in life should ever deter you from making this your daily prayer.
Lord, may Your Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven! I make this my prayer today. I offer it to You with complete confidence and total surrender. I choose You above all things and make Your Will my own. I love You, my Lord. Jesus, I trust in You.