Blog Post - December 16th
S. Eusebius of Vercelli| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Eusebius of Vercelli
Someone has said that if there had been no Arian heresy denying Christ's divinity, it would be very difficult to write the lives of many early saints. Eusebius is another of the defenders of the Church during one of its most trying periods.
Born on the isle of Sardinia, he became a member of the Roman clergy and is the first recorded bishop of Vercelli in Piedmont in northwest Italy. He is also the first to link the monastic life with that of the clergy, establishing a community of his diocesan clergy on the principle that the best way to sanctify his people was to have them see a clergy formed in solid virtue and living in community.
He was sent by Pope Liberius to persuade the emperor to call a council to settle Catholic-Arian troubles. When it was called at Milan, Eusebius went reluctantly, sensing that the Arian block would have its way, although the Catholics were more numerous. He refused to go along with the condemnation of Saint Athanasius (May 2); instead, he laid the Nicene Creed on the table and insisted that all sign it before taking up any other matter. The emperor put pressure on him, but Eusebius insisted on Athanasius’ innocence and reminded the emperor that secular force should not be used to influence Church decisions. At first the emperor threatened to kill him, but later sent him into exile in Palestine. There the Arians dragged him through the streets and shut him up in a little room, releasing him only after his four-day hunger strike. They resumed their harassment shortly after.
His exile continued in Asia Minor and Egypt, until the new emperor permitted him to be welcomed back to his see in Vercelli. He attended the Council of Alexandria with Athanasius and approved the leniency shown to bishops who had wavered. He also worked with St. Hilary of Poitiers (January 13)against the Arians.
He died peacefully in his own diocese at an advanced age.
Catholics in the U.S. have sometimes felt penalized by an unwarranted interpretation of the principle of separation of Church and state, especially in the matter of Catholic schools. Be that as it may, the Church is happily free today from the tremendous pressure put on it after it became an “established” Church under Constantine. We are happily rid of such things as a pope asking an emperor to call a Church council, Pope John I being sent by the emperor to negotiate in the East, the pressure of kings on papal elections. The Church cannot be a prophet if it’s in someone’s pocket.
"To render the care of souls more efficacious, community life for priests is strongly recommended, especially for those attached to the same parish. While this way of living encourages apostolic action, it also affords an example of charity and unity to the faithful" (Vatican II, Decree on the Bishops' Pastoral Office, 30).
Good Example Is Contagious:
For our personal preparation for a renewal of Christ we need a renewal of the virtue of humility. Virtues are usually acquired by being inspired by a virtuous person. Virtue is also gained by repetition of virtuous acts. Real virtue grooves the soul.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
On earth we must always fight amid hope and fear, on the condition that hope is always stronger...
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Six: 327-365
We enter, now, the last of the six notebooks that Saint Faustina filled with revelations from our Lord about His unfathomable and perfect Mercy. At this point, the Message of Mercy should be clear and evoking of a deep trust in the incomprehensible love of God. All that has been shared to this point reveals that God is relentless in His pursuit of you, seeking only to love you unconditionally and to draw you into His glorious life for all eternity.
The greatest obstacle to this call to holiness is sin. But it is abundantly clear that sin is no match for the Mercy of God. His Mercy dispels your sin in an instant, disposing of your past errors forever. God’s only desire is the present moment, for in this present moment He comes to you, descending from the heights of Heaven, entering into the inner core of your soul so as to form a perfect communion with you, lifting you up to share in His divine life.
This final notebook will be reflected upon as a summary of all that has been reflected upon thus far. Just like the reflections on the first notebook, the reflections for this notebook will be short and to the point. Once you finish this chapter you are invited to return to it often as a way of quickly and easily reminding yourself of the abundant Mercy of God. The Lord’s love is perfect in every way. Allow Him to speak this truth to you with clarity and conviction.
Reflection 350: Beauty in Adoration
The world is beautiful and reveals the beauty of God, but spiritual realities, such as the Holy Eucharist, are far more beautiful. To see the beauty of God, present in the Most Holy Eucharist, you need eyes of faith. One of the best ways to sharpen your vision of this beauty is through adoration. Though receiving Holy Communion must be the ultimate union we experience with our Lord, adoration of Him, present in the Sacred Host, prepares you for this encounter by revealing His beauty. Seek to adore Him exposed in the monstrance on the altar and let the eyes of your soul become enthralled by His beauty (See Diary #1692).
Do you ever participate in adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist? If you have adoration regularly at your church, you are blessed. If not, seek it out at a nearby church. Adoration feeds your soul and reveals to you the beauty of God. Reflect upon your experience of Eucharistic adoration and recommit yourself to a wholehearted participation in this glorious act.
Lord, I adore You with the most profound adoration as You are present before me in the Most Holy Eucharist. I love You and seek to know Your hidden beauty and splendor. You are glorious, dear Lord. As I behold Your glory, draw me ever deeper into Your perfect Heart of Mercy. Jesus, I trust in You.