Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Seven Founders of the Servite Order
Can you imagine seven prominent men of Boston or Denver banding together, leaving their homes and professions, and going into solitude for a life directly given to God? That is what happened in the cultured and prosperous city of Florence in the middle of the 13th century. The city was torn with political strife as well as the heresy of the Cathari, who believed that physical reality was inherently evil. Morals were low and religion seemed meaningless.
In 1240 seven noblemen of Florence mutually decided to withdraw from the city to a solitary place for prayer and direct service of God. Their initial difficulty was providing for their dependents, since two were still married and two were widowers.
Their aim was to lead a life of penance and prayer, but they soon found themselves disturbed by constant visitors from Florence. They next withdrew to the deserted slopes of Monte Senario.
In 1244, under the direction of St. Peter of Verona, O.P., this small group adopted a religious habit similar to the Dominican habit, choosing to live under the Rule of St. Augustine and adopting the name of the Servants of Mary. The new Order took a form more like that of the mendicant friars than that of the older monastic Orders.
Members of the community came to the United States from Austria in 1852 and settled in New York and later in Philadelphia. The two American provinces developed from the foundation made by Father Austin Morini in 1870 in Wisconsin.
Community members combined monastic life and active ministry. In the monastery, they led a life of prayer, work and silence while in the active apostolate they engaged in parochial work, teaching, preaching and other ministerial activities.
The time in which the seven Servite founders lived is very easily comparable to the situation in which we find ourselves today. It is “the best of times and the worst of times,” as Dickens once wrote. Some, perhaps many, feel called to a countercultural life, even in religion. All of us are faced in a new and urgent way with the challenge to make our lives decisively centered in Christ.
“Let all religious therefore spread throughout the whole world the good news of Christ by the integrity of their faith, their love for God and neighbor, their devotion to the Cross and their hope of future glory.... Thus, too, with the prayerful aid of that most loving Virgin Mary, God’s Mother, ‘Whose life is a rule of life for all,’ religious communities will experience a daily growth in number, and will yield a richer harvest of fruits that bring salvation” (Vatican II, Decree on the Renewal of Religious Life, 25).
Conquering Our Faults:
Lord, help me to conquer anger with gentleness, greed with generosity and apathy with fervor. Help me to forget myself and reach out toward others.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
One moves forward to victory not with weapons of steel, but with prayers.
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 42: Unjust Treatment Offered as Atonement
There are many times in life when we are treated unjustly. As a result, our first instinct is to fight back, defend ourselves and see to it that justice is done. But is that what Jesus did? No, He remained silent and accepted all injustice as a sacrifice for the atonement for our sins. He was the Just One who took upon Himself all injustice. In doing so, He did two things. First, He appeased the justice of the Father as He offered this injustice for the atonement of sin. This is the central and deepest mystery of our faith. Second, He invites us to follow His example. In doing so, we are invited to accept unjust treatment and meet it with Mercy and forgiveness. This requires great inner strength and love. But if we are able to unite our own unjust suffering to that of Christ’s, we will win more souls for God than if we fought back winning a temporary satisfaction of earthly justice (See Diary #81).
How have you been treated with cruelty and injustice? Reflect upon that which has been most painful to you and know that this suffering is an opportunity for you to atone for the sins of the world. You are enabled, by uniting your hurt to the suffering of Christ, to win many souls for God. This is the mystery of our redemption. It’s a mystery we are invited to enter into, live and offer to God as a sacrifice of love. Take a step in this direction, today, and watch the hurt you have dissolve into Mercy.
Lord, I offer You, this day, my hurt, pain and all suffering. I especially offer You the injustices I have faced in life. May You remove all bitterness from my heart and replace it with Your Divine Mercy. Jesus, I trust in You.