Blog Post - February 17th
The 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).
Seeing Jesus In Others:
Lord, You have made us one by the saving mystery of baptism. Help us now to be refreshed at the living spring of Your goodness in each person.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Have by no means the will to offend God even to the slighest extent.
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 47: Recognizing the Needs of Others
Often times we can be so preoccupied with ourselves and our own problems that we fail to see the struggles and needs of those around us, especially those of our own family. At times, because we are so self-consumed, we run the risk of adding unnecessary burdens to those we are called to love and care for. We need to foster within our hearts true Christ-like empathy and compassion for each person we encounter (See Diary #117).
Do you see the needs of those in your life? Are you aware of their wounds and burdens. Do you sense when they are sad and overwhelmed? Do you add to their sorrow or do you seek to lift them up? Reflect, today, upon the great gift of an empathetic and compassionate heart. True Christian empathy is a human response of love for those all around us. It’s an act of Mercy we must foster so as to lighten the burden of those entrusted to our care.
Lord, help me to have a heart full of true empathy. Help me to sense the struggles and needs of others around me and to turn my eyes from myself to the needs that they carry. Lord, You are full of compassion. Help me also to be filled with compassion for all. Jesus, I trust in You.