Blog Post - February 21st
S. Peter Damian| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Peter Damian
Maybe because he was orphaned and had been treated shabbily by one of his brothers, Peter Damian was very good to the poor. It was the ordinary thing for him to have a poor person or two with him at table and he liked to minister personally to their needs.
Peter escaped poverty and the neglect of his own brother when his other brother, who was archpriest of Ravenna, took him under his wing. His brother sent him to good schools and Peter became a professor.
Already in those days Peter was very strict with himself. He wore a hair shirt under his clothes, fasted rigorously and spent many hours in prayer. Soon, he decided to leave his teaching and give himself completely to prayer with the Benedictines of the reform of St. Romuald (June 19) at Fonte Avellana. They lived two monks to a hermitage. Peter was so eager to pray and slept so little that he soon suffered from severe insomnia. He found he had to use some prudence in taking care of himself. When he was not praying, he studied the Bible.
The abbot commanded that when he died Peter should succeed him. Abbot Peter founded five other hermitages. He encouraged his brothers in a life of prayer and solitude and wanted nothing more for himself. The Holy See periodically called on him, however, to be a peacemaker or troubleshooter, between two abbeys in dispute or a cleric or government official in some disagreement with Rome.
Finally, Pope Stephen IX made Peter the cardinal-bishop of Ostia. He worked hard to wipe out simony (the buying of church offices), and encouraged his priests to observe celibacy and urged even the diocesan clergy to live together and maintain scheduled prayer and religious observance. He wished to restore primitive discipline among religious and priests, warning against needless travel, violations of poverty and too comfortable living. He even wrote to the bishop of Besancon, complaining that the canons there sat down when they were singing the psalms in the Divine Office.
He wrote many letters. Some 170 are extant. We also have 53 of his sermons and seven lives, or biographies, that he wrote. He preferred examples and stories rather than theory in his writings. The liturgical offices he wrote are evidence of his talent as a stylist in Latin.
He asked often to be allowed to retire as cardinal-bishop of Ostia, and finally Alexander II consented. Peter was happy to become once again just a monk, but he was still called to serve as a papal legate. When returning from such an assignment in Ravenna, he was overcome by a fever. With the monks gathered around him saying the Divine Office, he died on February 22, 1072.
In 1828 he was declared a Doctor of the Church.
Peter was a reformer and if he were alive today would no doubt encourage the renewal started by Vatican II. He would also applaud the greater emphasis on prayer that is shown by the growing number of priests, religious and laypersons who gather regularly for prayer, as well as the special houses of prayer recently established by many religious communities.
“...Let us faithfully transmit to posterity the example of virtue which we have received from our forefathers” (St. Peter Damian).
The disbelief of Thomas the Apostle has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples. As he touches Christ and is won over to belief, every doubt is cast aside and our faith is strengthened.--S. Gregory the Great
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
All our good actions are invariably soiled, if I may use the expression, by a certain lack of confidence in God's goodness.
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 51: Pure Love
Do you love with a pure love? What does this form of love look like? Pure love is one that flows directly from the Heart of Christ to and through your life. This holy love has beautiful characteristics. First, it is plentiful. When we love with the Heart of Christ we love in abundance. There is no limit to how much love we can share. It’s like the brightness of the sun at noon casting rays on all below. Second, it’s ingenious, doing what is pleasing to God. It is not cautious or calculated. It does not hesitate or evaluate. Rather, the wisdom of love is immediate and knows in each moment how to radiate God’s love. And third, it is happy. Even when love calls one to heroic sacrifice there is great delight in this total self-giving (See Diary #140).
Reflect, today, upon how fully you love with a pure and generous heart. Do you give of yourself in abundance? Is it a delight to serve without counting the cost? Do you easily find ways to show Mercy to others and delight in doing so? Ponder these questions today and pray that the Lord shines through all you do.
Lord, please purify my heart and make it holy. Let my heart be joined to Yours so that I may radiate all that You are. Shine through me in abundance and guide me in a pure love. Jesus, I trust in You.