Pope S. Pius I| S. Benedict of Nursia| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Today in the Latin Calendar is the Feast Day of Pope S. Pius I, Martyr. A story about this Feast Day can be found by Clicking Here.
Saint Pius I, born in the State of Venice, succeeded Saint Hygin in the year 142 as the ninth successor to Saint Peter, during the reign of the emperor Antoninus the Pious. Throughout his pontificate he took great care to make the religion of Christ flourish, and published many beautiful ordinances for the utility of the universal Church. In his decrees he was severe towards blasphemers and with the clergy who showed negligence for the divine Mysteries of the altar. Saint Pius ordained that Easter be celebrated on a Sunday; in this way the custom which the Apostles had already observed became an inviolable law of the Church.
His pontificate was marked by the efforts of various heretics in Rome, among them the gnostics Valentinian, Cerdon, and Marcion, to sow their errors in the Church's center. The last-named, when excluded from communion by Saint Pius, founded the heretical group which bears his name. Saint Justin and other Catholic teachers assisted the Pontiff in defending Christian doctrine and preserving it from corruption. After having governed the Church for fifteen years Saint Pius I obtained the crown of martyrdom by the sword, in the year of Our Lord 150.
Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 8
It is unfortunate that no contemporary biography was written of a man who has exercised the greatest influence on monasticism in the West. Benedict is well recognized in the later Dialogues of St. Gregory, but these are sketches to illustrate miraculous elements of his career.
Benedict was born into a distinguished family in central Italy, studied at Rome and early in life was drawn to the monastic life. At first he became a hermit, leaving a depressing world—pagan armies on the march, the Church torn by schism, people suffering from war, morality at a low ebb.
He soon realized that he could not live a hidden life in a small town any better than in a large city, so he withdrew to a cave high in the mountains for three years. Some monks chose him as their leader for a while, but found his strictness not to their taste. Still, the shift from hermit to community life had begun for him. He had an idea of gathering various families of monks into one “Grand Monastery” to give them the benefit of unity, fraternity, permanent worship in one house. Finally he began to build what was to become one of the most famous monasteries in the world—Monte Cassino, commanding three narrow valleys running toward the mountains north of Naples.
The Rule that gradually developed prescribed a life of liturgical prayer, study, manual labor and living together in community under a common father (abbot). Benedictine asceticism is known for its moderation, and Benedictine charity has always shown concern for the people in the surrounding countryside. In the course of the Middle Ages, all monasticism in the West was gradually brought under the Rule of St. Benedict.
Today the Benedictine family is represented by two branches: the Benedictine Federation and the Cistercians.
The Church has been blessed through Benedictine devotion to the liturgy, not only in its actual celebration with rich and proper ceremony in the great abbeys, but also through the scholarly studies of many of its members. Liturgy is sometimes confused with guitars or choirs, Latin or Bach. We should be grateful to those who both preserve and adapt the genuine tradition of worship in the Church.
“Rightly, then, the liturgy is considered as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. In the liturgy the sanctification of man is manifested by signs perceptible to the senses...; in the liturgy full public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and his members.
“From this it follows that every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of his Body the Church, is a sacred action, surpassing all others” (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 7).
Patron Saint of:
Love is Eternal:
“The people hung upon His words” (Lk 19:48)—that is, until they hung Him on a cross. Admiration is fleeting. Love is eternal.
Quote by S Padre Pio:
By loving God the soul is certain of possessing Him... he who loves God possesses Him at once.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Three: 189-236
We continue now to the third notebook that Saint Faustina filled with messages of Mercy from our Lord. As you enter into this notebook, pause and reflect upon all that you have read so far. Has it changed your perspective on life? Has it changed you? If it has, then continue down that same path and trust that the Lord will continue to do great things in your life. If it has not, reflect upon why!
Sometimes we need more than the words we read. We also need true prayer, deep prayer and what we may call “soaking prayer.” Consider this as you read through the reflections flowing from this notebook and allow the words to not only enter your mind, but to also enter deeper. Read them prayerfully and carefully. Speak to our Lord as Saint Faustina did. Read some more of her actual diary in addition to these reflections and learn from her humble and childlike faith.
The Lord wants to do great things in your life! Open the door, through prayer and reflection, and let Him in!
Reflection 192: Loving God in Good Times and Bad
It’s easy to “love” God when all is well. But when all is well, our love is not tested. The testing that comes from human suffering clarifies our love of God. This can be very fruitful for our spiritual lives. It’s easy to believe that difficulties in life are nothing other than sad and unfortunate burdens and should be avoided at all costs. Though we would be foolish to create difficulties intentionally, we will each have our share of them in this life. Therefore, every difficulty and suffering in life must be embraced as an opportunity for you to increase your trust in God and, in so doing, to increase your love of Him. How blessed is the soul who suffers greatly in this life while choosing to love God throughout, making that suffering the source of its increase in holiness (See Diary #1014).
What do you complain about each day? What is it that burdens you? Too often we run from these burdens or get angry. Try to look at your struggles in a new light. Try to see them as opportunities to deepen your trust and your love. Every suffering and every burden in life has the potential of being infused with the spiritual power of the Cross. By embracing them in love, we embrace the Cross. And by embracing the Cross, we love God all the more. Do not think that hardships deal you a poor quality of life. Recognize them for what they are as a result of grace. They are opportunities for holiness and for an increase in the reception of the Mercy of God.
Lord, when I get down, angry or despairing in life, on account of the difficulties I endure, help me to use that struggle as an opportunity for greater trust. Lord, I desire to run to the Cross and to receive the love that poured forth from Your Cross so that I may become more like You in all things. Increase my love, dear Lord, especially through every suffering in life that I surrender to You. Jesus, I trust in You.