Blog Post - July 17th
S. Alexius| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Today in the Latin Calendar we commemorate S. Alexius, Confessor. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.
Saint Alexis Confessor (†404)
Saint Alexis, born in Rome in the fourth century, was the only son of parents pre-eminent among the Roman nobles for both their virtue and their great wealth. They were particularly noted for their almsgiving; three tables were prepared every day for all who came for assistance — pilgrims, the poor and the sick. Their son, fruit of their prayers, was married with splendid feasting to a noble young lady of the imperial family, but on his wedding night, by God’s special inspiration, he secretly left Rome, longing for a solitude where he could serve God alone. He went to Edessa in the far East, gave away all that he had brought with him, content thereafter to live by alms at the gate of Our Lady’s church in that city. His family, in the deepest grief, could not fathom the mystery of his disappearance, and would have been consoled if God had taken him instead through death.
It came to pass that the servants of Saint Alexis, whom his father had sent in search of him, arrived in Edessa, and seeing him among the poor at the gate of Our Lady’s church, gave him an alms, not recognizing him. Whereupon the man of God, rejoicing, said, “I thank You, Lord, who have called me and granted that I should receive for Your Name’s name’s sake an alms from my own slaves. Deign to fulfill in me the work You have begun.”
After seventeen years spent at the portico of the church, when his sanctity was miraculously confirmed by the Blessed Virgin, speaking through Her image to an officer of the church, Saint Alexis once more sought obscurity by flight. On his way to Tarsus contrary winds drove his ship to Rome. There no one recognized, in this pale and tattered mendicant, the heir of Rome’s noblest house, not even his sorrowing parents, who had vainly sent throughout the world in search of him. From his own father’s charity Saint Alexis begged a miserable shelter in his palace, under a staircase, with the leavings of his table as food. There he spent another seventeen years, bearing patiently the mockery and ill usage of his own servants, and witnessing daily the still inconsolable grief of his spouse and parents.
At last, when death had ended this cruel martyrdom, they learned too late, in the year 404, who it was that they had unknowingly sheltered. A voice was heard by all in attendance at the Pope’s Mass, saying: “Seek the man of God, he will pray for Rome, and the Lord will be favorable to it; he will die Friday.” All the city undertook in vain to find this unknown Saint. But God had commanded Alexis himself to write down his life story and sign it, in this way He Himself confirmed His servant’s sanctity, when he was found lifeless in his retreat, holding that document in his hand. The Pope read aloud what was written on the parchment of the Saint, and everywhere in Rome there was a single cry of admiration, impossible to describe. The house of Alexis’ father Euphemian was later transformed into a church dedicated to Saint Alexis.
Reflection: We must always be ready to sacrifice our dearest and best natural affections in obedience to the call of our heavenly Father. “Call none your father upon earth, for one is your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 23:9) Our Lord has taught us this not by words only, but by His own example and that of His Saints.
Sources: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints, and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894); Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 8.
Implementing the Gospel:
Evangelization is needed wherever Gospel values have not been fully established. All we have to do is see the regular news coverage of how desperately our own society and institutions need to be evangelized—not to mention our own hearts. We must begin implementing the Gospel on our own turf.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
If we could perceive for a single instant... the state to which God's grace has raised us, to be nothing less than His own children, destined to reign with His Son for all eternity!
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 198: The Mercy of True Empathy
The lack of true heartfelt empathy is a clear sign of a certain psychological, emotional and even spiritual disorder. This is mentioned because the opposite is true also. The presence of true heartfelt empathy is a sign that one is psychologically, emotionally and spiritually healthy. Empathy means that you are aware of the other. You sense when someone is hurting or when they are joyful. Furthermore, you feel the pain they feel and experience the joy that they experience. This is an act of mercy in your heart flowing from the Mercy of God. (See Diary #1039).
Reflect, today, upon your empathy or lack thereof. What takes place within your mind, heart and emotions when you encounter either the joys or the sufferings of another. Do you walk right past them, not caring and not engaging them? Or do you see their humanity, recognize their dignity, and treat them with care, compassion and respect? Empathy is ultimately all about the dignity of each and every person and our ability to acknowledge that dignity through our thoughts, feelings, words and actions. Try to honestly look at your own empathy today and if you are surprised at a lacking in this area, look deeper at the reason why. Do not be afraid to admit to this lacking and do not be afraid to seek its remedy. But if you see yourself blessed with a heart of compassion, filled with an awareness of the other, then rejoice because your heart is sharing in and dispensing the Mercy of God.
Lord, I pray that my heart will become an instrument of Your own merciful Heart. In any way that I lack the empathy and compassion flowing from Your Heart, bring me healing. And in every way that I have been blessed to experience the struggles and joys of others on account of sharing in Your Mercy, I thank You. Lord, my deep desire is to share in Your life and love so that my heart may become like unto Yours. Jesus, I trust in You.