Blog Post - July 6th
S. Maria Goretti| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Maria Goretti
One of the largest crowds ever assembled for a canonization—250,000—symbolized the reaction of millions touched by the simple story of Maria Goretti.
She was the daughter of a poor Italian tenant farmer, had no chance to go to school, never learned to read or write. When she made her First Communion not long before her death at age 12, she was one of the larger and somewhat backward members of the class.
On a hot afternoon in July, Maria was sitting at the top of the stairs of her house, mending a shirt. She was not quite 12 years old, but physically mature. A cart stopped outside, and a neighbor, Alessandro, 18 years old, ran up the stairs. He seized her and pulled her into a bedroom. She struggled and tried to call for help. “No, God does not wish it," she cried out. "It is a sin. You would go to hell for it.” Alessandro began striking at her blindly with a long dagger.
She was taken to a hospital. Her last hours were marked by the usual simple compassion of the good—concern about where her mother would sleep, forgiveness of her murderer (she had been in fear of him, but did not say anything lest she cause trouble to his family) and her devout welcoming of Viaticum, her last Holy Communion. She died about 24 hours after the attack.
Her murderer was sentenced to 30 years in prison. For a long time he was unrepentant and surly. One night he had a dream or vision of Maria, gathering flowers and offering them to him. His life changed. When he was released after 27 years, his first act was to go to beg the forgiveness of Maria’s mother.
Devotion to the young martyr grew, miracles were worked, and in less than half a century she was canonized. At her beatification in 1947, her mother (then 82), two sisters and a brother appeared with Pope Pius XII on the balcony of St. Peter’s. Three years later, at her canonization, a 66-year-old Alessandro Serenelli knelt among the quarter-million people and cried tears of joy.
Maria may have had trouble with catechism, but she had no trouble with faith. God's will was holiness, decency, respect for one's body, absolute obedience, total trust. In a complex world, her faith was simple: It is a privilege to be loved by God, and to love him—at any cost.
"Even if she had not been a martyr, she would still have been a saint, so holy was her everyday life" (Cardinal Salotti).
Patron Saint of:
Pray for the strength to give some things-- even a few at a time -- to someone who has need of them.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
(Spiritual) darkness (of the soul seeking to do God's will) is an indication of the closeness of God to your souls... the Jewish people saw (God) in the form of a cloud, and He appeared in the temple as a cloud also.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Two: 112-188
We now enter into Notebook Two of the six notebooks that make up the Diary of Saint Faustina. The reason for having more than one notebook is simply that when one notebook was filled by Saint Faustina she began with a new one. Therefore, there is nothing particularly different from one notebook to the other. However, for the purpose of this current book of daily reflections, each reflection will begin to be lengthened, starting here with Notebook Two, so as to help you, the reader, enter more deeply into the beautiful mysteries of faith and our shared spiritual life that have been revealed in these writings of Saint Faustina.
You are invited once again to take one reflection each day and to ponder it throughout the day. Try to pray the prayer for each reflection each morning, noon and evening. Allow each mystery reflected upon to become a source of wisdom and understanding for you.
Reflection 187: A Rainbow after the Storm
It’s fascinating how Creation itself proclaims the glory of God and teaches us about matters of faith. Take a rainbow. It is bright and beautiful, colorful and awe-inspiring. Everyone rejoices on seeing a rainbow. But there would be no such thing as a rainbow without rain, or storms. Such is life. We will have good days followed by bad and bad days followed by good. We should not be surprised by one or the other. On a good day filled with joy we should thank God and be aware that the “rainbow” is a gift. We should savor it so that we will remember it on the bad days. When a bad day comes we should thank God. We should thank Him for the knowledge that this too shall pass if we wait patiently upon Him. Life is full of ups and downs but the Mercy of God is eternal and it will bring us through all things, enabling us to rejoice after the storm has passed (See Diary #992).
Reflect, today, upon the difference between a rainbow and a storm. Imagine a rainbow full of radiant color stretching across the sky from one end to the other. It is beautiful and inspiring, the cause for a smile and delight. Now compare that to the storm that preceded it. In the midst of the storm, the coming rainbow would not have been thought about. Instead, the primary focus is to seek shelter. Reflect upon how this may be similar to your personal life. When you feel pain or are bombarded with challenges do you run and hide? You should also remind yourself that every struggle is the precursor to a rainbow. Keep the blessings of God’s Mercy alive in your mind so that they will daily carry you through the challenges of life.
Lord, keep my eyes on You at all times. May I retain hope and joy in the midst of every storm of life. Please remind me when I feel oppressed and bombarded that this too shall pass and that You will bring my struggles and my life to a full and joyous conclusion. Jesus, I trust in You.