SS. Cyril and Methodius| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Sts. Cyril and Methodius
(d. 869; d. 884)
Because their father was an officer in a part of Greece inhabited by many Slavs, these two Greek brothers ultimately became missionaries, teachers and patrons of the Slavic peoples.
After a brilliant course of studies, Cyril (called Constantine until he became a monk shortly before his death) refused the governorship of a district such as his brother had accepted among the Slavic-speaking population. Cyril withdrew to a monastery where his brother Methodius had become a monk after some years in a governmental post.
A decisive change in their lives occurred when the Duke of Moravia (present-day Czech Republic) asked the Eastern Emperor Michael for political independence from German rule and ecclesiastical autonomy (having their own clergy and liturgy). Cyril and Methodius undertook the missionary task.
Cyril’s first work was to invent an alphabet, still used in some Eastern liturgies. His followers probably formed the Cyrillic alphabet (for example, modern Russian) from Greek capital letters. Together they translated the Gospels, the psalter, Paul’s letters and the liturgical books into Slavonic, and composed a Slavonic liturgy, highly irregular then.
That and their free use of the vernacular in preaching led to opposition from the German clergy. The bishop refused to consecrate Slavic bishops and priests, and Cyril was forced to appeal to Rome. On the visit to Rome, he and Methodius had the joy of seeing their new liturgy approved by Pope Adrian II. Cyril, long an invalid, died in Rome 50 days after taking the monastic habit.
Methodius continued mission work for 16 more years. He was papal legate for all the Slavic peoples, consecrated a bishop and then given an ancient see (now in the Czech Republic). When much of their former territory was removed from their jurisdiction, the Bavarian bishops retaliated with a violent storm of accusation against Methodius. As a result, Emperor Louis the German exiled Methodius for three years. Pope John VIII secured his release.
Because the Frankish clergy, still smarting, continued their accusations, Methodius had to go to Rome to defend himself against charges of heresy and uphold his use of the Slavonic liturgy. He was again vindicated.
Legend has it that in a feverish period of activity, Methodius translated the whole Bible into Slavonic in eight months. He died on Tuesday of Holy Week, surrounded by his disciples, in his cathedral church.
Opposition continued after his death, and the work of the brothers in Moravia was brought to an end and their disciples scattered. But the expulsions had the beneficial effect of spreading the spiritual, liturgical and cultural work of the brothers to Bulgaria, Bohemia and southern Poland. Patrons of Moravia, and specially venerated by Catholic Czechs, Slovaks, Croatians, Orthodox Serbians and Bulgarians, Cyril and Methodius are eminently fitted to guard the long-desired unity of East and West. In 1980, Pope John Paul II named them additional co-patrons of Europe (with Benedict).
Holiness means reacting to human life with God’s love: human life as it is, crisscrossed with the political and the cultural, the beautiful and the ugly, the selfish and the saintly. For Cyril and Methodius much of their daily cross had to do with the language of the liturgy. They are not saints because they got the liturgy into Slavonic, but because they did so with the courage and humility of Christ.
“Even in the liturgy, the Church has no wish to impose a rigid uniformity in matters which do not involve the faith or the good of the whole community. Rather she respects and fosters the spiritual adornments and gifts of the various races and peoples.... Provided that the substantial unity of the Roman rite is maintained, the revision of liturgical books should allow for legitimate variations and adaptations to different groups, religions, and peoples, especially in mission lands” (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 37, 38).
Patron Saint of:
Yearn to Love God:
Even if someone has only a yearning to love God, that is enough. It comes from God Himself, because God is present wherever there is a desire for His love. Yearn for Him always, yearn with greater confidence, and do not be afraid.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
God's hiding of Himself in the darkness means He is making Himself more clear to your gaze, and that from His being visible and intelligible He becomes transfigured into the purely divine...
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 188: The Demands of the Lord
If the Lord asks you to do something, do you have an option? You do insofar as you can say “No.” And this is a sin. But if you have chosen to follow Christ and your goal is Heaven, then it’s proper to say that we are obliged to do whatever the Lord asks of us. His requests are certain and immovable commands of Love. He will not budge. He will not change. This is only hard to accept if we are stubborn and unwilling to submit to Him. But if we understand the nature of His Will, as described above, then we should be overjoyed when we hear His crisp clear voice speaking to us with commands of Love. We should see His Will and His Law as the perfect answer to every problem and every need we have in life. The demands of the Lord are demands we must give in to. And one of those demands is that He desires that we all enter into and distribute His abundant Mercy (See Diary #998).
Reflect upon the demand from our Lord that you dispense His Mercy. He not only invites you to do so, it is His immovable and irrevocable perfect Will. He will never change His Mind. There is only one option you have. You must concede to be a missionary of His Divine Mercy if you choose His Will for your life. Are you willing to accept this calling? Are you willing to say “Yes?” Ponder this question today and make a choice that reflects the certainty of God’s perfect Will. Say “Yes” to our Lord and you will not regret it.
Lord, Your Will is perfect and the delight of my soul. I thank You for inviting and obliging me to be an instrument of Your Divine Mercy in the world. May I embrace this calling with zeal, love and devotion. Use me, dear Lord, as You will. And I thank You for the incredible honor of serving You. Jesus, I trust in You.