Blog Post - July 8th

S. Elizabeth of Portugal| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection


St. Elizabeth of Portugal (1271-1336) Latin Calendar

Elizabeth is usually depicted in royal garb with a dove or an olive branch. At her birth in 1271, her father, Pedro III, future king of Aragon, was reconciled with his father, James, the reigning monarch. This proved to be a portent of things to come. Under the healthful influences surrounding her early years, she quickly learned self-discipline and acquired a taste for spirituality. Thus fortunately prepared, she was able to meet the challenge when, at the age of 12, she was given in marriage to Denis, king of Portugal. She was able to establish for herself a pattern of life conducive to growth in God’s love, not merely through her exercises of piety, including daily Mass, but also through her exercise of charity, by which she was able to befriend and help pilgrims, strangers, the sick, the poor—in a word, all those whose need came to her notice. At the same time she remained devoted to her husband, whose infidelity to her was a scandal to the kingdom.

He, too, was the object of many of her peace endeavors. She long sought peace for him with God, and was finally rewarded when he gave up his life of sin. She repeatedly sought and effected peace between the king and their rebellious son, Alfonso, who thought that he was passed over to favor the king’s illegitimate children. She acted as peacemaker in the struggle between Ferdinand, king of Aragon, and his cousin James, who claimed the crown. And finally from Coimbra, where she had retired as a Franciscan tertiary to the monastery of the Poor Clares after the death of her husband, she set out and was able to bring about a lasting peace between her son Alfonso, now king of Portugal, and his son-in-law, the king of Castile.

Stories:

Elizabeth was not well enough to undertake her final peacemaking journey, made all the more difficult by the oppressive heat of the season. She would not, however, permit herself to be dissuaded from it. She answered that there was no better way to give of her life and her health than by averting the miseries and destruction of war. By the time she had successfully brought about peace, she was so sick that death was imminent. After her death in 1336, her body was returned to the monastery at Coimbra for burial.

Comment:

The work of promoting peace is anything but a calm and quiet endeavor. It takes a clear mind, a steady spirit and a brave soul to intervene between people whose emotions are so aroused that they are ready to destroy one another. This is all the more true of a woman in the early 14th century. But Elizabeth had a deep and sincere love and sympathy for humankind, almost a total lack of concern for herself and an abiding confidence in God. These were the tools of her success.



Daily Meditation

Heirs of Heaven

A real transformation occurs in us through baptism: We die to sin and become one with Jesus Christ in such a way that we share in His very own life. In baptism we receive the sanctifying grace that gives us a heavenly life. It makes us sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus, and heirs of heaven.--Padre Pio


Quote by S. Padre Pio

The first virtue required by the person who is striving for perfection is charity.

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 189: Overcoming Fear


Fear results from various causes. The perception of some immediate threat causes sudden fear as a sort of defense mechanism. In fact, this could save your life if, for example, the immediate threat is a car swerving into your lane. Sudden fear compels you to take action and avoid a collision. However, fear can also result from other more remote factors that we experience as threats to our well-being. For example, one may struggle with fear over an economic downturn or loss of profit in a business. The fear may be, “How will I support my family?” Or one may have health issues and this causes increasing fear about the future. And the list could go on. Though some forms of fear are healthy (swerving to avoid a car accident), most others are not. Specifically, when fear causes anxiety and worry, leading one to lose trust in God and His providence, this is a problem. But if God is alive in your heart, living and reigning there, His presence produces a supernatural confidence and trust in the midst of any and every struggle we face (See Diary #1001).


Reflect upon the specific fear you struggle with right now. What is it that causes excessive worry and anxiety? Whatever it may be, the Lord wants you to trust Him. Yes, a certain “holy” fear can help us evaluate all situations properly and act diligently and responsibly, but too often what we actually struggle with is a lack of trust in God. Reflect upon your fear and your trust and invite Christ more deeply into your heart so that His presence will cast out all useless fear, enabling you to fully trust in His care, providence and Mercy.


Lord, I do trust in You. Help me to trust You all the more. I surrender to You all that tempts me to fear. I trust in Your perfect love and desire to rely completely on Your Mercy in my life. My life is Yours, dear Lord, do with me as You will and guide me always. Jesus, I trust in You.

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