S. Aloysius Gonzaga| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Aloysius Gonzaga
The Lord can make saints anywhere, even amid the brutality and license of Renaissance life. Florence was the “mother of piety” for Aloysius Gonzaga despite his exposure to a “society of fraud, dagger, poison and lust.” As a son of a princely family, he grew up in royal courts and army camps. His father wanted Aloysius to be a military hero.
At age seven he experienced a profound spiritual quickening. His prayers included the Office of Mary, the psalms and other devotions. At age nine he came from his hometown of Castiglione to Florence to be educated; by age 11 he was teaching catechism to poor children, fasting three days a week and practicing great austerities. When he was 13 years old he traveled with his parents and the Empress of Austria to Spain and acted as a page in the court of Philip II. The more Aloysius saw of court life, the more disillusioned he became, seeking relief in learning about the lives of saints.
A book about the experience of Jesuit missionaries in India suggested to him the idea of entering the Society of Jesus, and in Spain his decision became final. Now began a four-year contest with his father. Eminent churchmen and laypeople were pressed into service to persuade him to remain in his “normal” vocation. Finally he prevailed, was allowed to renounce his right to succession and was received into the Jesuit novitiate.
Like other seminarians, Aloysius was faced with a new kind of penance—that of accepting different ideas about the exact nature of penance. He was obliged to eat more, to take recreation with the other students. He was forbidden to pray except at stated times. He spent four years in the study of philosophy and had St. Robert Bellarmine (September 17) as his spiritual adviser.
In 1591, a plague struck Rome. The Jesuits opened a hospital of their own. The general himself and many other Jesuits rendered personal service. Because he nursed patients, washing them and making their beds, Aloysius caught the disease himself. A fever persisted after his recovery and he was so weak he could scarcely rise from bed. Yet, he maintained his great discipline of prayer, knowing that he would die within the octave of Corpus Christi, three months later, at the age of 23.
As a saint who fasted, scourged himself, sought solitude and prayer and did not look on the faces of women, Aloysius seems an unlikely patron of youth in a society where asceticism is confined to training camps of football teams and boxers, and sexual permissiveness has little left to permit. Can an overweight and air-conditioned society deprive itself of anything? It will when it discovers a reason, as Aloysius did. The motivation for letting God purify us is the experience of God loving us, in prayer.
"When we stand praying, beloved brethren, we ought to be watchful and earnest with our whole heart, intent on our prayers. Let all carnal and worldly thoughts pass away, nor let the soul at that time think on anything except the object of its prayer" (St. Cyprian, On the Lord's Prayer, 31).
Patron Saint of:
Mary is the icon of true discipleship and the one the Church looks to as a model of real devotion. She is just watching for us to ask for help in our pursuit of holiness.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
(Heavenly light) cannot be acquired either by prolonged study or through human teaching, but which is directly infused by God.
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 172: Patient Submission
Are you patient? Both patience and impatience are born from a struggle within your will. There are many times in life when your will is drawn by something other than God, wanting something that God is not leading you to. Patience is a virtue that enables you to step back, take a deep breath and redirect your will to that which God alone has chosen for you. Patience is the gift of strength within you to deny your own immediate tendencies in deference to that which the Lord gently speaks to your heart. When you have patience, you are not controlled by the confusion caused through your disordered emotions or untamed feelings and desires. Patience brings order, focus and purpose. And the gift of patience, when it enables you to submit your will to the Divine Will, gives God immeasurable glory (See Diary #904).
How patient of a person are you? What controls your actions and influences your decisions the most? Are you more controlled by your disordered desires, or by God? Reflect upon this question today and make an act of submission of your will to the Will of God. Making this choice will immediately strengthen you and bring forth the virtue of patience in your soul.
Lord, I am so very impatient at times. I allow many feelings, emotions and passions to control me and to dictate my actions. I surrender my will to You this day. May Your Divine Will be done in all things rather than my own. Jesus, I trust in You.