S. Boniface| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Boniface, known as the apostle of the Germans, was an English Benedictine monk who gave up being elected abbot to devote his life to the conversion of the Germanic tribes. Two characteristics stand out: his Christian orthodoxy and his fidelity to the pope of Rome.
How absolutely necessary this orthodoxy and fidelity were is borne out by the conditions he found on his first missionary journey in 719 at the request of Pope Gregory II. Paganism was a way of life. What Christianity he did find had either lapsed into paganism or was mixed with error. The clergy were mainly responsible for these latter conditions since they were in many instances uneducated, lax and questionably obedient to their bishops. In particular instances their very ordination was questionable.
These are the conditions that Boniface was to report in 722 on his first return visit to Rome. The Holy Father instructed him to reform the German Church. The pope sent letters of recommendation to religious and civil leaders. Boniface later admitted that his work would have been unsuccessful, from a human viewpoint, without a letter of safe-conduct from Charles Martel, the powerful Frankish ruler, grandfather of Charlemagne. Boniface was finally made a regional bishop and authorized to organize the whole German Church. He was eminently successful.
In the Frankish kingdom, he met great problems because of lay interference in bishops’ elections, the worldliness of the clergy and lack of papal control.
During a final mission to the Frisians, he and 53 companions were massacred while he was preparing converts for Confirmation.
In order to restore the Germanic Church to its fidelity to Rome and to convert the pagans, he had been guided by two principles. The first was to restore the obedience of the clergy to their bishops in union with the pope of Rome. The second was the establishment of many houses of prayer which took the form of Benedictine monasteries. A great number of Anglo-Saxon monks and nuns followed him to the continent. He introduced Benedictine nuns to the active apostolate of education.
Boniface literally struck a blow for Christianity in his attempt to destroy pagan superstitions. On a day previously announced, in the presense of a tense crowd, he attacked with an ax Donar's sacred oak on Mount Gudenburg. The huge tree crashed, splitting into four parts. The people waited for the gods to strike Boniface dead—then realized their gods were powerless, nonexistent. He used planks from the tree to build a chapel.
Boniface bears out the Christian rule: To follow Christ is to follow the way of the cross. For Boniface, it was not only physical suffering or death, but the painful, thankless, bewildering task of Church reform. Missionary glory is often thought of in terms of bringing new persons to Christ. It seems—but is not—less glorious to heal the household of the faith.
Patron Saint of:
God blesses and exalts the humble. Work on diminishing and exposing the Pharisee in yourself, and you will learn to love with the eyes and heart of Christ.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Oh...how delightful and consoling it is to know that without any merit of our own, this most tender Father has raised us to such high dignity.
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 156: The Lord is Our Refuge
There are times in life when fear enters into your life. You may have some daunting task before you, or may be walking down a path of the unknown. These, and many other experiences in life, can become a cause for fear and anxiety. Fear of the unknown can especially become all consuming. But it need not be if the Lord is with you and is your constant Refuge. Jesus desires that you turn to Him in childlike trust and simplicity, knowing that He will lead you through life every step of the way. We need not fear if our eyes and heart are fixed on Him. He will never leave us (See Diary #797).
What is it that you fear the most in life? What is it about your future that worries you? Does that which is unknown to you cause much anxiety? Know that the Lord desires to free you of these heavy burdens by inviting you to take refuge in His Sacred Heart. By turning to Him, as a child, you will be freed of the fears that are quite burdensome. Ponder your fears this day and then turn to the Lord in perfect abandon. As you do, He will lift them from you, replacing them with His perfect peace.
Lord, I turn to You in my anxiety and fear. I trust You in all things and pray that You increase my capacity for faith and hope in You. Please become my refuge and give me the confidence of a child, to turn to You in my time of need. Jesus, I trust in You.