Pope S. Gregory I, The Great| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Gregory the Great
Coming events cast their shadows before: Gregory was the prefect of Rome before he was 30. After five years in office he resigned, founded six monasteries on his Sicilian estate and became a Benedictine monk in his own home at Rome.
Ordained a priest, he became one of the pope's seven deacons, and also served six years in the East as papal representative in Constantinople. He was recalled to become abbot, and at the age of 50 was elected pope by the clergy and people of Rome.
He was direct and firm. He removed unworthy priests from office, forbade taking money for many services, emptied the papal treasury to ransom prisoners of the Lombards and to care for persecuted Jews and the victims of plague and famine. He was very concerned about the conversion of England, sending 40 monks from his own monastery. He is known for his reform of the liturgy, for strengthening respect for doctrine. Whether he was largely responsible for the revision of "Gregorian" chant is disputed.
Gregory lived in a time of perpetual strife with invading Lombards and difficult relations with the East. When Rome itself was under attack, he interviewed the Lombard king.
An Anglican historian has written: "It is impossible to conceive what would have been the confusion, the lawlessness, the chaotic state of the Middle Ages without the medieval papacy; and of the medieval papacy, the real father is Gregory the Great."
His book, Pastoral Care, on the duties and qualities of a bishop, was read for centuries after his death. He described bishops mainly as physicians whose main duties were preaching and the enforcement of discipline. In his own down-to-earth preaching, Gregory was skilled at applying the daily gospel to the needs of his listeners. Called "the Great," Gregory has been given a place with Augustine (August 28), Ambrose (December 7) and Jerome (September 30)as one of the four key doctors of the Western Church.
Gregory was content to be a monk, but he willingly served the Church in other ways when asked. He sacrificed his own preferences in many ways, especially when he was called to be Bishop of Rome. Once he was called to public service, Gregory gave his considerable energies completely to this work.
"Perhaps it is not after all so difficult for a man to part with his possessions, but it is certainly most difficult for him to part with himself. To renounce what one has is a minor thing; but to renounce what one is, that is asking a lot" (St. Gregory,Homilies on the Gospels).
Patron Saint of:
Anyone who thirsts for God eagerly studies and meditates on the inspired Word, knowing that he is certain to find the One for whom he thirsts--S. Bernard of Clairvaux
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Do not have any doubts about the divine assistance, do not turn in upon yourself because of the many difficulties that may continually surround you...
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook One: 11-111
This first notebook of Saint Faustina begins her private revelations given from the Heart of Jesus to her. She writes in a beautiful and simple way. Though, as mentioned in the introduction to this book, her actual words are not quoted in these reflections that follow, the messages that she received and articulated are presented.
In truth, her messages are those contained in Sacred Scripture and in the Tradition of our Church. And if you were to read through the lives and teachings of the saints, you would find the same revelations. God has always spoken to us throughout the ages. He speaks the one Message of Truth, and He reveals that Message in love. The revelations to Saint Faustina are one new way that God continues to speak and reveal Himself to us, His sons and daughters.
The reflections in this first chapter, based on the first notebook, are intentionally short and focused. They are a way for you, the reader, to slowly and carefully listen to the Heart of God spoken to this great saint. Read these reflections slowly and prayerfully. Ponder them throughout the day and allow the Lord to speak to You the message He wants to give.
Reflection 71: Our Littleness and Nothingness
It is a grace from God to see ourselves as we are. And what will we see if we see ourselves this way? We will see our misery and nothingness. At first, this may not be all that desirable. It may even seem contrary to the dignity we have in Christ. But that’s the key. Our dignity is “in Christ.” Without Him, we are nothing. We are misery and nothingness by ourselves (See Diary #256).
Today, do not be offended or afraid to acknowledge your “nothingness.” If it does not sit well with you at first, beg God for grace to see yourself as you are without Him. You will quickly see that without our divine Savior, you are truly miserable in every way. This is the starting point to a deep gratitude in that it allows you to more fully realize all that God has done for you. And when you see this, you will rejoice in the fact that He has come to meet you in this nothingness and has lifted you high to the dignity of His precious child.
Lord, may I see my misery and wretchedness this day. May I come to understand that without You I am nothing. And in that realization, help me to become eternally grateful for the precious gift of becoming Your dear child in grace. Jesus, I trust in You.