SS. Perpetua and Felicity| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
SS. Perpetua and Felicity
“When my father in his affection for me was trying to turn me from my purpose by arguments and thus weaken my faith, I said to him, ‘Do you see this vessel—waterpot or whatever it may be? Can it be called by any other name than what it is?’ ‘No,’ he replied. ‘So also I cannot call myself by any other name than what I am—a Christian.’”
So writes Perpetua, young, beautiful, well-educated, a noblewoman of Carthage in North Africa, mother of an infant son and chronicler of the persecution of the Christians by Emperor Septimius Severus.
Despite threats of persecution and death, Perpetua, Felicity (a slavewoman and expectant mother) and three companions, Revocatus, Secundulus and Saturninus, refused to renounce their Christian faith. For their unwillingness, all were sent to the public games in the amphitheater. There, Perpetua and Felicity were beheaded, and the others killed by beasts.
Perpetua’s mother was a Christian and her father a pagan. He continually pleaded with her to deny her faith. She refused and was imprisoned at 22.
In her diary, Perpetua describes her period of captivity: “What a day of horror! Terrible heat, owing to the crowds! Rough treatment by the soldiers! To crown all, I was tormented with anxiety for my baby.... Such anxieties I suffered for many days, but I obtained leave for my baby to remain in the prison with me, and being relieved of my trouble and anxiety for him, I at once recovered my health, and my prison became a palace to me and I would rather have been there than anywhere else.”
Felicity gave birth to a girl a few days before the games commenced.
Perpetua’s record of her trial and imprisonment ends the day before the games. “Of what was done in the games themselves, let him write who will.” The diary was finished by an eyewitness.
Persecution for religious beliefs is not confined to Christians in ancient times. Consider Anne Frank, the Jewish girl who, with her family, was forced into hiding and later died in Bergen-Belsen, one of Hitler’s death camps during World War II. Anne, like Perpetua and Felicity, endured hardship and suffering and finally death because she committed herself to God. In her diary Anne writes, “It’s twice as hard for us young ones to hold our ground, and maintain our opinions, in a time when all ideals are being shattered and destroyed, when people are showing their worst side, and do not know whether to believe in truth and right and God."
Perpetua, unwilling to renounce Christianity, comforted her father in his grief over her decision, “It shall happen as God shall choose, for assuredly we depend not on our own power but on the power of God.“
Heart of Life:
At the heart of silence is prayer. At the heart of prayer is faith. At the heart of faith is life. At the heart of life is service.--S. Teresa of Calcutta
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
I understand that temptations seem to stain rather than purify the soul, but this is not really the case...however, pray to Jesus that He may not allow you to be tempted.
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 65: Jesus My Master
Are you comfortable calling Jesus your Master? Some may prefer to call Him “friend” or “shepherd.” And these titles are true. But what about Master? Ideally, we will all come to give ourselves to our Lord as the Master of our lives. We must not only become servants, we must become slaves. Slaves of Christ. If that doesn’t sit well then ponder simply what sort of Master our Lord would be. He would be a Master who directs us with perfect commands of love. Since He is a God of perfect love, we should have no fear abandoning ourselves into His hands in this holy and submissive way (See Diary #228).
Reflect, today, upon the joy of being totally given over to Christ and being completely under His direction. Ponder every word you say and every action you do being lived in obedience to His perfect plan. We should not only be completely free from any fear of such a Master, we should run to Him and seek to live in perfect obedience.
Lord, You are the Master of my life. I submit my life to You in a holy slavery of love. In this holy slavery, I thank You for setting me free to live and love as You desire. I thank You for commanding me in accord with Your most perfect Will. Jesus, I trust in You.