Blog Post - May 28th
S. Augustine of Canterbury| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Augustine of Canterbury
In the year 596, some 40 monks set out from Rome to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Leading the group was Augustine, the prior of their monastery in Rome. Hardly had he and his men reached Gaul (France) when they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons and of the treacherous waters of the English Channel. Augustine returned to Rome and to the pope who had sent them—St. Gregory the Great (September 3 )—only to be assured by him that their fears were groundless.
Augustine again set out. This time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, Bertha. Ethelbert received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within the year, on Pentecost Sunday, 597, was himself baptized. After being consecrated a bishop in France, Augustine returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands. As the faith spread, additional sees were established at London and Rochester.
Work was sometimes slow and Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the original Briton Christians (who had been driven into western England by Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure. Augustine failed to convince the Britons to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness, helping him evangelize their Anglo-Saxon conquerors.
Laboring patiently, Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles—quite enlightened for the times—suggested by Pope Gregory the Great: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Augustine of Canterbury can truly be called the “Apostle of England.”
Augustine of Canterbury comes across today as a very human saint, one who could suffer like many of us from a failure of nerve. For example, his first venture to England ended in a big U-turn back to Rome. He made mistakes and met failure in his peacemaking attempts with the Briton Christians. He often wrote to Rome for decisions on matters he could have decided on his own had he been more self-assured. He even received mild warnings against pride from Pope Gregory, who cautioned him to “fear lest, amidst the wonders that are done, the weak mind be puffed up by self-esteem.” Augustine’s perseverance amidst obstacles and only partial success teaches today’s apostles and pioneers to struggle on despite frustrations and be satisfied with gradual advances.
In a letter to Augustine, Pope Gregory the Great wrote: "He who would climb to a lofty height must go by steps, not leaps."
Patron Saint of:
Obedience Pleases God:
God has set aside the kingdom of God for the childlike--for those who are loving enough to trust and obey Him and humble enough to depend on Him.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Let us be docile in the face of these events (WW II), which are apparently harsh but are a sign of true mercy.
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 148: Mercy for Those in Purgatory
When a loved one dies, it is easy to instantly presume they are in Heaven and are no longer in need of our prayers. But one of the greatest gifts we can offer to those who have gone before us is our prayers. It’s true that every person who dies in a state of grace (meaning they do not have unrepented mortal sin), will enter into the glories of Heaven, eventually. However, what we may often forget is that in order to enter into the full glory of the presence of the Most Holy Trinity, every last sin, no matter how small, must be purged away. This is Purgatory, and Purgatory is a clear and definitive teaching of our faith. But Purgatory, itself, is so easily misunderstood. It’s not a place we go to be punished as a result of God’s anger. Rather, it’s a state in which we enter our final purification on account of God’s love. It is His burning love that has the effect of purifying us of every last attachment we have to sin. Every bad habit, every omission of charity, every foul thought, everything that cannot enter into Heaven with us. Purgatory is an act of God’s Mercy and we are called to help pour forth that Mercy on others through our prayers, sacrifices, and indulgences offered on their behalf after they pass from this Earth (See Diary #748).
Think about your loved ones who have gone before you. Let your love for them compel you to pray for them, especially today. Trust that the prayers, sacrifices and indulgences you offer for them are the greatest gift of Mercy you can give.
Lord, I pray for (mention a loved one who has passed) and pray for Your Divine Mercy to flood his/her soul. Purify every sin away and grant entrance into the glories of Your Heavenly Kingdom. I pray also for all holy souls in most need of Your Mercy. Jesus, I trust in You.