Blog Post - May 30th
Pope S. Felix I| S. Joan of Arc| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Today in the Latin calendar we celebrate the Feast Day of Pope S. Felix I, martyr. A story about this Feast Day can be found by Clicking Here.
HE was a Roman by birth, and succeeded St. Dionysius in the government of the church in 269. Paul of Samosata, the proud bishop of Antioch, to the guilt of many enormous crimes, added that of heresy, teaching that Christ was no more than a mere man, in whom the Divine Word dwelt by its operation, and as in its temple, with many other gross errors concerning the capital mysteries of the Trinity and Incarnation. Two councils were held at Antioch to examine his cause; but by various arts and subterfuges he escaped condemnation. However, in a third, assembled at the same place in 269, being clearly convicted of heresy, pride, and many scandalous crimes, he was excommunicated and deposed, and Domnus was substituted in his room. Paul still maintained himself in the possession of the episcopal house. The bishop, therefore, had recourse to the Emperor Aurelian, who, though a pagan, gave an order that the house should belong to him to whom the bishops of Rome and Italy adjudged it, as Eusebius writes. 1 St. Felix had before declared himself against that heresiarch; for the council had sent the synodal letter to St. Dionysius, who being dead, it had been delivered to St. Felix. It must have been on that occasion that our holy pope wrote to Maximus, bishop of Alexandria, a learned epistle, quoted by the council of Ephesus, St. Cyril of Alexandria, and St. Vincent of Lerins; in which he clearly explained the Catholic doctrine of the whole mystery of the Incarnation. St. Cyril has preserved us a fragment of it. 2 The persecution of Aurelian breaking out, St. Felix, fearless of dangers, strengthened the weak, encouraged all, baptised the catechumens, and continued to exert himself in converting infidels to the faith. He himself obtained the glory of martyrdom; which title is given him by the council of Ephesus, 3 by St. Cyril, 4 and by St. Vincent of Lerins. 5 He governed the church five years, and passed to a glorious eternity in 274. The western Martyrologies name him on the 30th of May.
The example of Christ, and of all his saints, ought to encourage us under all trials to suffer with patience, and even with joy. We shall soon begin to feel that it is sweet to tread in the steps of a God-man, and shall find that if we courageously take up our crosses, he will make them light by bearing them with us. The soul will find it sweet to be abandoned by creatures, that she may more perfectly feel their emptiness, and learn that men are false and treacherous. Then will she place her whole confidence in God alone, and cleave to him with her whole heart. Forsaken and forgotten by creatures, she finds no relish but in God who enters her more powerfully, and fills her with his consolations the more sweetly, as she is the more weaned and separated from all earthly things, and more purely adheres to him who never forsakes those who sincerely seek Him. O happy exchange! cries out St. Francis of Sales; the soul thus abandoned in the eyes of men, now possesses God instead of creatures.
St. Joan of Arc
Burned at the stake as a heretic after a politically-motivated trial, Joan was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.
Born of a fairly well-to-do peasant couple in Domremy-Greux (southeast of Paris), Joan was only 12 when she experienced a vision and heard voices that she later identified as Sts. Michael the Archangel, Catherine of Alexandria, and Margaret of Antioch.
During the Hundred Years War, she led French troops against the English and recaptured the cities of Orléans and Troyes. This enabled Charles VII to be crowned as king in Reims in 1429. Captured near Compiegne the following year, she was sold to the English and placed on trial for heresy and witchcraft. Professors at the University of Paris supported Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvis, the judge at her trial; Cardinal Henry Beaufort of Winchester, England, participated in the questioning of Joan in prison. In the end, she was condemned for wearing men's clothes. The English resented France's military success–to which Joan contributed.
On this day in 1431, she was burned at the stake in Rouen, and her ashes were scattered in the Seine River. A second Church trial 25 years later nullified the earlier verdict, which was reached under political pressure.
Remembered by most people for her military exploits, Joan had a great love for the sacraments, which strengthened her compassion toward the poor. Popular devotion to her increased greatly in 19th-century France and later among French soldiers during World War I. Theologian George Tavard writes that her life "offers a perfect example of the conjunction of contemplation and action" because her spiritual insight is that there should be a "unity of heaven and earth."
Joan of Arc has been the subject of many books, plays, operas, and movies.
"Joan of Arc is like a shooting star across the landscape of French and English history, amid the stories of the Church's saints and into our consciousness. Women identify with her; men admire her courage. She challenges us in fundamental ways. Despite the fact that more than 500 years have passed since she lived, her issues of mysticism, calling, identity, trust and betrayal, conflict and focus are our issues still." (Joan of Arc: God's Warrior, by Barbara Beckwith)
As she was being burned at the stake, Joan called on Jesus.
Patron Saint of:
I attempt the difficult balancing act of loving that intellectual part of myself while putting it in its proper place. I do not want my smartness and cool intellect to overwhelm the caring part of me.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
The God who humilities... is the God who is still speaking to us... still the God who loves us.
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 150: Avoiding the Trap of Human Opinion
Does it matter what others think of you? In other words, should you be concerned about the “opinions” of others? Yes and no. No, we should not be concerned in the sense that the only “opinion” that matters is that which is true. And the Truth is that which is in the Mind of God. And that Truth is not an opinion, it is the Truth. So, no, we ought not worry about opinions that do not reflect the Mind of God. However, we should be concerned about another’s opinion insofar as our love for them should draw us to help them arrive at the truth. Some are obstinate and hold to their opinion over the truth no matter what. This is beyond our control. But others are open and if we see an open mind and heart, we should also be open to any way that God wants to use us to help them shed their erroneous views in exchange for that which is in the Mind of God (See Diary #763).
Reflect, especially, upon the tendency you have to become overly concerned about what people think or say about you. Do you allow this to influence you in an unhealthy way? Do you allow it to affect your own choices and focus in life? Remind yourself, this day, that all that matters is the truth. What is in the Mind of God? That’s what you should be concerned about. Recommit yourself to that truth and you will experience an immense amount of freedom.
Lord, I turn to You who are the one and only source of all Truth. I seek to know and believe only that which resides in Your Mind. I choose this Truth over all the opinions of the world, and I choose to let go of my own opinions, preferring only to embrace what You reveal. Give me the grace to live always in the Truth. Jesus, I trust in You.