Blog Post - November 11th
S. Martin of Tours| S. Mennas| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Martin of Tours
A conscientious objector who wanted to be a monk; a monk who was maneuvered into being a bishop; a bishop who fought paganism as well as pleaded for mercy to heretics—such was Martin of Tours, one of the most popular of saints and one of the first not to be a martyr.
Born of pagan parents in what is now Hungary and raised in Italy, this son of a veteran was forced at the age of 15 to serve in the army. He became a Christian catechumen and was baptized at 18. It was said that he lived more like a monk than a soldier. At 23, he refused a war bonus and told his commander: "I have served you as a soldier; now let me serve Christ. Give the bounty to those who are going to fight. But I am a soldier of Christ and it is not lawful for me to fight." After great difficulties, he was discharged and went to be a disciple of Hilary of Poitiers (January 13).
He was ordained an exorcist and worked with great zeal against the Arians. He became a monk, living first at Milan and later on a small island. When Hilary was restored to his see after exile, Martin returned to France and established what may have been the first French monastery near Poitiers. He lived there for 10 years, forming his disciples and preaching throughout the countryside.
The people of Tours demanded that he become their bishop. He was drawn to that city by a ruse—the need of a sick person—and was brought to the church, where he reluctantly allowed himself to be consecrated bishop. Some of the consecrating bishops thought his rumpled appearance and unkempt hair indicated that he was not dignified enough for the office.
Along with St. Ambrose (December 7), Martin rejected Bishop Ithacius’s principle of putting heretics to death—as well as the intrusion of the emperor into such matters. He prevailed upon the emperor to spare the life of the heretic Priscillian. For his efforts, Martin was accused of the same heresy, and Priscillian was executed after all. Martin then pleaded for a cessation of the persecution of Priscillian’s followers in Spain. He still felt he could cooperate with Ithacius in other areas, but afterwards his conscience troubled him about this decision.
As death approached, his followers begged him not to leave them. He prayed, "Lord, if your people still need me, I do not refuse the work. Your will be done."
Martin's worry about cooperation with evil reminds us that almost nothing is either all black or all white. The saints are not creatures of another world: They face the same perplexing decisions that we do. Any decision of conscience always involves some risk. If we choose to go north, we may never know what would have happened had we gone east, west or south. A hypercautious withdrawal from all perplexing situations is not the virtue of prudence; it is, in fact, a bad decision, for "not to decide is to decide."
Also today in the Latin Calendar we commemorate S. Mennas, Martyr. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.
Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume XI: November. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
THE EDICTS of Dioclesian were rigorously executed in the East, when Mennas or Menas, an Egyptian by birth, a soldier in the Roman troops, then quartered at Cotyæus in Phrygia, was apprehended, and, boldly confessing his faith, cruelly scourged, then tormented in the most inhuman manner on the rack, and at length beheaded, by the command of Pyrrhus, the president, probably about the year 304. His name has been always very famous in the calendars of the church, especially in the East. See the first acts of this martyr, translated in Surius, who borrowed them from Metaphrastes. They begin, [Greek], and are warmly defended and extolled by Falconius, p. 30. The second acts in Surius, ascribed to Timothy, patriarch of Alexandria, in 380, deserve little credit. (See Tillem. t. 5. in Peter of Alex. n. 4.) Lambecius mentions other acts of this saint, t. 8. p. 269. See Fabricius Bibl. Gr. t. 6. p. 548.
Outside the Comfort Zone:
Jesus' life affirms that if we want to follow in his footsteps, if we want to bring forth the Christ consciousness in our lives and bring it to bear on the world in which we live, we cannot expect to remain comfortable.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
On certain occasions, speak to Jesus only with your heart.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Five: 263-326
As we begin Notebook Five, Saint Faustina’s understanding of the Mercy of God should be more alive to you. Hopefully you have a deeper understanding of the infinite love of God and His burning desire to embrace you, free you from the burden of sin, and shower you with His grace.
It should also be clear that God is silent at times so as to strengthen you, purify you and deepen your trust in Him. God’s wisdom and His ways are beyond what we could ever imagine. He is perfect in His love and you must have full confidence in the direction He gives to your life.
As we enter into this notebook, try to believe and live all that you have read so far. It’s one thing to believe it intellectually, it’s quite another thing to believe it with your actions. You must believe in the Mercy of God with your actions. You must let all that you have read take hold of you and direct the way you live. One way to do this is to go back to any reflections that have stood out so far. If something has stood out, be it a particular reflection or a general theme, pay attention to that. The Message of Mercy is broad and all encompassing, but it’s also particular to you. Let the Lord speak directly to you revealing the specific truths that you need to embrace the most.
Reflection 315: Mercy, Mercy and More Mercy
Do you tire of speaking of the Mercy of God? Do you find that it becomes repetitive and unimpressive? If so, speak of Mercy all the more and ponder it with new zeal. You must never tire of the Mercy of God. The Mercy of God is so great and abundant that, in Heaven, you will see clearly how vast and wide it is. You will comprehend that it is incomprehensible and will never tire of contemplating its beauty. On Earth, you may find yourself tempted to dismiss Mercy as impractical and unimportant. It may be perceived as something old and outdated. When this happens, be reminded that this is foolishness and irrational. Understanding God’s Mercy must become your daily goal and daily mission. You must seek it day and night and never relent in your pursuit of this unending and unfathomable gift of God (See Diary #1521).
Ponder, today, these three simple words: Lord, have Mercy. Say them often and intentionally. Remind yourself that if you grow weary thinking about and speaking about the Mercy of God then you are failing to understand its depth and beauty. God’s Mercy must engage your mind and will so forcefully that it is ever present and ever new. Its newness, especially, will help to keep you engaged in this gift and it will enable you to continually probe its depths. Lord, have Mercy, Christ, have Mercy, Lord, have Mercy. Say this over and over and realize that you can never exhaust this glorious mystery of love.
Lord, you are never changing but always new. Help me to never tire of the simple yet profound truth of your Divine Mercy. Help me to always see the beauty and splendor of Your Divine Love. I do love You, dear Lord, and I pray that I may love You more every day. Lord, have Mercy on me. Christ, have Mercy on me. Lord, have mercy on me. Your Mercy, Lord, is great and glorious. Jesus, I trust in You.