Blog Post - October 21st
S. Hilarion| S. Ursula and Companions| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Despite his best efforts to live in prayer and solitude, today’s saint found it difficult to achieve his deepest desire. People were naturally drawn to Hilarion as a source of spiritual wisdom and peace. He had reached such fame by the time of his death that his body had to be secretly removed so that a shrine would not be built in his honor. Instead, he was buried in his home village.
St. Hilarion the Great, as he is sometimes called, was born in Palestine. After his conversion to Christianity he spent some time with St. Anthony of Egypt, another holy man drawn to solitude. Hilarion lived a life of hardship and simplicity in the desert, where he also experienced spiritual dryness that included temptations to despair. At the same time, miracles were attributed to him.
As his fame grew, a small group of disciples wanted to follow Hilarion. He began a series of journeys to find a place where he could live away from the world. He finally settled on Cyprus, where he died in 371 at about age 80.
Hilarion is celebrated as the founder of monasticism in Palestine. Much of his fame flows from the biography of him written by St. Jerome.
Today in the Latin Calendar we also commemorate S. Ursula and Companions, Virgin and Martyrs. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.
Saint Ursula was born in Great Britain of Christian parents; her father, Maurus, was king of Cornubia in Scotland. Ursula was sought in marriage by a young pagan prince, but had already vowed her life and her heart to Jesus Christ.
SAINT URSULA AND HER COMPANIONS by Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876
To-day we commemorate the festival of St. Ursula and her companions. Although her life and martyrdom are variously described by different historians, we cannot therefore conclude with some heretical writers, that she never existed, and that all that has been told of her are fables; for, although historians differ in some points, yet all unanimously declare that St. Ursula and her companions sacrificed their lives for their faith, and in defence of their virginity. The short sketch we give of this Saint is partly taken from the works of the celebrated Baronius, and partly from the Roman Breviary.
The Roman General, Maximus, surnamed Flavius Magnus Clemens, who commanded the Imperial armies in Great Britain, caused himself, in 383, to be proclaimed Emperor by his soldiers, while the lawful Emperor Gratian was still alive. After this, he crossed the sea, landed on the shores of France, took possession of a large portion of it, drove the inhabitants away, and occupied the land with his soldiers, among whom he divided the conquered towns and villages. Conanus, a tributary king in Great Britain, who commanded one part of the army of this new Emperor, advised him to bring from England virgins, who might be given in marriage to the new inhabitants of the conquered land, in order to keep them in obedience and fidelity to their master. Maximus, pleased with this advice, sent an embassy to Great Britain, and stating his reasons, demanded a great number of maidens. The Britons hesitated not to consent to the new Emperor's demand, because many of his soldiers were Britons and because Maximus had given them considerable property. They, therefore, assembled the desired number of virgins, placed them in several boats, and sent them to France. The noblest among them was Ursula, daughter of the king of Wales, who was to become the spouse of Conanus.
The wisdom of the Almighty, however, had decreed otherwise; for, whilst the ships sailed from England to France, contrary winds arose, which drove them all to the shores of Germany. It is believed that they went up the Rhine, and landed in the neighborhood of Cologne. At that period, the wild Huns happened to be there, whom the Emperor Gratian had called to his aid against Maximus, who resided for some time at Treves. When these heathens beheld this large number of virgins, they forced them to land and would have sacrificed them to their lust. Ursula, however, the Christian heroine, exhorted all, rather to suffer the most bitter death than consent to evil. All followed her admonition, and courageously resisted the savages, who, in their furious rage, killed the defenseless virgins with swords, arrows and clubs. Only one of the maidens, Cordula, had escaped and concealed herself during the massacre; but repenting of her timidity, she revealed herself on the following day, and last of all, she received the crown of martyrdom. The bodies of the holy virgins were buried, with great solemnities, by the inhabitants of Cologne. Their memory, however, and the veneration with which they were regarded, were not confined within the walls of this town, but spread over the whole Christian world.
Prayer to St. Ursula and Companions
O Glorious St. Ursula! Blessed Martyr of Jesus Christ! who didst despise the riches and dignities of this world for the love of God, and wert so happy as to lay down even thy life for His sake, take me under thy powerful protection–shield me by thy prayers from the dangers of the world, and teach me by thy example how to triumph over its temptations. I am not worthy to lay down my life for Him who died for me; yet, as I know that I may have many temptations, to suffer from the world and my own corrupt inclinations, I have recourse to thee with confidence, to implore, through thy intercession, the strength to resist and overcome them all; and to remember, on all occasions, that the life of a Christian, if not laid down for Christ by martyrdom, should at least be sacrificed to His glory by penance and self-denial. Thou art, O great Saint! my special Patroness, therefore I humbly recommend to thee all my undertakings, and beg of thee, as thou wert so particularly gifted by God with the power of persuading others to the practice of virtue, to obtain for me the grace to love and the duties of a Christian, and to endeavor by good example to engage others in the service of God. O glorious Martyr! whose death was an act of the most perfect charity, be thou my protectress in my last moments, and intercede for me now, that I may prepare for them by the fervent practice of those solid virtues, which alone will furnish ground for confidence in the mercy of God on the bed of death.
Transform Your Life For Christians the question isn't whether or not God exists or if Christ is Lord—the question is how deeply those truths change your life.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
In the spiritual life it is necessary to move forward, never backward.
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 294: Never Tire of Contemplating the Trinity
Do you understand what you will be doing for all eternity? Heaven, if we are blessed to obtain it, will be an existence of eternal contemplation of the Most Holy Trinity. Though there is no time in Heaven, imagine if there were. And then imagine contemplating the Trinity for a million years in a row. Would you eventually become tired of this life and find boredom in it? Never in a million years and beyond! It’s essential that you regularly remind yourself of the life you will live in Heaven in this perpetual contemplation of God. Though there is no way you can understand what this life will be like, you must try to comprehend it nonetheless. At very least, understanding that you can never understand and comprehending that you will never comprehend is at least a good start. The Trinity is a mystery that we will never solve; rather, it’s a mystery that we must enter into. Begin your eternal contemplation of the Trinity today and allow this contemplation to draw you into the infinite Mercy of God (See Diary #1439).
Ponder today this great mystery. It may seem beyond you, and it most certainly is. But try anyway to spend some time trying to comprehend the unfathomable mystery of God. In truth, this is not something you can do on your own. Only God can draw you into this holy contemplation, but you must accept His invitation. Say “Yes” today and allow the merciful hand of our Lord to begin drawing you into the immense depths of His love.
Oh Most Holy Trinity, I adore You with profound adoration and love. Please take hold of my soul and draw me into the mystery of Your very life. Reveal to me the secrets of Your inner heart and help me to begin my journey into eternity with You today. I love You, my God. Help me to love You with all my heart. Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I trust in You.