Blog Post - October 8th

S. Bridget of Sweden| SS. Sergius, Bacchus, Marcellus and Apuleius| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection


St. Bridget

(1303?-1373)

Latin Calendar

From age seven on, Bridget had visions of Christ crucified. Her visions formed the basis for her activity—always with the emphasis on charity rather than spiritual favors.

She lived her married life in the court of the Swedish king Magnus II. Mother of eight children (the second eldest was St. Catherine of Sweden), she lived the strict life of a penitent after her husband’s death.

Bridget constantly strove to exert her good influence over Magnus; while never fully reforming, he did give her land and buildings to found a monastery for men and women. This group eventually expanded into an Order known as the Bridgetines (still in existence).

In 1350, a year of jubilee, Bridget braved a plague-stricken Europe to make a pilgrimage to Rome. Although she never returned to Sweden, her years in Rome were far from happy, being hounded by debts and by opposition to her work against Church abuses.

A final pilgrimage to the Holy Land, marred by shipwreck and the death of her son, Charles, eventually led to her death in 1373. In 1999, she, Saints Catherine of Siena (April 29) and Teresa Benedicts of the Cross (Edith Stein, August 9) were named co-patronesses of Europe.

Comment:

Bridget’s visions, rather than isolating her from the affairs of the world, involved her in many contemporary issues, whether they be royal policy or the years that the legitimate Bishop of Rome lived in Avignon, France. She saw no contradiction between mystical experience and secular activity, and her life is a testimony to the possibility of a holy life in the marketplace.

Quote:

Despite the hardships of life and wayward children (not all became saints), Margery Kempe of Lynn says Bridget was “kind and meek to every creature” and “she had a laughing face.”

Patron Saint of:

Europe





Also today in the Latin Calendar we commemorate SS. Sergius, Bacchus, Marcellus and Apuleius, Martyrs. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.

Another Story

Sts. Sergius and Bacchus - Martyrs, died in the Diocletian persecution in Coele-Syria about 303 A.D. Their martyrdom is well authenticated by the earliest martyrologies and by the early veneration paid them, as well as by such historians as Theodoret. They were officers of troops on the frontier, Sergius being primicerius, and Bacchus secundarius. According to the legend, there were high in esteem of the Caesar Maximianus on account of their bravery, but this favour was turned into hate when they acknowledged their Christian faith. When examined under torture they were beaten so severely with thongs that Bacchus died under the blows. Sergius, though, had much more suffering to endure; among other tortures, as the legend relates, he had to run eighteen miles in shoes which were covered on the soles with sharp-pointed nails that pierced through the foot. He was finally beheaded. The burial-place of Sergius and Bacchus was pointed out in the city of Resaph; in honor of Sergius the Emperor Justinian also built churches in honor of Sergius at Constantinople and Acre; the one at Constantinople, now a mosque, is a great work of Byzantine art. In the East, Sergius and Bacchus were universally honored. Since the seventh century they have a celebrated church in Rome. Christian art represents the two saints as soldiers in military garb with branches of palm in their hands. Their feast is observed on 7 October. The Church calendar gives the two saints Marcellus and Apuleius on the same day as Sergius and Bacchus. They are said to have been converted to Christianity by the miracles of St. Peter. According to the "Martyrologium Romanum" they suffered martyrdom soon after the deaths of Sts. Peter and Paul and were buried near Rome. Their existing Acts are not genuine and agree to a great extent with those of Sts. Nereus and Achilleus. The veneration of the two saints is very old. A mass is assigned to them in the "Sacramentarium" of Pope Gelasius.


Daily Meditation

Running With Both Feet:

Praying with a community encourages you to pray on your own; praying on your own makes you more eager to pray with a community. The Spirit dwells within us and teaches us how to pray! So call on the Holy Spirit, and pray with Him!

Quote by S. Padre Pio:

We should think less of ourselves and believe others better than we.

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 281: The Immovable Will of God


At times, when we love God with a profound love, we may find that we have strong impulsions to do great things for God. And yet, despite our desire and firm resolve, it can seem as if God is not permitting our work to move forward. This may be because the Lord is not ready to act. Though it’s good to have a strong desire to do great things for God, we must always remember that our desires must align with the perfect timing and wisdom of the Will of God. He knows best and He will allow the work He inspires to come to fruition when He wills it, not before. Surrendering your impulsions to God is a way of letting God purify the work He calls you to do so that it is ultimately His work in us and not our own work done in accord with our own idea of what is good. God’s Will is immovable and all the longings and desire in the world will not move Him to act contrary to His perfect plan set forth at the perfect time. Humble yourself before God so that He will bless the world with His Mercy through You in the way He desires (See Diary #1389).


Do you have a heart filled with the desire to serve our Lord? Hopefully you do. Reflect upon these desires and know that they please our Lord. But also reflect upon the fact that, if they are to come to perfection, even the most pure desire must be submitted to the Will of God. Make that prayerful resolution today and God will use your heartfelt desire to manifest His Heart of Mercy to the world.


Lord, I do desire to serve You with all my heart. Please increase that desire and purify it so that my will dissolves into Yours. Help me to let go of even my “good” ideas as I submit to Your wisdom and love. I do love You, dear Lord, and desire to be used by You in accord with Your perfect Will. Jesus, I trust in You.

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