S. Januarius| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Little is known about the life of Januarius. He is believed to have been martyred in the Emperor Diocletian's persecution of 305. Legend has it that after Januarius was thrown to the bears in the amphitheater of Pozzuoli, he was beheaded, and his blood ultimately brought to Naples.
It is defined Catholic doctrine that miracles can happen and can be recognized—hardly a mind-boggling statement to anyone who believes in God. Problems arise, however, when we must decide whether an occurrence is unexplainable in natural terms, or only unexplained. We do well to avoid an excessive credulity, which may be a sign of insecurity. On the other hand, when even scientists speak about "probabilities" rather than "laws" of nature, it is something less than imaginative for Christians to think that God is too "scientific" to work extraordinary miracles to wake us up to the everyday miracles of sparrows and dandelions, raindrops and snowflakes.
“A dark mass that half fills a hermetically sealed four-inch glass container, and is preserved in a double reliquary in the Naples cathedral as the blood of St. January, liquefies 18 times during the year.... This phenomenon goes back to the 14th century.... Tradition connects it with a certain Eusebia, who had allegedly collected the blood after the martyrdom.... The ceremony accompanying the liquefaction is performed by holding the reliquary close to the altar on which is located what is believed to be the martyr's head. While the people pray, often tumultuously, the priest turns the reliquary up and down in the full sight of the onlookers until the liquefaction takes place.... Various experiments have been applied, but the phenomenon eludes natural explanation. There are, however, similar miraculous claims made for the blood of John the Baptist, Stephen, Pantaleon, Patricia, Nicholas of Tolentino and Aloysius Gonzaga—nearly all in the neighborhood of Naples” (Catholic Encyclopedia).
Unfaithfulness to God causes us to be vulnerable to the influence of the darkness. Only through the sacraments are we able to return to His heavenly light and goodness.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
There is a need for a little more docility in your attitude.
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 262: The Rule of Love or Justice
We cannot escape the Hand of God. He is the one who sustains the Universe and keeps all things in being. Without His constant care we would cease to exist. But we remain under His providential Hand in one of two ways. Either we are guided by the “rule of love” or by the “rule of justice.” The rule of justice is God’s way of guiding our lives when we turn away from Him. We cannot escape His justice here or at the time of death. When we sin, especially in a serious way, we become slaves to our sin on account of the justice of God. He leaves us to experience the imprisonment of sin on account of His great Mercy. It is Mercy in that the ill effects of His justice are imposed so as to call us to repentance. But those who live under the rule of love are blessed to live on a whole new level. These holy souls bask in the Mercy of God and are freed from the effects of sin. They experience the numerous fruits of the Spirit and act in accord with the holy Will of God (See Diary #1315).
Which rule do you live by? Are you regularly falling from grace and encountering the justice of God in your life? Or are you striving to live by His rule of love? Wherever you find yourself today, know that it is a gift of God’s Mercy. Allow His justice to redirect your life when you fall, and seek to embrace the full outpouring of His Mercy. The Lord will never leave you, but it’s up to you how you will experience His Mercy.
My Lord, I desire to be filled with Your merciful presence in my life. I pray that I will daily turn from my sin and experience the freedom and joy that comes from living by Your rule of love. Help me, dear Lord, to always make the right choices in my life so as to be drawn into the abundant life You have in store for me. Jesus, I trust in You.