Blog Post - September 27th
SS. Cosmas and Damian| S. Vincent de Paul| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Sts. Cosmas and Damian
Nothing is known of their lives except that they suffered martyrdom in Syria during the persecution of the Emperor Diocletian.
A church erected on the site of their burial place was enlarged by the emperor Justinian. Devotion to the two saints spread rapidly in both East and West. A famous basilica was erected in their honor in Constantinople. Their names were placed in the canon of the Mass (Eucharistic Prayer I) , probably in the sixth century.
Legend says that they were twin brothers born in Arabia, who became skilled doctors. They were among those who are venerated in the East as the "moneyless ones" because they did not charge a fee for their services. It was impossible that such prominent persons would escape unnoticed in time of persecution: They were arrested and beheaded.
Nine centuries later, Francis of Assisi (October 4) rebuilt the dilapidated San Damiano chapel outside Assisi.
For a long time, it seems, we have been very conscious of Jesus' miracles as proofs of his divinity. What we sometimes overlook is Jesus' consuming interest in simply healing people's sickness, whatever other meaning his actions had. The power that "went out from him" was indeed a sign that God was definitively breaking into human history in final fulfillment of his promises; but the love of God was also concrete in a very human heart that was concerned about the suffering of his brothers and sisters. It is a reminder to Christians that salvation is for the whole person, the unique body-spirit unity.
In the Preface for Martyrs I, the Church acknowledges that a martyr's blood shows God "marvelous works, by which in our weakness you perfect your powerand on the feeble bestow power to bear you witness, through Christ our Lord."
Patron Saint of:
St. Vincent de Paul
The deathbed confession of a dying servant opened Vincent's eyes to the crying spiritual needs of the peasantry of France. This seems to have been a crucial moment in the life of the man from a small farm in Gascony, France, who had become a priest with little more ambition than to have a comfortable life.
It was the Countess de Gondi (whose servant he had helped) who persuaded her husband to endow and support a group of able and zealous missionaries who would work among poor tenant farmers and country people in general. Vincent was too humble to accept leadership at first, but after working for some time in Paris among imprisoned galley-slaves, he returned to be the leader of what is now known as the Congregation of the Mission, or the Vincentians. These priests, with vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and stability, were to devote themselves entirely to the people in smaller towns and villages.
Later, Vincent established confraternities of charity for the spiritual and physical relief of the poor and sick of each parish. From these, with the help of St. Louise de Marillac, came the Daughters of Charity, "whose convent is the sickroom, whose chapel is the parish church, whose cloister is the streets of the city." He organized the rich women of Paris to collect funds for his missionary projects, founded several hospitals, collected relief funds for the victims of war and ransomed over 1,200 galley slaves from North Africa. He was zealous in conducting retreats for clergy at a time when there was great laxity, abuse and ignorance among them. He was a pioneer in clerical training and was instrumental in establishing seminaries.
Most remarkably, Vincent was by temperament a very irascible person—even his friends admitted it. He said that except for the grace of God he would have been "hard and repulsive, rough and cross." But he became a tender and affectionate man, very sensitive to the needs of others.
Pope Leo XIII made him the patron of all charitable societies. Outstanding among these, of course, is the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, founded in 1833 by his admirer Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (September 7).
The Church is for all God's children, rich and poor, peasants and scholars, the sophisticated and the simple. But obviously the greatest concern of the Church must be for those who need the most help—those made helpless by sickness, poverty, ignorance or cruelty. Vincent de Paul is a particularly appropriate patron for all Christians today, when hunger has become starvation, and the high living of the rich stands in more and more glaring contrast to the physical and moral degradation in which many of God's children are forced to live.
"Strive to live content in the midst of those things that cause your discontent. Free your mind from all that troubles you, God will take care of things. You will be unable to make haste in this [choice] without, so to speak, grieving the heart of God, because he sees that you do not honor him sufficiently with holy trust. Trust in him, I beg you, and you will have the fulfillment of what your heart desires" (St. Vincent de Paul, Letters).
Patron Saint of:
Ups and Downs:
Authentic Christianity is a roller-coaster ride, not a merry-go-round. Buckle up and throw your arms in the air.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
During the period of spiritual aridity, be humble, patient, and resigned to divine will and do not give up anything you used to do in times of spiritual joy.
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 270: The Details of the Will of God
Are you willing to accept the Will of God in your life? If so, you must be open to all the details. God’s Will is not some grandiose generalization. Choosing His Will is not simply a matter of saying that you choose to follow Him with broad strokes. Rather, choosing His Will is saying “Yes” over and over to every little prompting and every inspiration that the Lord gives. It’s about building a habit of attentiveness to the small ways that God speaks to you. Mercy is also in the details since Mercy and the Will of God are one and the same. Being open to the Mercy of God means that you come to realize that God wants to enter into the most “insignificant” parts of your life. The truth is that nothing in your life is insignificant to our Lord. Therefore, you must realize that those parts that you perceive as insignificant are very dear to Him. His care and concern reaches far and wide and is offered at every moment to every detail that makes up the apparent complexity of your life. When you realize this, you will, in turn, want to seek the fine details of His holy Will. You will want to serve Him in every way possible and, in so doing, you will be living in His merciful Will (See Diary #1356).
Reflect today on the small things in your life. What is it that, at first thought, seems far from the Will of God? Knowing that every little detail of your life is important to our Lord and is always in His sight will give you a new perspective. As you reflect upon the small things that make up your life, turn them over to the Will of God and invite His Mercy into those details. Doing so will lead you down the path of true happiness.
Lord, I offer You, this day, every part of my life. Thank You for Your perfect love and concern. Help me to love You in the details, embracing Your perfect Will in all things. May I never tire of allowing Your Mercy to enter so as to produce the smallest acts of love. Jesus, I trust in You.