- John 3:19-21 -
- From: "Waldtraud" <richarra@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 10:20:54 -0500
- John 3:19-21 -
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved
darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does
evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his
deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light,
so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through
Many people don't want their lives exposed to God's light because they are
afraid of what will be revealed. They don't want to be changed. Don't be
surprised when these same people are threatened by your desire to obey God
and do what is right, because they are afraid that the light in you may
expose some of the darkness in their lives. Rather than giving in to
discouragement, keep praying that they will come to see how much better it
is to live in light than darkness.
August 18th - Saint Agapetus, Martyr
Saint Agapetus suffered in his youth a cruel martyrdom at Praeneste, now
called Palestrina, twenty-four miles from Rome. He had dared to reproach for
his cruelty towards the Christians, one of the Emperor Aurelian's favorites,
who immediately gave the order to arrest him. He was flogged with
leaden-tipped straps and "scorpions"; his constancy and his prayer under
torture converted five hundred pagans, who declared themselves Christians
and were executed at once. The young martyr was thrown into a horrible
prison where a celestial vision fortified him. After a second questioning,
he was again scourged, then laid upon the rack that his body might be torn
with iron nails.
He still lived and was again ordered to sacrifice to Apollo; his refusals
won for him still more torments: live coals on his head, suspension by his
feet, boiling water poured over him. His courage was superhuman, his answers
admirable. Wild beasts in the arena spared him and lay down at his feet, and
still more pagans were converted. He was finally beheaded, and his body
buried by the Christians, in a field where they found a new tomb prepared as
though for his sepulchre. Two churches in Palestrina and others in various
places are dedicated to God under his name.
Source: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin
(Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 10.
The extremities of the earth, and all in every part of it who purely and
rightly confess the Lord look directly towards the most holy Roman Church
and its confession and faith, as it were to a sun of unfailing light,
awaiting from it the bright radiance of the sacred dogmas of our Fathers
according to what the six inspired and holy councils have purely and piously
decreed, declaring most expressly the symbol of faith. For from the coming
down of the incarnate Word amongst us, all the Churches in every part of the
world have held that greatest Church alone as their base and foundation,
seeing that according to the promise of Christ our Saviour, the gates of
hell do never prevail against it, that it has the keys of a right confession
and faith in Him, that it opens the true and only religion to such as
approach with piety, and shuts up and locks every heretical mouth that
speaks injustice against the Most High.
--Saint Maximus the Confessor*
(1) One who has given heroic testimony to the Christian faith. In the early
Church, this term frequently designated a martyr. In modern ecclesiastical
language, however, a confessor is a male saint who did not shed his blood
for the faith. The Church divides such saints into two classes: those who
were bishops (confessores pontifices); and those who were not bishops
(confessores non pontifices).
(2) A priest empowered with the necessary jurisdiction to hear confessions
and to impart sacramental absolution.
Holy Father, keep in Thy Name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may
be one even as We are. St. John 17:11
Two prayers: First, from Gregory of Nyssa, Doctor &
Lord, from Thee flows true and continual kindness. Thou didst
cast us off, and justly so, but in Thy mercy Thou didst forgive
us. Thou wert at odds with us, but Thou didst reconcile us.
Thou didst set a curse upon us, but Thou didst bless us. Thou
didst banish us from the garden, but Thou didst call us back
again. Thou tooketh away the fig leaves that had been an
unsuitable garment, but Thou clothed us in a cloak of great
value. Thou didst fling wide the prison gates, but Thou didst
give the condemned a pardon. Thou didst sprinkle clean
water on us, and Thou didst wash away the dirt.
Second, A Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, by Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J.:
Does our life become from day to day more painful, more
oppressive, more replete with sufferings? Blessed be He a
thousand times who desires it so. If life be harder, love
makes it also stronger, and only this love, grounded on
suffering, can carry the Cross of my Lord, Jesus Christ."
"I believe, O Lord, but strengthen my faith...Heart of Jesus, I
love Thee, but increase my love. Heart of Jesus, I trust in
Thee, but give greater vigor to my confidence. Heart of Jesus,
I give my heart to Thee, but so enclose it in Thee that it may
never be separated from Thee. Heart of Jesus, I am all Thine,
but take care of my promise so that I may be able to put it in
practice even unto the complete sacrifice of my life."
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