May 15th – St. Silvanus of Tabennisi, Hermit
- From: Weedy <richarra@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 15 May 2012 10:47:43 -0700 (PDT)
May 15th – St. Silvanus of Tabennisi, Hermit (AC)
Saint Silvanus was an actor who abandoned the world to become a monk at Tabennisi under Saint Pachomius. For some time he led an undisciplined life, trying to entertain the other monks and often transgressing the rule of silence. Pachomius endeavored to reform him by remonstration, prayers, sighs, and tears, for his poor soul. It was a fruitless endeavor for a long time, but Pachomius persisted until one day he explained to the impenitent Silvanus the dreadful judgments which threaten those that mock God.
From that moment Silvanus began to lead a life of great edification to the rest of the brethren and began to bewail his past misdemeanors. When others entreated him to moderate the floods of his tears, "Ah," said he, "how can I help weeping, when I consider the wretchedness of my past life, and that by my sloth I have profaned what was most sacred? I have reason to fear lest the earth should open under my feet, and swallow me up, as it did Dathan and Abiron. Oh! suffer me to labor with ever-flowing fountains of tears, to expiate my innumerable sins. I ought, if I could, even to pour forth this wretched soul of mine in mourning; it would be all too little for my offenses."
His sentiments of contrition helped him so to progress in virtue that the holy abbot proposed him as a model of humility to the rest. After eight years in this penitential course, God had called Silvanus to himself. Saint Pachomius was assured by a revelation, that his soul was presented by angels a most agreeable sacrifice to Christ. The saint was favored with a spirit of prophecy, and with great grief foretold the decay of monastic fervor in his order in succeeding ages. He is especially honored among the Greeks (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
In art, Saint Silvanus is a hermit watering flowers.
When anyone places his whole trust in God, hoping in and serving Him faithfully at the same time, God watches over him, to the extent of his confidence, in every danger. Infinite is the love which God bears to souls who repose in His protection. Diffidence in ourselves and confidence in God are like the scales of a balance; the elevation of the one is necessarily connected with the depression of the other. The more we have of diffidence in ourselves, the greater is our confidence in God; the less we possess of confidence in God, the more presumptuous shall we be of our own powers; but if we have no sort of confidence in our own strength, we may be assured that our hopes center completely in God.
-- St. Francis de Sales
For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline: think on these things. [Philippians 4:8 ] DRB
Take pity on me, Lord, in your mercy; in your abundance of mercy wipe
out my guilt. Wash me ever more from my guilt and cleanse me from
For I know how guilty I am: my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone have I sinned, and I have done evil in your
sight. Know this, so that you may give just sentence and an unbiased
See, I was conceived in guilt, in sin my mother conceived me; but you
love truth in the heart, and deep within me you have shown me your
You will sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be made clean; you will
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. You will make me hear the
sound of joy and gladness; the bones you have crushed will rejoice.
Turn your face away from my sins and wipe out all my transgressions;
create a pure heart in me, God, put a steadfast spirit into me.
Do not send me away from your presence, or withdraw your holy spirit
from me; give me again the joy of your salvation, and be ready to
strengthen me with your spirit.
I will teach the unjust your ways, and the impious will return to you.
Free me from the guilt of bloodshed, God, God my saviour, and my
voice will glory in your justice.
Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will proclaim your praise; for you do
not delight in sacrifices: if I offered you a burnt offering, it would not
please you. The true sacrifice is a broken spirit: a contrite and humble
heart, O God, you will not refuse.
Be pleased, Lord, to look kindly on Sion, so that the walls of Jerusalem
can be rebuilt, Then indeed you will accept the proper sacrifices, gifts
and burnt offerings; then indeed will bullocks be laid upon your altar.
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