Counsels On the Spiritual Life (II)
- From: Weedy <richarra@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2012 10:15:56 -0700 (PDT)
Counsels On the Spiritual Life (II)
The teaching of Jesus far transcends all the teachings of the Saints, and whosoever has His spirit will discover concealed in it heavenly manna (Rev. 2: 17) But many people, although they often hear the Gospel, feel little desire to follow it, because they lack the spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9). Whoever desires to understand and take delight in the words of Christ must strive to conform his whole life to Him.
--Thomas à Kempis --Imitation of Christ Bk 1 Ch 1
June 1st - Saint Pamphilus, Martyr
Saint Pamphilus, a scholar and martyr of the early fourth century, born of a rich and honorable family, was a native of Berytus in Phoenicia. That city was famous then for its schools, and Pamphilus in his youth pursued studies in all the existing branches of learning; afterwards he went to the renowned Christian school of Alexandria, where he had as master a celebrated Christian philosopher named Pierius. Then he journeyed to Caesarea in Palestine, and was there ordained a priest.
After he began to know Christ, he could relish no pursuit but that of the doctrine of salvation, and he renounced all other occupations to apply himself wholly to the study of Holy Scripture and the practices of virtue. At his own expense, he collected a great library of thirty thousand volumes and bestowed it on the church of Caesarea. The Saint also established there a school of sacred literature open to the public, and to his labors the Church was indebted for a corrected edition of the Holy Bible. This, with infinite care, he transcribed himself.
Nothing was more remarkable in Saint Pamphilus than his extraordinary humility. He distributed his paternal estate among the poor; his behavior towards his servants was always that of a brother or a tender father. He led a very austere life, sequestered from the world and its company, and was indefatigable in his scholarly labors. This virtue was his apprenticeship for the grace of martyrdom.
He was giving public lessons in the city of Caesarea, when the persecution of Maximius Daius interrupted them. In the year 307, Urbanus, the cruel governor of Palestine, had him arrested, and after trying unsuccessfully to win this important personage by promises and flattery, commanded him to be inhumanly tormented. But the iron hooks which tore the holy priest’s sides served only to cover the judge with confusion, for no means could alter his holy convictions. The governor had Saint Pamphilus transported half-dead to a prison, where he remained virtually forgotten for two years, his cruel persecutor himself having been reproved and executed by orders of the Emperor, and another having replaced him.
Finally, with nine other imprisoned Christians, Saint Pamphilus was sentenced to death without burial. But no wild creatures approached the bodies of Saint Pamphilus and the other martyrs who died on the same evening. Their guards were impressed, and finally the faithful were allowed to carry away the blessed martyrs for honorable burial.
Reflection. A multitude of witnesses, a noble army of martyrs, teach us by their constancy to suffer wrongs with patience, and strenuously to resist evil. The daily trials we meet with from others or ourselves are always permitted by God, who sometimes purposely poses difficulties before us in order to reward our victory, and like a wise physician, restores us to health by bitter potions.
Sources: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints, and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894); Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 5.
If one yields ground on any single point of Catholic doctrine, one will later have to yield later in another, and again in another, and so on until such surrenders come to be something normal and acceptable. And when one gets used to rejecting dogma bit by bit, the final result will be the repudiation of it altogether.
--St Vincent of Lerins
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently. (1 Peter 1:22)
August Queen of Heaven, Sovereign Mistress of the Angels, thou who from the
beginning hast received from God the power and mission to crush the head of
Satan, we humbly beseech thee to send thy holy Legions, that under thy
command and by thy power, they may pursue the evil spirits, encounter them
on every side, resist their bold attacks, and drive them hence into the
abyss of everlasting woe. Amen.
V. Who is like unto God?
R. O good and tender Mother, thou shalt ever be our love and our hope.
V. Saint Michael and all ye Holy Angels,
R. Pray for us.
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