THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER
October 16-22, 2016
“…when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18: 8 This is a sobering thought. At times, it may seem that faith in God has gone by the wayside and Christians are paddling up stream to survive.
However, we need to take a look at modern Christian martyrs and those of other faiths who are remaining true. It is said that the blood of martyrs (and this includes the millions of innocent lives aborted) will revitalize the faith. Their sacrifices challenge us to take a look at ourselves and ask, “What are we willing to give up for our faith?”
In 2 Timothy 3:14; 4: 2 we are strongly encouraged to “…proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.” The family and the school are excellent places in which to do this. The work place, as well as, the public arena are more difficult. Politicians and the news media have an excellent stage on which to proclaim the Word of God and build a just world, but many sorely miss the mark. However, “Who are we to judge?” as Pope Francis says. It begins with each one’s commitment to prayer and a merciful, good and just life.
St. Ignatius of Antioch was born in Syria and was taught by St. John, the Apostle. Ignatius was appointed as Bishop of Antioch by St. Peter and was martyred in the first century. He was steadfast in protecting and encouraging the young church in Syria. The Syrian Christians of the first century unto today are still being persecuted. What an example of commitment to the Christian faith!
St. Luke, Evangelist, was a Greek who was a writer, physician and an artist. He is purported to have painted an image of Mary, of which a copy is kept in Vatican City. His Gospel relates the Annunciation, Visitation and Nativity stories. Surely, he knew Mary and must have talked with her. He was acquainted with some of the apostles and original disciples from whom he gained ample information about Jesus. He traveled with St. Paul and was his secretary in the writing of the Acts of the Apostles, the history of the early Church.
Sts. John de Brebeuf and Isaac Jogues, French Jesuit Missionaries in Canada and Northeast United States around the Great Lakes, were martyred with their companions by the Mohawk in the seventeenth century.
Legend says that some of the natives ate Isaac Jogues’ heart, because they wanted his courage and strength.
St. Paul of the Cross, an Italian, founded the Passionists in the eighteenth century. They were to be penitential, live in poverty, serve the poor and teach others about the Passion of Christ.
St. John Paul II is celebrated on Saturday. What a privilege it was to witness the making of a saint in our lifetime. This Pope from Poland reigned almost twenty-seven years, one of the longest reigning popes. He loved others with an enduring care and concern. His holiness was so recognizable that he was canonized within five years of his death in 2011. His autobiography is a treat to read.
This is truly a week full of people of faith who can be remembered and honored.
May your journey of prayer and faith be a beacon of light for others.
Sister Rosemarie Goins, CSSF