Spiritual Thought for Today Archive Week #16

St. Hilary

No it's not her feast day, in fact it is not even a "she" it is a he. Hilary of Poitiers died around the year 368 and today is his feast.

He was born of a noble family and came late into Christianity mainly from his study of the Bible. Shortly after his conversion and Baptism he was elected Bishop of Poiters against the wishes of his wife.

The Arian controversy was all the rage at that time. Today we might think of it as the latest "fad" but Hilary did not go along with it and for that he suffered exile.

Ultimately the truth and Hilary won out and he returned to his See.

In many ways Hilary stands out as an academic saint who discovered the truth and acted upon it. This threw him into a life of suffering that he might otherwise have avoided but if he had we would not be commemorating his feast day today.

It is always tempting to take the easy way out and to rationalize our behavior, may the example of St. Hilary steer us in the right direction.


David of the Holy Eucharist

I was speaking with a friend of mine this morning from Connecticut. He was home today because his son is sick with a fever and at some point had to run because his son was about to throw up.

That brought back a memory of one of the most heroic actions that I remember from nearly forty years of knowing a lot of very heroic people.

Once while David was bringing Holy Communion to a nursing home a woman who he had just given communion to regurgitated it.

Without thinking David consumed it. He had been taught that it was the right thing to do and he did it. He believed that it was Jesus so he wasn't much bothered by the condition or the appearances.

The rest of us who heard him relate the story rather nonchalantly one day were horrified but there is more.

You see David has spent his life working and championing the cause of the poor and marginalized. Some have been those who have no one to speak for them like the unborn, some have been the poor who most would just as soon forget and then their are the wealthy who most think need no help. He has worked in social agencies, government both local and federal and in the church.

Somehow it all goes back to the incident with the Eucharist in my mind. What faith it must take to see Jesus under the appearance of a regurgitated piece of bread?

It is the kind of faith that my friend David has now. I hope the rest of us will be blessed with it as well someday in the near future.



"I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him." St. Peter

Often we may feel like God plays favorites that he only smiles on us or perhaps he only smiles on everyone else.

Peter discovered that the even the God concern was for all of his creation.

May we never forget that we are part of that creation and that God loves us.


Isn't this?

"Is not this Joseph's son?"

Divinity often masks itself.

It was the belief of the ancients that no one could live if they confronted God face to face. So God in his mercy appeared in many forms. Moses encountered God in the burning bush for example.

In the fullness of time God took on the human flesh so that we could not only see God but could understand God as well.

Yet for many this is a stumbling block and the temptation always exist to make God in our image rather than to see the perfect image of God that Jesus is.

Today reflect on the person of Jesus. See in him the perfect human being. Follow his example.

St. Joseph, Foster Father of Jesus pray for us that we may follow his example.


Blessed Andre of St. Joseph

Today is the feast of Blessed Andre Bessette founder of the St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal.

Early in his life left his Canadian homeland and traveled throughout New England seeking work in the factories there. He led a rather vagabond existence until finally returning to Canada and entering religious life.

In religious life his job was that porter. He answered the door.

Yet it wasn't long before people flocked to him to receive healing at his hands. One such healing story involves a young man who had pierced his hand accidentally with an ice pick. The hand became so infected that the doctors feared it would have to be removed. The young man a non-Catholic went to Brother Andre with the promise that if he were healed he would convert. He was healed and he did convert.

Brother Andre claimed that it was St. Joseph who gained from God the grace of healing that flowed through his hands. He encouraged those who came to see him to turn to Joseph.

"Tell him, 'If you were in my place, Saint Joseph, what would you do? Well pray for this in my behalf.'"

Although he had the grace to heal others, Brother Andre was constantly sick himself. He died in 1937 at the age of 91. "St. Joseph" was the last intelligible word he uttered.

Today ask Blessed Andre to give you a living faith one that believes in miracles and wonders. Follow his advice in seeking the help of St. Joseph, (I have many times and have never been disappointed).

You can read more about the life of Brother Andre here.


A Star

"And they were filled with joy when they saw the star.."

The Magi had just left the royal presence of King Herod who no doubt was something of a star in his day. Yet what filled them with joy was not the royal audience with Herod but the sight of the star that led them to a baby lying in humble circumstances.

We might ask ourselves what we think will fill us with joy vs. what actually does fill us with lasting joy? What kind of "star" are we seeking?

May God give us the grace to seek only the star that will lead us to salvation--Jesus Christ!


Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

"When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb."

Today's feast used to be known as the feast of the circumcision, celebrating the circumcision of Jesus, since changing the name it has undergone a few revisions although the reading remains the same.

The circumcision of Jesus points to his human nature yet his name reminds us that he has a destiny and a nature that is also Divine.

It is important to remember that we have a destiny and a a purpose too. It is also important for us to remember our limitations; our humanity.

Today as you begin the New Year be mindful of both. Do not make resolutions to do something that is not in your nature, rather seek to discover the name God has given you and his purpose for you in this life

May Mary the Mother of God help you discover and unlock God's purpose for you in this life! May the peace of Jesus reign in your heart this day and everyday of the New Year!