Feast of Saint lucy
Isaiah, Chapter 41, verse 13-14:
13 For I am the LORD, your God, who grasp your right hand; it is I who say to you, do not fear, I will help you. 14 Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you maggot Israel; I will help you—oracle of the LORD; the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer.
I picture Christ saying this to Peter in the Sea of Galilee as He pulls Peter up after he walked on the water and feared the waves and began to drown. We must not waiver when we feel covered over by the waters of fear for He will help us. When in fear if we cry out for his help He will grab us by the hand and bring us back in to the boat; which is His church.
Let us not be children of fear but children of faith. In fact the opposite of Faith is fear. Napoleon Hill author of the bestselling book THINK AND GROW RICH stated in his unpublished manuscript entitled “Outwitting the Devil” that the devil uses fear to manipulate and control us. Hill uses an imaginary conversation with the devil where the devil states: Once I capture the mind of a child, through fear, I weaken that child’s ability to reason and to think for himself, and that weakness goes with the child all through life. According to Hill the secret to freedom and success is to break the chains of fear and realize that failure and defeat are only a temporary experience.
Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first in inaugural address as President of the United States realizing this stating, “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” As a new President he realized the power of fear and he also realized the power of courage. Mindful of this let us go forth manfully to face our fears and change ourselves, our families and our nation realizing YES He IS and He grasps our hand—He will help us!
The traditional story of St. Lucy tells us that she was of noble Greek parentage, born in Syracuse, Sicily, and brought up as a Christian by her mother, Eutychia. Although Lucy, like Cecilia, wished to dedicate herself to God, Eutychia arranged for her a marriage with a young pagan. The mother, who suffered from hemorrhage, was persuaded to make a pilgrimage to Catania, to offer prayers at the tomb of St. Agatha. Lucy accompanied her mother, and their prayers for a cure were answered. Then Lucy made known to Eutychia her desire to give her own share of their fortune to the poor and devote herself to God's service. Eutychia, in gratitude for her cure, gave permission. This so angered the young man to whom Lucy had been unwillingly betrothed that he denounced her as a Christian to the governor, Paschius. The persecutions instituted by the Emperor Diocletian were then at their height, and when Lucy steadfastly clung to her faith, she was sentenced to prostitution in a brothel. God rendered her immovable and the officers were not able to carry her off to the place of evil. An attempt was then made to burn her, but boiling oil and pitch had no power to hurt her or break her strong spirit. At last she was put to death by the sword. At Rome in the sixth century Lucy was honored among the other virgin martyrs, and her name was inserted in the Canon of the Mass. A reference to her sanctity occurs in a letter written by Pope Gregory the Great. In the Middle Ages, she was invoked by persons suffering from eye trouble, perhaps because Lucy (in Italian, Lucia) derives from <lux>, the Latin word for light. The first church writer to give an account of St. Lucy from her <Acts> was the English bishop St. Aldhelm of Sherborne at the end of the seventh century. This saint's relics are venerated at Venice and at Bourges, in France. She is patroness of Syracuse; her emblems are a cord and eyes.
Father Kenelm Digby Best knew her example of fearlessness when he penned in his book “A Priest’s Poems” on St. Lucy:
Flames might not harm her: Saint Lucy stood fearless, Still as a statue's the neck which they smote: Scarcely another save, Lucy, was tearless. When the sharp dagger was plunged in her throat.
The customs surrounding the Feast of St. Lucy also illuminate the themes of Advent and Christmas. Lucy, whose name means light and whose association with light has made her the patron saint of the "light of the body" (the eyes), once had her feast fall on the shortest day of the year. (Before the Gregorian calendar was reformed in the Middle Ages, December 13 was the day of the winter solstice.) For all of these reasons, St. Lucy is honored with a number of customs involving fire. Lucy candles were once lit in the home and Lucy fires burned outside. In Sweden and Norway a girl dressed in white and wearing an evergreen wreath on her head with lit candles would awaken the family and offer them coffee and cakes. She was called the Lussibrud (Lucy bride) and her pastry the Lussekattor.
The Feast of St. Lucy comes at a propitious time during the observance of Advent. Reminding us of the importance of light, the light of St. Lucy foreshadows the coming of the Light of the World at Christmas like a spark foreshadows the sun.
49 Godly Character Traits
During this Advent season let us take up the nature of God by reflecting on these traits that make us a model for our children and our sisters and brothers in Christ. Today reflect on:
Endurance vs. Giving up
The inward strength to withstand stress to accomplish God’s best (Galatians 6:9)
1435 Conversion is accomplished in daily life by gestures of reconciliation, concern for the poor, the exercise and defense of justice and right, by the admission of faults to one's brethren, fraternal correction, revision of life, examination of conscience, spiritual direction, acceptance of suffering, endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness. Taking up one's cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance.
2826 By prayer we can discern "what is the will of God" and obtain the endurance to do it. Jesus teaches us that one enters the kingdom of heaven not by speaking words, but by doing "the will of my Father in heaven."
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