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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


JOAN OF ARC


 Mark, Chapter 10, Verse 32

They were on the way, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus went ahead of them. They were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them what was going to happen to him.

Let us go up to Jerusalem daily with Him by striving to attend a Mass.

Why were the apostles amazed?[1]

Christ's going on with his undertaking for the salvation of mankind, was, is, and will be, the wonder of all his disciples. Worldly honor is a glittering thing, with which the eyes of Christ's own disciples have many times been dazzled. Our care must be, that we may have wisdom and grace to know how to suffer with him; and we may trust him to provide what the degrees of our glory shall be. Christ shows them that dominion was generally abused in the world. If Jesus would gratify all our desires, it would soon appear that we desire fame or authority, and are unwilling to taste of his cup, or to have his baptism; and should often be ruined by having our prayers answered. But he loves us and will only give his people what is good for them. After His death and resurrection, Christ gave His apostles the power to dispel fear via the influence of the Holy Spirit through the imposition of hands on the elect.

Joan of Arc-her defeat was her Victory[2]

John McCain notes in his study of leadership that Saint Joan of Arc (feast day: May 30) was an example of leadership that was characterized by authenticity. At the command of voices that only she could hear, she rode to battle and saved her country. SHE COULD NOT READ OR WRITE, BUT SAINTS AND ANGELS SPOKE TO HER. Michael the Archangel, and Catherine and Margaret, the patron saints of France, commanded the thirteen-year-old peasant girl to pray vigilantly and attend Mass regularly. She is remembered as very beautiful, a slight seventeen-year-old girl with black hair who could ride for long hours in heavy armor without any sign of discomfort. She kept silent for long periods but could be roused to great anger at men swearing or behaving in some other sinful manner.
She prayed and fasted often and seemed most comfortable in the company of poor priests. Before they embarked, she had dictated to a priest a letter for the English commanders in Orléans, warning them to “go away back to England . . . or I will drive you out of France.” This is the first the English had ever heard of Joan of Arc. To the French, and their dauphin, who now placed their trust in her, she was becoming a saint. As they marched to Orléans, she saw to the spiritual needs of her soldiers, ordering them to abandon their vices, to refrain from looting and harming civilians, to confess their sins and attend Mass regularly, which they did. Men who had refused to serve Charles in what they believed was a losing cause now rushed to her standard and prepared for battle. A few days later, the rest of her army began to arrive with much needed supplies, just as word was received that another English army was marching to the aid of her enemies. She went to sleep that night happy in the knowledge that the moment was at hand when she would accomplish what her saints had commanded her to do. She awoke in the middle of the night and stirred her generals with the news that they must attack immediately. In fact, a battle had already begun at the nearest English fortification. Joan commanded her page to bring her horse, as she dressed in her armor, and then raced to join the fight carrying her banner. When she reached her soldiers, she saw that they were losing the battle, but her presence inspired them, and they rallied to take the fort. After the battle Joan wept for the fallen, French and English alike. On the next day they took another English fort, and the day after one more. But the fighting during the third battle had been ferocious. Joan was wounded by an arrow through her shoulder as she attempted to scale one of the fort’s walls and was carried to safety. Seeing her hurt and carried from the field, her troops lost courage, and the assault was suspended. Some witnesses say she removed the arrow herself. Others remembered her soldiers treating the wound. Whatever the case, legend has it that she responded to her soldiers’ fears by telling them to rally to her when they saw her banner strike the fort’s wall. And when they did see it, they recovered their courage and took the fort. The next day the English abandoned the siege. Orléans was saved. Both English and French generals gave the credit to Joan. She gave it to God. Then she rode to meet Charles. When they met, she bowed to him, and urged him to hasten to Reims, where his crown awaited him. But Charles hesitated. His will was weak, for he was not a man of great courage, and his advisors at court, some of whom resented Joan’s interference, cautioned him to proceed slowly, for there were still many powerful English armies in France that had to be destroyed. Joan, as always, rode in the front, carrying her banner, urging her soldiers to victory. Inspired by her courage, and by the obvious favor of God that protected her, they carried the day, routing the English and opening the road to Reims. The English and all the French, those loyal to the dauphin and those who fought for Henry, recognized that this strange young girl, now known as the Maid of Orléans, must be in the service of a sovereign more powerful than any earthly king. Joan in the end like the eternal King she served was abandoned by her earthly King and was captured by the Burundians. John of Luxembourg took her to his castle, where, she twice tried to escape, once by jumping from a castle tower into the moat below. Attempts to ransom her were refused, as were French attempts to liberate her by force. After several months, Luxembourg handed Joan over to the English, and she was taken to the city of Rouen, where a corrupt bishop, Pierre Cauchon, was instructed to put her on trial for heresy. The rules of war did not permit the English to condemn Joan for opposing them in battle. So, they sought her death by falsely accusing her of witchcraft. Cauchon tried for weeks to compel her to confess, but despite threats of torture and execution, she steadfastly refused to divulge her conversations with Charles or to concede that the saints who spoke to her were demons or merely inventions of her own blasphemy. She was denied permission to attend Mass and receive the sacraments. She was often kept in chains and became very ill. Yet she stayed true to herself, and to her saints. She wore a dress when they brought her to a church cemetery to hear her sentence read, condemning her to be burned at the stake. She asked that her conviction be appealed to the pope. Her persecutors refused her. And then, Joan of Arc, for the first and only time in her brief life, tried to be someone she was not. Fearing the flames, she confessed to being a heretic and recanted her claim to have heard and obeyed her saints, and begged her enemies for mercy. Mercy they had little of but having taken from her what their armies could not, they no longer thought her life such a great thing that it could not be spared. She was now nothing more than a confessed imposter. They had wanted to destroy her truth, that she was God’s messenger. Having done so, it mattered little whether she died or suffered long imprisonment. Their work done, they left her in her cell, to the taunts and abuses of the guards, and commanded her to dress only in women’s clothes. When they next saw her, a few days later, she was attired in the clothes of a boy. She had recovered her courage and her truth. Her saints had reproached her for denying them, and she had begged their forgiveness. She had become her true self again. She was the Maid of Orléans, a pretty, pious nineteen-year-old girl who had left her father’s house and taken up arms for more than a year, as heaven had commanded her. And with heaven’s encouragement she had defeated France’s enemies in battle after battle, frightened and awed the bravest English heart, rallied a nation to her banner, and made a weak, defeated man a king. God’s messenger went bravely to her death, forgiving her accusers and asking only that a priest hold high a crucifix for her to see it above the flames. She raised her voice to heaven, calling out to her saints and her Savior. Even her enemies wept at the sight. Her executioner was shaken with remorse, and an anguished English soldier who witnessed the crime feared for his soul. “God forgive us,” he cried, “we have burned a saint.”
Daily Devotions

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Please pray for me and this ministry
·         Visit the St. Joan of Arc Center for more information.
·         Please Pray for Senator McCain and our country; asking Our Lady of Beauraing to intercede.





[2] McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York.

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