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Thursday, February 10, 2022

 


FEAST OF ST. SCHOLASTICA-MARRIAGE WEEK 

Sirach, Chapter 34, Verse 14-17

14 Living is the spirit of those who FEAR the Lord, 15 for their hope is in their savior. 16 Whoever fear the Lord are afraid of nothing and are never discouraged, for he is their hope. 17 Happy the soul that fears the Lord! 

Let His light radiate through you. Do not let modern living dissuade you from having a spirit of kindness which is displayed in those who exude grace and courtesy. Our newspapers, favorite reality shows, twitters and tweets and politicians, all continually show us the proper response to anyone not seeing things the way they do is to be rude, crude and socially unacceptable. 

God's grace is in courtesy, the devil's disgrace lurks in discourtesy According to the author of Piers Plowman, discourtesy will be one of the marks of the Antichrist. William Langland prophesied a terrible falling away from Christ and his Church, and the sign of that apostasy would be discourtesy. Intellectual arrogance would lead men into infidelity to Holy Mother Church, contempt for the little and weak, and depravity of morals--in a word, into what Scripture calls "the pride of life," the deadly opposite of courtesy.[1] 

John McCain in his book “Character is Destiny”[2] highlights the life of Aung San Suu Kyi, who was the Burmese wife of an Oxford professor who came home to free her people and oppose the political tyrants who jailed her with courage and decency and yet despite her mistreatment is for us a modern example of courtesy. 

Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Burma in 1988, after years of living and studying abroad, only to find widespread slaughter of protesters rallying against the brutal rule of dictator U Ne Win. She spoke out against him and initiated a nonviolent movement toward achieving democracy and human rights. In 1989, the government placed Suu Kyi under house arrest, and she spent 15 of the next 21 years in custody. In 1991, her ongoing efforts won her the Nobel Prize for Peace, and she was finally released from house arrest in November 2010. She has since gained a parliamentary seat with the National League for Democracy party.[3]

McCain says of Aung San Suu Kyi:



In Burma, courtesy is a rebellious gesture to a ruling elite that has tried to terrorize such refined kindness from their culture, and make a world where only power matters, where there are only the fearsome and the fearful. Suu, as she asks Western visitors to call her, never reciprocates discourtesy. She is a practicing Buddhist who refuses to hate those who hate her because, she says, she cannot fear what she doesn’t hate. In a statement she had smuggled to the press, she explained her steady, almost cheerful resistance to the regime’s attempts to frighten her. “It is not power that corrupts but fear,” she wrote. “Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it, and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.” She remained unmoved. (One must never mistake her good manners and delicate beauty for a lack of will and strength.) She was willing, as always, to show her persecutors every courtesy and to entertain a polite willingness to consider their concerns as they discussed the future of their country. “Confrontation,” she told a Time magazine reporter, “comes about because there is no other way to settle differences. If there is a channel open for settling differences, there should be no need for confrontation.” And when she was asked how cruelly she had been treated by the regime, she responded, “I have never been treated cruelly.” But the regime, the bullies who are destroying the country and are so afraid of this one small woman and her implacable determination, would not acquiesce to any plan that might result in their long-overdue loss of power. Recently, reports have surfaced that the tyrants are again considering the release of Burma’s national heroine. Perhaps they will soon knock at the door of her home again. I have no doubt that when they do she will receive them with perfect courtesy, not that they deserve it. But she does not extend her courtesy as a sign of respect for them or their power, but to show, yet again, that they cannot make her become the only type of person they understand, one of the fearful or one of the fearsome. She is merely, steadfastly, reaching out to beauty to banish ugliness from her sight and the lives of her countrymen.

 

Feast of St. Scholastica[4]

 

St. Scholastica was the twin sister of St. Benedict, the Patriarch of Western monasticism. She was born in Umbria, Italy, about 480. Under Benedict's direction, Scholastica founded a community of nuns near the great Benedictine monastery Monte Cassino. Inspired by Benedict's teaching, his sister devoted her whole life to seeking and serving God. She died in 547 and tradition holds that at her death her soul ascended to heaven in the form of a dove. 

Things to Do

 

·       Tell your children about the "holy twins": St. Scholastica and the tender love she had for her brother St. Benedict. Ask them how they can help one another to become saints.

·       Make an altar hanging or window transparency in the shape of a dove to honor St. Scholastica.

·       If you are traveling to Italy, try to visit St. Benedict's Abbey of Monte Cassino. 

National Marriage Week-Woman in Marriage[5]

Woman's nature is admirably adapted to her functions as wife and mother. The responsibilities of the family develop her powers and mature her spiritually, mentally, and physically.

Spiritually, a woman becomes mature through surrender, through finding the particular role in which she can accomplish her total dedication to God. The young woman who has found her vocation in life in marriage and is wholly given to her task of bringing her family to God is a mature person whatever her age. She will have that air of serenity and peace which are the sign of the basic fulfillment of her being. The woman who has never surrendered wholeheartedly to any purpose outside herself remains immature all her life, like a bud which never unfolds itself. In marriage, woman can develop a spirit of selflessness which makes her dedication deeper and richer with the years. Her service to her family both expresses her love of God and increases her power of loving. The woman who has no outlet for her love, no one for whom she can spend herself, is apt to become hard, bitter, selfish, because she has no one but herself to consider. The woman who is constantly concerned with the needs of her family can unfold the qualities of love, tenderness, and unselfish devotion which make her truly great and truly happy.

Mentally, a woman's mind matures under the stimulus of the varied practical activities she performs for those she loves. In the concrete, living experience of the family, she can develop sound judgment and a keen insight into human nature. Lombroso's observation can readily be verified. "The mother of a large family who has had no time to study, having been occupied with her children and her household, has more life, more breadth of ideas, than the old maid of the same age who has done nothing else than to potter about at universities and libraries." The responsibilities of her family life exercise all woman's mental powers. Her intuition and powers of observation are called into play constantly to discover the unexpressed desires of her family, particularly the needs of the helpless child. She has need of her intuition, too, as well as her tact, to help her solve the hundred problems of human relations and practical affairs that arise in the course of her day. Providing for the family helps to develop woman's natural ingenuity and inventiveness. It is to the ingenuity of women intent on meeting the needs of their families that we owe the discovery of many of the most important arts: horticulture, for example, the creative arts of weaving, pottery, basketry; the domestic arts of food preparation and preservation; the uses of medicinal herbs in healing.

Physically, too, marriage and childbearing represent a development and completion for the normal woman, giving her new beauty and vitality. The mother of a large family experiences a physical fulfillment with the birth of each child which gives her fresh vigor and health. Dr. Alexis Carrell observes that women attain their full development as a rule only after the birth of several children. He writes in Man the Unknown: "Women who have no children are not so well balanced and become more nervous than the others. The importance to woman of the generative function has not been sufficiently recognized. Such function is indispensable to her optimum development. It is therefore absurd to turn women against maternity."

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Restoring the Constitution

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       "Faith cannot save without virtue"

·       Want to change? Baby steps

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary




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

[4]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2017-02-10

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