From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Sat May 29 23:32:23 2021
On Self-Esteem (4)
You will make great progress if you keep yourself free from all
temporal cares, for to value anything that is temporal is a great
mistake. Consider nothing great, nothing high, nothing pleasing,
nothing acceptable, except God Himself or that which is of God.
Consider the consolations of creatures as vanity, for the soul that
loves God scorns all things that are inferior to Him. God alone, the
eternal and infinite, satisfies all, bringing comfort to the soul and
true joy to the body.
--Thomas à Kempis --Imitation of Christ Book 2, Chapter 5
May 30th – Bl. Baptista Varani
Baptista was the daughter of Duke Julius Caesar of Camerino, Italy.
She was born in the capital city of that prince in 1459. In her
earliest years she took pleasure in the vanities of the world. Her
heart, it is true, remained unstained; but nevertheless she liked to
appear in costly garments and beamed with joy when she was adorned
with glittering jewels.
But one day she heard a sermon by a Franciscan on the bitter
sufferings of Christ. The touching portrayal so wrung the heart of the
young princess that she bewailed her previous vanity with many tears
and was henceforth a changed person. From then on not a day passed on
which she did not meditate on the sufferings of our Lord. Under the
spiritual direction of Blessed Peter of Mogliano, a Franciscan, she
also practiced various bodily mortifications, and arose every night to
pray the rosary in honor of the Mother of God.
Meanwhile her father was contemplating marriage for her, but Baptista
desired only to devote herself to God and the contemplation of the
divine mysteries in some quiet convent cell. The duke opposed this
wish of his beloved daughter for the space of 2 years. At last,
however, he consented that she take the veil in the convent of the
Poor Clares at Urbino.
Now Baptista was happier than if she had received a royal crown, and
later she often said: "Oh, what sweetness I experienced in the holy
convent at Urbino." Some years later, there was an urgent request that
the daughters of St. Clare establish themselves in Camerino. The duke
built a convent for them, and Baptista was sent there with several
But now the servant of God, already firmly established in her
vocation, was not to escape the test of suffering. She endured long
and painful maladies, to which were added violent interior struggles
and also persecution by misguided people. But she thanked God for them
all, feeling that she was thereby more intimately united with her
suffering Saviour. She prayed for those who persecuted her; and when
her father and brother were cruelly murdered, Baptista prayed to God
for the murderers: "O Lord, do not hold this sin against them!"
Because of her fidelity in suffering, her crucified Lord constantly
drew her more closely to Himself. Christ revealed to her what
suffering His own heart endured, and had her record much of it for the
benefit of others.
After she had served her Divine Spouse in the convent for more than 40
years, Baptista died blessedly on the 31st of May, 1517. Thirty years
after her death her body was exhumed, and the tongue which had so
often prayed for her enemies, was found incorrupt and fresh, as it is
still preserved that way in a special reliquary.
Baptista, who was venerated as a saint immediately after her death,
was declared Blessed by Pope Gregory XVI.
ON DEVOTION TO THE SACRED HEART
1. Consider how our Divine Lord led Blessed Baptista from the contemplation of His bodily sufferings into the consideration of the
sufferings of His Sacred Heart. We wished to direct her to honor His
Sacred Heart long before He commended his devotion for the universal
Church through St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Baptista did indeed worship
the Sacred Heart perfectly. In contemplating the sufferings of our
Lord, her heart grew inflamed with love that was at the same time
contrite and willing to make sacrifices. That induced her to forsake
the vanity and glamour of the palace in order to belong to God alone.
Seldom has anyone fulfilled the appeal of our Lord, "Give me your
heart" (Prov 23:26) more perfectly. During this next month, which is
especially consecrated to the Heart of Jesus, He directs this request
also to you. For devotion to the Sacred Heart consists above all, in
offering one's own heart to the Heart of Jesus, and in sacrificing
whatever is apt to lead our heart away from Him.--What sacrifices of
this kind have you to offer Him during this month?
2. Consider how, out of love for our suffering Savior, Blessed
Baptista practiced mortification and cheerfully offered up to God
sickness and interior affliction. Because she saw the Heart of Jesus
grieving over the sins of men, she found consolation in suffering with
Him, and she prepared sweet consolation for the Sacred Heart by
offering her sufferings in atonement for sin. Such an atonement is an
essential part of true devotion to the Heart of Jesus. Have we no need
to render it for our own sins? Offenses committed against God by those
who are otherwise numbered among good Christians wound the Heart of
Jesus most painfully. He Himself complains: "With these I was wounded
in the house of those who loved Me” (Zach 13:6).--Have you, too, given occasion for this complaint? How do you offer atonement?
3. Consider how Baptista imitated the Divine Heart in His perfect
love. Not only did she sincerely forgive the gravest of offenses, but
she even pleaded for forgiveness for the murderers of her father, as
Christ prayed to His Father for His executioners. Such prayer and
forgiveness in imitation of the Heart of Jesus are the most pleasing
honor we can render Him. They satisfy in great measure for our own
failings against the Sacred Heart.--Frequently look at the pierced
Heart of Jesus on the cross and draw from it strength, as did Blessed
Baptista, to imitate His sentiments.
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH
O God, who didst inflame Blessed Baptista with the fire of
love by the contemplation of the sufferings of Thy only
-begotten Son, grant through her intercession that we
may always devoutly honor these holy sufferings and
deserve to receive the fruits thereof. Through the same
Christ our Lord. Amen.