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    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
    other sisters.

    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.

       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.

    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.

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