From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Sat Jul 31 23:41:12 2021
Shallow and rootless minds
"Let us look, from a broader perspective, at what it means to be
on the road. In a way, every road is hardened and foolish on account
of the fact that it lies beneath everyone's feet. No kind of seed
finds there enough depth of soil for a covering. Instead, it lies on
the surface and is ready to be snatched up by the birds that come by.
Therefore those who have in themselves a mind hardened and, as it
were, packed tight do not receive the divine seed but become a
well-trodden way for the unclean spirits. These are what is here meant
by 'the birds of the heaven.' But 'heaven' we understand to mean this
air, in which the spirits of wickedness move about, by whom, again,
the good seed is snatched up and destroyed. Then what are those upon
the rock? They are those people who do not take much care of the faith
they have in themselves. They have not set their minds to understand
the touchstone of the mystery [of communion with Christ]. The
reverence these people have toward God is shallow and rootless. It is
in times of ease and fair weather that they practice Christianity,
when it involves none of the painful trials of winter. They will not
preserve their faith in this way, if in times of tumultuous
persecution their soul is not prepared for the struggle."
by Cyril of Alexandria (Excerpt from FRAGMENT 168)
August 1st - Saint Agrippina Di Mineo
Saint Agrippina Di Mineo was a beautiful blond princess who was
unmercifully tortured to death by the Emperor Valerian in 256 AD.
After her death, her body was taken from Rome to Mineo, Sicily, by
three holy women; Bassa, Paula and Agatonica.
The Greeks also honor her and claim to have relics of her. Sant'
Agrippina is the patron saint of thunderstorms, leprosy and evil
spirits. Her Feast day is celebrated on the first weekend in August.
Each year since 1914 a group of devoted people come together to renew
their faith in her in Boston's North End, as was the custom in the
land of origin, Mineo, Sicily. Each year everyone is invited to
witness the respect and honor that is bestowed on this young,
beautiful martyred saint.
The story of the journey of the martyred body of St. Agrippina from
Rome to Mineo, Sicily is full of the miraculous.
The fragrance that accompanied the body of St. Agrippina wherever it
went, the veneration of the sailors and the farmers, the miraculous
light weight of the reliquary so that the three young girls could
carry it, the quickness of the voyage from Rome to Sicily, the
miraculous cloud that covered the girls and transported them and the
relics at certain times of danger in the journey, the angels that
protected them from harm, the devils that were defeated and swept out
at the sight of the sacred relics, and the miracle of Teogonia—these
are all signs that it was the will of God that Agrippina should be the
Saint of this blessed city of Mineo.
As the sacred tradition affirms, the relics of St. Agrippina arrived
in Mineo on Wednesday, May 17, in the year 261. Her feast day is
celebrated on the first weekend in August in Boston. Each year for the
past 86 years, groups of devoted people come together in Boston's
North End to renew their faith in Saint Agrippina, as was the custom
in Mineo, Sicily. Each year everyone is invited to witness the respect
and honor that is bestowed on this young, beautiful martyred Saint.
Feast Day Celebrations
Since 1914, members of the St. Agrippina Di Mineo Society gather in
Boston's North End to honor the Saint and raise money to help keep the
churches in good repair. This is a tradition that can be traced back
to Mineo, Sicily, the city where she was buried.
Posters advertising the event proclaim that "twenty devoted men" will
carry a one-ton statue of the saint for several hours. The statue is
decked with ribbons, to which those at the festival pin dollar bills.
First, a priest says a brief prayer, and unveils the statue amid
fireworks and music. When the signal is given, the devoted men lift
the statue on their shoulders and begin the procession. The twenty
devoted men stop frequently and set the statue down, both to give
themselves a rest from carrying it, and to give onlookers a chance to
pin their money on the statue. Each time they set the statue down, the
twenty devoted men yell out "Viva Agrippina!" several times. Sometimes
they would even sing the words, "Viva Saint Agrippina!" to the tune
"Deep in the Heart of Texas." The Roma Band then plays several songs
while money is pinned on the statue. The devoted men then pick up the
statue again, walk for about 20 feet, and then set the statue down
again and repeat the whole procedure.
We therefore grossly deceive ourselves in not allocating more time to
the study of divine truths. It is not enough barely to believe them,
and let our thoughts now and then glance upon them: that knowledge
which shows us heaven, will not bring us to the possession of it, and
will deserve punishments, not rewards, if it remain slight, weak, and superficial. By serious and frequent meditation it must be concocted,
digested, and turned into the nourishment of our affections, before it
can be powerful and operative enough to change them, and produce the
necessary fruit in our lives. For this all the saints affected
solitude and retreats from the noise and hurry of the world, as much
as their circumstances allowed them.
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave
thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God,
the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Tim 3:15)
Saint Alphonsus Liguori, from The Redeeming Love of Christ
God says to each of us: "Give me your heart, that is, your will." We,
in turn, cannot offer anything more precious than to say: "Lord, take possession of us; we give our whole will to you; make us understand
what it is that you desire of us, and we will perform it."
If we would give full satisfaction to the heart of God, we must bring
our own will in everything into conformity with his; and not only into conformity, but into uniformity also, as regards all that God ordains. Conformity signifies the joining of our own will to the will of God;
but uniformity signifies, further, our making of the divine and our
own will one will only, so that we desire nothing but what God
desires, and his will becomes ours. This is the sum and substance of
that perfection to which we ought to be ever aspiring; this is what
must be the aim of all we do, and of all our desires, meditations and
prayers. For this we must invoke the assistance of all our patron
saints and our guardian angels, and, above all, of our divine mother
Mary, who was the most perfect saint, because she embraced most
perfectly the divine will.