You cannot believe in God and keep your selfish ways.
From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Fri Aug 6 23:56:27 2021
You cannot believe in God and keep your selfish ways.
You cannot believe in God and keep your selfish ways. The old self
shrivels up and dies, and upon the re-born soul God's image becomes
stamped. The gradual elimination of selfishness in the growth of love
for God and your fellow human beings is the goal of life. At first,
you have only a faint likeness to the Divine, but the picture grows
and takes on more and more of the likeness of God until those who see
you can see in you some of the power of God's grace at work in a human
life. I pray that I may develop that faint likeness I have to the
Divine. I pray that others may see in me some of the power of God's
grace at work
--From Twenty-Four Hours a Day
August 7th – St. Sixtus II, Pope M, & Companions MM
(Also Known as Xystus)
Died August 6, 258; feast day formerly on August 6. Pope Sixtus II was
a Greek philosopher who embraced the Christian faith, served as a
deacon in Rome, reached this pinnacle of the church's offices on
August 30, 257, and lasted in it no more than a year, suffering a
brave martyr's death. His name is in the canon of the Roman Mass.
Although Sixtus II was convinced that anyone baptized by a heretic was
truly baptized, he nevertheless refused to excommunicate or otherwise
punish those theologians who disagreed with him. In his correspondence
with Saint Dionysius of Alexandria and Firmilian of Antioch, he upheld
the Roman position of their validity. Nevertheless, he resumed
relations with Saint Cyprian and the churches of Africa and Asia Minor
which had been ruptured by Pope Saint Stephen I, his predecessor. In
later centuries, the Church decreed that provided a heretic had
properly used the formulas of baptism, any person so baptized could
not be held to be outside the Christian faith. Why should a man who
had embraced the faith be considered a pagan simply because the one
who performed the rite of baptism was in error in his own beliefs?
In 253, Valerian, was the chief of the senate, was elected emperor. At
first he was more favorably disposed toward the Christians than any of
the emperors before him had been, except Philip; and his palace was
full of Christians. Thus, the church enjoyed 3½ years of peace.
Valerian fell under the influence of the Persian archmagician named
Macrianus, who persuaded the emperor that the Christians, as avowed
enemies of magic and the gods, obstructed the effects of the
sacrifices, and the prosperity of his empire.
According to Saint Cyprian who considered Sixtus an excellent prelate,
Valerian had set forth his first decree condemning Christianity in
April 257. Shortly, Saint Stephen I was martyred. This persecution
lasted 3½ years until he was taken prisoner by the Persians. Valerian
ordered that the farms and estates, the honors and the goods, the
freedom and even the lives of those who refused to renounce their
faith should be sacrificed. When the persecution intensified the
following year, Cyprian wrote to his fellow African bishops:
"Valerian has sent an order to the senate to the effect that bishops,
priests, and deacons should forthwith die [even if they are willing to conform], but that senators, persons of quality, and Roman knights
should forfeit their honors, should have their estates forfeited, and
if they still refused to sacrifice, should lose their heads; that
matrons should have their goods seized, and be banished; that any of
Caesar's officers or domestics who already confessed the Christian
faith, or should now confess it, should forfeit their estates to the
exchequer, and should be sent in chains to work in Caesar's farms. To
this order the emperor subjoined a copy of the letters which he hath
dispatched to the presidents of the several provinces concerning us;
which letter I expect, and hope will soon be brought hither.
"Sixtus suffered in a cemetery on the 6th day of August, and with him
four deacons. The Roman officers are very keen on this persecution:
the people brought before them are certain to suffer and forfeit their
estates. Please notify my colleagues of these details so that our
brothers may be ready everywhere for their great conflict, that we all
may think of immortality rather than death and derive joy rather than
fear from this confession, in which the soldiers of Christ, as we
know, are not so much killed as crowned."
The pope took refuge in the catacombs of Praetextatus on the Appian
Way. There he was discovered preaching to his flock, seated in his
chair. According to some accounts he was still seated, when he was
beheaded. Others say that he was taken away for examination and
returned to the scene for execution. It is certain that he was
beheaded in the cemetery. The Roman Martyrology says that he was
martyred with his deacons (Felicissimus and Agapitus), subdeacons
(Januarius, Magnus, Stephen, and Vincent), and Quartus. (Quartus owes
his existence to a bad transcript in which "diaconus Quartus" (the
deacon, Quartus) was written in place of the original "diacones
quattuor" (four deacons).) It is likely that Sixtus suffered with all
seven of the deacons of Rome, the six mentioned today, and Saint
Lawrence; the four may not have been subdeacons.
Their bodies were carried across the Appian Way by their mourners, and
placed in the cemetery of Saint Callixtus. He was one of the most
highly esteemed martyrs of the early Roman church; however, the
sayings of a pagan moralist, named Sextus, were wrongly attributed to
Sixtus in the middle ages (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth, White).
In art, Saint Sixtus is shown holding a money-bag, with his deacon
Saint Lawrence and Saint John the Baptist. At times he may be depicted
(1) ordaining Saint Lawrence [Fra Angelico]; (2) giving Lawrence a bag
of money to give to the poor; or (3) as he is greeted by Lawrence on
his way to martyrdom (Roeder).
These symbolize (Proverbs 30:14) the greedy and usurers whose teeth
are swords and knifes which they use to devour the poor and steal
their meager possessions. All of them are children of this world who
consider the children of light to be stupid and believe themselves to
be the prudent ones. Their prudence is their death.
--Saint Anthony of Padua
But the counsel of the Lord standeth for ever: the thoughts of his
heart to all generations. To deliver their souls from death; and feed
them in famine. (Ps. xxxii. 11,19)
He did all things well. [Mark 7:37 ]
1. All our good and all our evil certainly lies in the character of
our actions. As they are, so are we; for we are the tree, and they the
fruit, and, therefore, they prove what each one is.
A servant of God, at the point of death, once spoke thus: "Now I know
that totum opus nostrum in operatione consistit--our actions are our
St. Aloysius Gonzaga set down in writing a resolution that he would do
all in his power that everyone of his actions might be good, and bring
him nearer to God.
St. Bonaventure used to excite himself and others to constant
occupation in good works by often repeating this beautiful sentiment:
Every hour that we waste in sloth, we lose a glory equal to the good
works we might have performed in it.