From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Mon Sep 13 23:55:03 2021
Fearing the truth
"Fearing a stoning, but fearing more an admission of the truth, they
answered the truth with a lie, reminiscent of the Scripture:
'injustice has lied within herself' (Psalm 27:12). For they said, 'We
know not.' And because they had shut themselves up against him, by
asserting that they did not know what they knew, the Lord did not open
up to them because they did not knock. For it has been said, 'Knock
and it will be opened to you' (Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9). But they not
only had not knocked that it might be opened, but by their denial they barricaded the door itself against themselves. And the Lord said to
them, 'Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things'
--St. Augustine--(Matthew 21:27; Mark 11:33; Luke 20:7). (excerpt from
TRACTATE ON JOHN 2.9.4)
September 14: - Saint Peter of Tarentaise, the "Runaway Bishop"
• 14 September
• 8 May (on some calendars)
Today, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Peter of Tarentaise
(1102-1175), Archbishop, minister to the poor, and saintly model of
charity. Known as the “runaway bishop,” Saint Peter’s ideal life was
to live as a simple monk… but he recognized that the Lord had other
plans for him, and was willing to follow the path put before him.
Once he realized that his place was in service to the diocese of
Tarentaise, Peter threw himself whole-heartedly into his duties,
sacrificing his own wants for those of God. Today, on his feast day,
we are reminded to seek the Lord’s will in our own lives, keeping our
eyes fixed firmly on the heavens, and following where He might lead
Peter was born in Vienne, France, to a peasant family. He was a model
of steadfastness and holiness as a youth, joining the Cistercian
monastery at Bonnevaux at the age of twenty. There, he shone so
brightly as a holy light, he attracted many followers, including his
two brothers and his father, who joined the order. By age 30, Peter
was elected abbot of a new Cistercian house in the Tarentaise
mountains. There, the monastery sat atop a perch which overlooked the
major traveling route between Geneva and Savoy. To aid travelers,
Peter saw to the construction of a hospice for those far from home,
especially the poor and ill. Despite his position as abbot, he spent
his days humbly, serving all who entered the doors of the hospice, and providing Christian hospitality.
Not long thereafter, having grown the faith in the area through his
model, Peter was elected Archbishop of Tarentaise (in 1142).
Reluctantly, Peter accepted the post. His preference would have been
to continue his current service to the poor and wayward, but he felt
called to obey the people’s wishes. Immediately, Peter set about
correcting the mismanagement of funds and corruption that had preceded
his election. He replaced those who extorted the faithful with canons
regular of the Order of Saint Augustine, rebuilt the cathedral in the
glory of holiness, and spent much time creating public programs for
the poor and uneducated. Saint Peter became known for miracles,
including physical healings of the lame and sick, and multiplication
of scarce provisions during famine and drought.
After 13 years of service, Saint Peter disappeared from his post, only
to be discovered one year later in a remote area of Switzerland.
There he had offered himself as a lay member of a Cistercian house,
and lived simply as a monk. Upon discovery, he returned to his see,
and lived out the remainder of his life in service. Delighted to see
how much he had been missed by his flock, Peter threw himself back
into service with renewed vigor.
With his strength renewed, Peter focused his attention on the poor,
providing spiritual, physical, and educational nourishment. He
rebuilt the hospice of Little Saint Bernard at the mountain pass, and
erected many more hospices for the sick and travelers along the Alpine
pass routes. He instituted public bread lines for those who were poor,
a practice which continued in the region for hundreds of years.
Always preaching peace, Saint Peter was called upon by Pope Alexander
III to assist in minimizing bloodshed throughout France, and later
England. Saint Peter counseled kings and leaders, preaching the
Gospel of peace. He fell ill on a return trip from England, and died
at the age of 73 at the Bellevaux monastery.
Saint Peter was a model of charity and peace, one the world would have
lost had he followed his own plan, rather than the Lord’s. What are
we depriving the world of when we close our hearts and minds to God’s
plan? Let us recommit ourselves to sowing the seeds of love, service,
and peace, as did Saint Peter of Tarentaise.
[God] does not want each person to keep all the counsels, but only
those appropriate to the diversity of persons, times, opportunities,
and strengths, as charity requires; for it is charity, as queen of all
virtues, all commandments, all counsels, and, in short, of all laws
and all Christian actions that gives to all of them their rank, order,
time, and value.
-- St Francis de Sales
"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the
goodness of the Lord In the land of the living." [Psalm 27:13]
Almighty God, you have raised up faithful bishops of your church,
including your servant Saint Peter of Tarentaise.
May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,
so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with
you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.