• On the Love of Solitude and Silence: (III)

    From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Tue Apr 12 23:52:17 2022
    On the Love of Solitude and Silence: (III)

    Those who stand highest in the esteem of men are most exposed to
    grievous peril, since they often have too great a confidence in
    themselves. It is therefore, more profitable to many that they should
    not altogether escape temptations, but be often assailed lest they
    become too secure and exalted in their pride, or turn too readily to
    worldly consolations. How good a conscience would he keep if a man
    never sought after passing pleasures nor became preoccupied with
    worldly affairs! If only a man could cast aside all useless anxiety
    and think only on divine and salutary things, how great would be his
    peace and tranquility!
    --Thomas à Kempis --Imitation of Christ Bk 1, Ch 20

    April 13th - Pope Saint Martin I

    (died 655)
    Pope Saint Martin I was the last pope to be considered a martyr for
    the faith. Little is recorded about Saint Martin’s early life, other
    than he was born in Umbria, Italy, and served as a high diplomatic representative to Constantinople. Saint Martin was, in fact, the last
    pope who was elected from a position as a diplomat, securing the
    separation of the Church from ties to governments and leaders.

    Saint Martin assumed the papacy in 649. He had a reputation for both intelligence and virtue, although was frail and somewhat ill of
    constitution. At the time Saint Martin was elected, Constantinople,
    under the leadership of Emperor Constans II, was the most powerful and influential government--influencing both politics and the doctrine of
    the Church. Prior to Martin’s assumption of the papacy, Constans II
    had issued an edict in support of the theory of Monothelism--the
    belief that Christ had no human will, only divine will. The Church
    considered this a heretical belief, but had been silenced by the power
    of Constantinople, and forbidden to even discuss the will of Jesus

    Upon election, the first thing that Martin I did was convene a council
    at Lateran, during which he condemned the emperor and made clear the
    heretical nature of the Monothelistic doctrine of faith. Saint Martin
    asserted the Church’s belief that just as Christ had two natures--that
    he was simultaneously human and divine-- that he also had two wills--
    both human and divine. In the written statement, Saint Martin wrote,
    "The Lord commanded us to shun evil and do good, but not to reject the
    good with the evil."

    Of course, Constans II was infuriated by this affront to his
    authority. He sent soldiers to Rome to “escort” Saint Martin to Constantinople. Saint Martin, already quite ill at that time, was
    arrested without resistance, and placed on a ship. By the time the
    ship landed, he was much sicker--too weak to stand unsupported--but
    rather than being allowed an audience with the Emperor, or even given
    a trial, he was summarily thrown into prison, where he remained for
    three months. During this time, Saint Martin contracted dysentery from
    both the poor sanitation and rancid food he was provided. From his
    cell, he wrote many letters, including the one excerpted below:

    “At all times in our letters we have desired to encourage you in your
    charity and to alleviate any anxiety you may have for us, as we have
    for all the saints and all our brothers who share this concern for us
    in the Lord. But now I am writing to you of things which do oppress
    us, and I speak the truth in the name of Christ our God.

    I have not been allowed to wash, even in cold water, for 47 days. I am
    wasted away and frozen through, and have had no respite from
    dysentery. The food that is given me makes me feel sick. I hope that
    God, who knows all things, will bring my persecutors to repentance
    after He will take me out of this world. As to this wretched body, God
    will have care of it. He is at hand. Why should I trouble myself? I
    hope in His mercy that He will not prolong my course. I have been
    amazed and continue to be amazed at the lack of perception and the
    callousness of those who were once connected with me, both my friends
    and my relatives. They have all completely forgotten about my unhappy
    state, and do not care to know where I am, whether I am alive or dead.

    But God wishes all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the
    truth through the prayers of Peter. Hence I pray that God will
    strengthen their hearts in the orthodox faith, help them to stand firm
    against every heretic and enemy of the Church, and guard them

    True to his writings, there was little support from his former friends
    or from the Church as a whole, subsequent to his imprisonment. The
    emperor, following a brief trial during which the saint requested that
    the “witnesses” against him be excused so as not to be forced into
    bearing false witness, was sentenced to death. Following 3 more months
    of imprisonment, he was led to the town square to be hanged, but the
    residents of Constantinople came to his defense, and the Emperor
    commuted the sentence. Rather than death, Saint Martin was exiled to
    Crimea, where he lived the remainder of his days in poverty and

    While the six years of his life during which he served as pope were
    difficult, multiple miracles have been reported at his tomb in death.
    Pope Martin I is regarded as a courageous and gallant saint, who
    altered the course of history by confronting heresy and worldly power,
    despite his failing health. Saint Martin never distanced himself from
    the true faith, proclaiming the beliefs of the Church at a time when
    it was dangerous to do so, and living the virtuous life of a soldier of
    the Lord. At a time in our history where the Church is the recipient
    of much public negative sentiment, can we say the same about
    by Jacob

    Saint Quote:
    You are My Mother, the Mother of Mercy, and the consolation of the
    souls in Purgatory.
    --Saint Bridget to our Lady

    Bible Quote:
    When the wood faileth, the fire shall go out: and when the talebearer
    is taken away, contentions shall cease. As coals are to burning coals,
    and wood to fire, so an angry man stirreth up strife. [Pro 26:20-21]

    Merciful God, our Father,
    neither hardship, pain, nor the threat of death
    could weaken the faith of Saint Martin.
    Through our faith, give us courage
    to endure whatever sufferings the world may inflict upon us.
    We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
    who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, for ever and ever.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
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