From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Mon Dec 26 00:55:55 2022
We need God's blessing.
God takes our efforts for good and blesses them. God needs our
efforts. We need God's blessing. Together, they mean spiritual
success. Our efforts are necessary. We cannot merely relax and drift
with the tide. We must often direct our efforts against the tide of
materialism around us. When difficulties come, our efforts are needed
to surmount them. But God directs our efforts into the right channels
and God's power is necessary to help us choose the right.
--From Twenty-Four Hours a Day
26 December – St Pope Dionysius
Bishop of Rome from 22 July 259 to his death on 26 December 268.
According to early Church records, Dionysius was the first pope not
martyred for his beliefs.
Historians know very little about the early life of Dionysius except
that he was Greek and Italian. Though his family came from Greece, he
was born in Italy sometime around 200. Some believe that he was born
in the small town of Terra Nova but others think that he was born in
Magna Graecia. During his early years, he used the name Dionusius,
which he changed to Dionysius upon becoming Pope.
Dionysius was not the first man chosen for the next Pope after the
death of Sixtus II. Pope Sixtus II was Martyred as were many other
Christians at the time. It took nearly a year before Dionysius became
the Pope and the Bishop of Rome.
Pope Dionysius had an easier time than Sixtus II did, mainly because
of the murder of Emperor Valerian. Valerian was known for the
persecution of Christians but the King of Persia issued orders in 260
that led to his capture and murder. Gallienus then became Emperor and
issued orders that called for the tolerance of Christians. The new
Emperor helped rebuild churches and allowed Christians to practice
again. This period became known as the Little Peace of the Church,
which lasted for nearly four decades.
Though his predecessor ruled for less than one year, Pope Dionysius
reigned for more than nine years and a total of 3,445 days. He was
likely in his late 50s when he assumed the throne and in his late 60s
when he died. Due to his age, many historians believe that he died of
old ages or natural causes. As with previous popes, the Church had his
body interred in the Cemetery of Callistus. Many recognise him as a
calm and peaceful man who worked hard to reorganise the Church after
the many years of persecution and to care for the Christians under his
care, in his role as the Holy Vicar of Christ.
I wish I could persuade spiritual persons that the way of perfection
does not consist in many devices, nor in much cogitation, but in
denying themselves completely and yielding themselves to suffer
everything for love of Christ. And if there is failure in this
exercise, all other methods of walking in the spiritual way are merely
a beating about the bush, and profitless trifling, although a person
should have a very high contemplation and communication with God.
--St. John of the Cross
"The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him
in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also
will hear their cry and save them." (Psalm 145:18-19)
The Truth Speaks within Us without Noise of Words
God speaks to the understanding by the light of His Spirit, and to
the heart by His holy inspirations. All that the Prophets deliver in
the Word of God, all the truths which preachers announce to us, cannot enlighten the understanding nor touch the heart, if God Himself speak
not to us by the motions of His grace. We should therefore entreat the
Lord to speak to our interior while we exteriorly attend to or read
divine truths, for fear that hearing the word of God and not keeping
it, knowing His doctrines and not following them, conscious of His
will and not doing it we should become more and more culpable in His
Prayer: Speak to me, O Lord, speak in such a manner to my soul that I
may hear and obey Thee. Make known to me Thy designs for my salvation
and enable me to execute them. Teach me and all Christians, O Jesus,
what Thou art to us, and what we ought to be to Thee. Instruct us in
the sacred maxims of Thy Gospel, and induce us to practice them, for
what will it avail us to believe Thy heavenly doctrines, if we
endeavor not to follow them, and to live, as well as to believe, as
becometh Christians? O eternal Word of the Father, by which He spoke,
and all things were made, speak to my soul, say to it, I am thy
salvation. Work in me to will and to do, and consummate my salvation.
--Thomas à Kempis, From the Imitation of Christ