• The surpassing gift of love

    From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Sat Sep 9 01:19:06 2023
    The surpassing gift of love

    "Again, the kingdom of heaven is said to be like a merchant who is
    seeking fine pearls. He finds one really precious pearl, and, having
    found it, he sells everything he has in order to buy it. In the same
    way, he who has a clear knowledge of the sweetness of heavenly life
    gladly leaves behind all the things he loved on earth. Compared with
    that pearl, everything else fades in value. He forsakes those things
    that he has and scatters those things that he has gathered. His heart
    yearns for heavenly things, and nothing on earth pleases him. The
    allure of earthly things has now dissipated, for only the brilliance
    of that precious pearl dazzles his mind. Solomon justly says of such
    love, 'Love is strong as death' (Song of Solomon 8:6 ), because just
    as death destroys the body, so ardent desire for eternal life cuts off
    the love for material things. For love makes insensitive to extraneous
    earthly desires the person whom it has swept off his feet."
    by John Chrysostom (347-407 AD) (excerpt from FORTY GOSPEL HOMILIES 11.2.1)

    September 9th - SS. Gorgonius, Dorotheus, and Companions, Martyrs

    A.D. 304.
    DOROTHEUS was first chamberlain to the Emperor Diocletian; Gorgonius
    and Peter were sub-chamberlains. They were the 3 principal eunuchs of
    the palace; had sometimes borne the weight of the most difficult
    affairs of state, and been the support both of the emperor and of his
    court. When the palace of Nicomedia was set on fire, probably by the contrivance of Galerius, who unjustly charged the Christians with it, Dorotheus, with Gorgonius, and several others under his dependence,
    were very cruelly tortured, and at length strangled. Peter having
    refused to sacrifice, was hung up unclothed in the air, and whipped on
    all parts of his body. After the executioners had torn his flesh in
    such a manner that the bones protruded, without being able to shake
    his constancy, they poured salt and vinegar into his wounds; then had
    a gridiron brought, and a fire made, on which they broiled him as we
    do meat, telling him at the same time that he should continue in that
    condition if he would not obey; but he was resolute to the last, and
    died under the torture. The bodies of St. Dorotheus and his companions
    were cast into the sea by an order of Diocletian, lest the Christians
    should worship them as gods, as Eusebius mentions. This mistake of the
    heathens could only arise from the veneration which Christians paid to
    the relics of martyrs.

    The martyr Gorgonius's name was famous at Rome. The Liberian Calendar, published by Bucherius, mentions his tomb on the Lavican way, and he
    was honoured with an office in the sacramentary of Pope Gelasius.
    Sigebert in his chronicle on the year 764, Rabanus Maurus in his
    martyrology, and others, relate that St. Chrodegang obtained from
    Rome, of Pope Paul, the relics of St. Gorgonius, and enriched with
    that treasure his great monastery of Gorze, situated two leagues from
    Metz. Among the poems of Pope Damasus is an epitaph on St. Gorgonius.

    The martyrs show by example, that a true Christian is invincible in
    virtue and fortitude; for, as St. Gregory Nazianzen says, he looks
    upon misfortunes and crosses as the seeds of the most heroic virtues;
    therefore he exults in adversity. Torments do not discompose the
    serenity of his countenance; much less do they change the
    steadfastness of his heart. Nothing is able to pull him down;
    everything yields to the magnanimity and wisdom of this philosopher.
    If he be stripped of the goods and conveniences of life, he has wings
    to raise him even to heaven. He flies even to the bosom of God, who
    abundantly gives him recompence for all, and is to him all things. He
    is in the world with a body as if he were a pure spirit. In the midst
    of passions and sufferings, he is as invincible as if he were
    impassible: he lets himself be vanquished in everything except in
    courage; and where he submits he triumphs by humility, patience, and
    constancy, even in torments, and in death itself. Do we maintain this
    character even under the light trials we meet with?

    From Lact. l. de Mort. Persec. et l. 6, Instit. Euseb. l. 8.

    Note 1. Damas. Carm. 14, p. 156.

    Saint Quote:
    "What we gain by fasting is not so great as the damage done by anger;
    nor is the profit from spiritual reading as great as the harm done
    when we scorn or grieve a brother."
    --St. John Cassian

    Bible Quote:
    For which cause I please myself in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ. For when I am
    weak, then am I powerful.
    [2 Corinthians 12:10] DRV

    We must always pray, and not faint.--Luke 18:1-- September: Prayer

    20. It is well to imagine sometimes in prayer that insults or affronts
    are inflicted upon us, or that misfortunes fall upon us, and then to
    strive to accustom our hearts to pardon them and bear them all with
    patience, in imitation of our Saviour; for in this, much spiritual
    strength is gained.
    --St. Philip Neri

    When St. Ignatius was once confined to his bed by illness, he began to
    think whether anything could happen which could disturb him. After
    having imagined many troubles and trials, he found that nothing could
    afflict him and take away his peace, except to see the destruction of
    his Society. But after meditating several times upon the point, he
    gained the mastery over himself to such a degree that he thought if
    this should happen, a quarter of an hour spent in praying would
    suffice to make him tranquil and resigned.
    ( "A Year with the Saints")

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