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
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.
"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
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")