Today’s saint Athanasius, “the champion of orthodoxy” was exiled three times by general councils or synods dominated by Arian bishops, twice by order of the Emperor. He was slandered, condemned by a false council, tried and acquitted of various absurd charges. In fact, Constantine and his successors considered Athanasius a trouble-maker.
But Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman called him ‘a principal instrument after the Apostles by which the sacred truths of Christianity have been secured and conveyed to the world’. Newman wrote “The body of bishops failed in their confession of the Faith…They spoke variously, one against another; there was nothing, after Nicea, of firm, unvarying, consistent testimony, for nearly sixty years. There was untrustworthy Councils, unfaithful bishops; there was weakness, fear of consequences, misguidance, delusion, hallucination, endless, hopelessness, extending into nearly every corner of the Catholic Church. The comparatively few who remained faithful were discredited and driven into exile; the rest were either deceivers or were deceived.”
Sometimes, and more frequently, standing up for the Truth about God, the human person, marriage, and life, means standing alone. Lord Jesus, by your powerful grace and thru the intercession of St. Athanasius, give us courage, strength, and perseverance to stand firm in faith (Ephesians 6:13).
For more on Newman and St. Athanasius, see http://www.newmanreader.org/works/athanasius/original/Read More
Today, as I was reflecting on St. Joseph the Worker, I recalled a quote, “He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.” I think we can all agree that the most important “work” that Joseph ever accepted (in union with the protection of the Holy Family) was the shaping of the human soul of his adopted son Jesus. God saw in the heart of the man Joseph, a father that would “build” a son, helping him to “grow in wisdom, and stature, and favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). Today’s saint undertook his noble work with the strength of a laborer, the skill of a craftsman, and the joy and care of an artist.
Let us join God in his work within us, that through the intercession of St. Joseph, Christ may be formed and fashioned in our souls and revealed to the world in our words and deeds.Read More
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