28 Apr – Memorial of St Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort
Confessor, Marian devotee, and founder of the Sisters of Divine Wisdom He was born Louis Maie Grignon in Montfort, France, in 1673. Educated at Rennes, he was ordained there in 1700, becoming achaplain in a hospital in Poitiers. His congregation, also called the Daughters of Divine Wisdom, started there. As his missions and sermons raised complaints, Louis went to Rome, where Pope Clement XI appointed him as a missionary apostolic. Louis is famous for fostering devotion to the Blessed VirginMary and the Rosary. In 1715, he also founded the Missionaries of the Company of Mary. His True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin remains popular. Louis died at Saint-Laurent-sur-Sevre. He was canonized in 1947.
– Catholic Online www.catholic.org/saints
Those who had escaped during the persecution that happened because of Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, but they usually proclaimed the message only to Jews. Some of them, however, who came from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch where they started preaching to the Greeks, proclaiming the Good News of the Lord Jesus to them as well. The Lord helped them, and a great number believed and were converted to the Lord.
It was the time when the feast of Dedication was being celebrated in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple walking up and down in the Portico of Solomon. The Jews gathered round him and said, ‘How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus replied:
Scattered by the persecution
Malaysia has a tendency of making news for all the wrong reasons. From missing planes and the bomohs on their magic carpets, to POTA — a new law that revives preventive detention without trial – which was passed without amendment at the Dewan Rakyat at about 2.25am on April 7 after a debate of more than 12 hours. The Human Rights Watch states “…it leaves many key terms undefined so as to afford maximum flexibility for law enforcers to interpret them as they see fit.”
That said – this is still my country and I love it to death (literally speaking). I was born and bred here and have no plans of leaving it for what many may deem a ‘better life’ elsewhere.
In the past days though, since POTA came into effect, I have started to feel a lot like the persecuted Christians of the early church with threatening gag orders and executions to beat obedience into its citizens. It’s starting to look like someone is out to suppress the truth. But of course the ruling government claims it to be otherwise.
In today’s first reading we see how the method of suppression has somewhat no effect on these people who feel compelled to share the good news and nothing but the truth. We also see how they were willing soldiers who were ready to die for the truth and were not perturbed by the said actions of the Sanhedrin. Neither were they eager to hide and run away to another country, never to see or hear of them again. They trudged forward and went on for the good fight.
At a casual discussion with some church elders on the laws of the country, one stood out to state clearly that if persecution is to be us, so be it. I couldn’t agree more. I asked myself – am I willing to die for my Lord? Am I called to martyrdom? Yes, I believe I am. I believe all of us are. The early Christians did it for us. They did it because the truth needed to live on in society today. And indeed it has! Today we are Christians because of the persecution they undertook in the face of hope, love and justice for all mankind; so that all could be saved, so that all will hear the good news of the Lord and come to know Him, the one true God.
It all boils down to this question – are you willing to sacrifice all you’ve got for your God?
(Today’s OXYGEN by Fiona Biggs)
Prayer: Abba Father, be with us as we take on the ugliness of the world so that you will shine forth with mercy and kindness, and all will come to know you through our brave witnessing, as inspired by the Holy Spirit. You are my Shepherd and I hear YOUR voice. Amen.
Thanksgiving: My Lord and my God, we are blessed to have received you in our hearts. Thank you for never abandoning us and for the guidance of the Holy Spirit who continues to inspire the truth amongst the people. Amen.