Nov 17 Memorial for St. Elizabeth of Hungary, married woman, religious
Elizabeth (1207-1231) was a princess, the daughter of King Andrew of Hungary, and the great-aunt of St. Elizabeth of Portugal. At the age of 13, she married Prince Louis of Thuringia. She built a hospital at the foot of the mountain on which her castle stood, and tended to the sick herself. Her family and courtiers opposed this, but she insisted she could only follow Christ’s teachings, not theirs.
Once, when she was taking food to the poor and sick, Prince Louis stopped her and looked under her mantle to see what she was carrying; the food had been miraculously changed to roses. Upon Louis death, Elizabeth sold all that she had, and worked to support her four children. Her gifts of bread to the poor, and of a large gift of grain to a famine-stricken Germany, led to her patronage of bakers and related fields.
Patron Saint Index
Naturally stupid are all men who have not known God and who, from the good things that are seen, have not been able to discover Him-who-is, or, by studying the works, have failed to recognise the Artificer.
Fire however, or wind, or the swift air,
the sphere of the stars, impetuous water, heaven’s lamps, are what they have held to be the gods who govern the world.
If, charmed by their beauty, they have taken things for gods, let them know how much the Lord of these excels them, since the very Author of beauty has created them.
And if they have been impressed by their power and energy, let them deduce from these how much mightier is he that has formed them, since through the grandeur and beauty of the creatures we may, by analogy, contemplate their Author.
Small blame, however, attaches to these men,
for perhaps they only go astray in their search for God and their eagerness to find him; living among his works, they strive to comprehend them and fall victim to appearances, seeing so much beauty.
Even so, they are not to be excused:
if they are capable of acquiring enough knowledge to be able to investigate the world, how have they been so slow to find its Master?
Jesus said to the disciples:
‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating and drinking, marrying wives and husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It will be the same as it was in Lot’s day: people were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but the day Lot left Sodom, God rained fire and brimstone from heaven and it destroyed them all. It will be the same when the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed.
‘When that day comes, anyone on the housetop, with his possessions in the house, must not come down to collect them, nor must anyone in the fields turn back either. Remember Lot’s wife. Anyone who tries to preserve his life will lose it; and anyone who loses it will keep it safe. I tell you, on that night two will be in one bed: one will be taken, the other left; two women will be grinding corn together: one will be taken, the other left.’ The disciples interrupted. ‘Where, Lord?’ they asked. He said, ‘Where the body is, there too will the vultures gather’
Anyone who tries to preserve his life will lose it; and anyone who loses it will keep it safe
The pieces of expensive artwork which often hang in the museums often depict the talent of the artist who could have conceptualised such an idea. Yet sometimes the people remember the artwork and not the artist. Indeed, the readings of today remind us that it is easy to forget God because we like created things.
The things of the earth remind us of the beauty and wonder of God’s creation. This is something we must remember because through creation, God wants us to be drawn closer to him. The problem is that we focus too much on the created object and forget that God exists. This is something which we must never forget. God wants us to worship him and the purpose of our whole being is to love him.
The things of this world is temporary but God is eternal and will love us for who we are. When the time comes for us to account to God for all our actions, let us be ready to face him readily and not be like Lot’s wife. We must keep our eyes on the promise of eternal union with God and not turn back to our former way of life.
(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, let us always remember the reason for why you created us – which is for us to love and serve you.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all parents.