Jul 21 – Memorial for St. Lawrence of Brindisi, priest, religious, doctor
St. Lawrence (1559-1619) joined the Capuchin Friars in 1575. He studied theology, the Bible, French, German, Greek, Spanish, Syriac, and Hebrew. He was an effective and forceful preacher in any of his several languages, founded convents and wrote catechisms.
As the chaplain of the army of the Holy Roman Empire in 1601, he led the army into battle against the Turks carrying only a crucifix, and defeated them. Later, he carried out important and successful diplomatic peace missions. He was the spiritual director of the Bavarian army. St Lawrence was proclaimed Apostolic Doctor of the Church by Pope John XXIII in 1959.
– Patron Saint Index
Woe to those who plot evil,
who lie in bed planning mischief!
No sooner is it dawn than they do it
– their hands have the strength for it.
Seizing the fields that they covet,
they take over houses as well,
owner and house they confiscate together,
taking both man and inheritance.
So the Lord says this:
Now it is I who plot
such mischief against this breed
as your necks will not escape;
nor will you be able to walk proudly,
so evil will the time be.
On that day they will make a satire on you,
sing a dirge and say,
‘We are stripped of everything;
my people’s portion is measured out and shared,
no one will give it back to them,
our fields are awarded to our despoiler.’
Therefore you will have no one
to measure out a share
in the community of the Lord.
The Pharisees went out and began to plot against him, discussing how to destroy him.
Jesus knew this and withdrew from the district. Many followed him and he cured them all, but warned them not to make him known. This was to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah:
Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved, the favourite of my soul.
I will endow him with my spirit,
and he will proclaim the true faith to the nations.
He will not brawl or shout,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
He will not break the crushed reed,
nor put out the smouldering wick
till he has led the truth to victory:
in his name the nations will put their hope.
Housework really is a thankless task – and the worst part is, it never ends! This has come as a bit of a shock to me in my new vocation. By moving here to the US to share in my partner’s parenting duties, I have exchanged financial spreadsheets and conference calls for laundry and dish washing liquid. It’s a drastic turn of events. Giving up your job is a scary undertaking already, but simultaneously embarking on a life that is diametrically different? Well, it has been more of a struggle than I had anticipated. On the bad days, when the dog is soiling the carpet, the children are grumpy and the dishwasher broken, I do wonder if I have made the right decision. On the bad days, I will ruminate on the pleasures I left behind. And while I am not exactly ‘planning iniquity’, my ‘coveting’ shows that I am ungrateful.
By God’s grace, those bleak moments are few and don’t last very long. When I get that way, I believe that He sends someone or something to help me dig myself out of my black hole of self pity and wallowing. Sometimes it’s a friend who prays with me, sometimes it’s a verse from Scripture, sometimes it is even a billboard I might glimpse while on the highway. He sends us reminders as if to say, no task is too menial or too much of a drudgery to do well. I find it helps not to focus on what’s due to me as well. By fixing my gaze outside of myself, I don’t feed the swells of frustration when they rise up. Resentment has selfishness at it’s root – the person who is unhappiest is the one who is always asking, “What about me?’. My life has been ransomed by Him, so I should surrender myself to serve at His leisure now, so never mind “me”.
Jesus shows us how to handle our calling as servant leaders – “He will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, as mouldering wick he will not quench” – in short no moaning, complaining or lamenting! That’s hard in the context of today when we are all about making our thoughts felt and opinions heard on social media. As hard as it is though, we owe it to ourselves to at least try. We owe it to Him to try. Christ Our Redeemer gave his life for us; in silence he suffered, quietly strong till the end. For Him, we ought to do better. We need to do better. We need to be better. And it starts with one menial task at a time.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Sharon Soo)
Prayer : We pray for the ability to look beyond the drudgery of our daily chores, to Our God who sees no task as too menial, no job as being too insignificant. All are holy in the eyes of The Lord
Thanksgiving : We give thanks for our families, our friends our sisters and brothers in Christ who help lift us up when we are feeling low and frustrated.