It was the Alleluia antiphon that stayed with me as I sat in the chapel seeking inspiration for the Scripture readings today. “Let your countenance shine upon your servant and teach me your statues.” In other words, let your face be seen by me and teach me. The prophet Ezekiel was so blessed. God used him to let a rebellious people know that their rebellion was about to end in captivity and exile.
Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr. Lawrence was one of the seven deacons in Rome during the persecution of the Christians by emperor Valerian in the year 258 AD. He was responsible for the church’s monies, and he was in charge of ministering to the poor whose patron saint he has become. He died a very painful death of being grilled on a fire – like goat meat, and somehow, he has become the patron saint of cooks!
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Edith Stein, Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross: a beautiful person, a seeker of truth and love who found her way in Christ. A Martyr for Truth and Love. A great sister for us and a model for our times.
After the French Revolution in the 1790’s, parts of France were left in social chaos. Extreme atheist factions had gotten control in some areas and the aftermath was a material, social, and spiritual collapse. This was still the case in a rural village in south central France called Ars when a young priest named Jean (John) Marie Vianney arrived there 20 years later, in 1818.
It was not by accident that Jesus was called a teacher. His actions were those of a teacher. He even gave tests, as effective teachers do, to encourage progress.
The wedding of Princess Diana (Lady Diana Spencer) in 1981 was watched by 750 million people. She died in an accident at 36 years old on August 31, 1997. More than 2.5 billion people watched her funeral in 1997. At her funeral, singer Elton John brought tears to the eyes of hundreds of mourners in Westminster Abbey when he sang: “Candle in the Wind, Goodbye England’s Rose.”