COMMENTARY FOR: 05 DECEMBER, 2015

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Commentary on The Reading of the day provided by 
Saint Anselm (1033-1109),

monk, bishop, doctor of the Church
Proslogion, 1

“My heart has said of you, “Seek his face”. O Lord, I do seek your face” (Ps 26,8)

Lord, how long will it be? (Ps 6,4).

How long, Lord, will you forget us?

How long will you hide your face from us? (Ps 12,2).

When will you look upon us and hear us?

When will you enlighten our eyes and show us your face?

When will you come back to us?

Look upon us, Lord, hear us and enlighten us, show us your very self.

Return us the good of your presence amongst us, whose life is so weary without you.

Take pity on our efforts and our striving toward you, for we may do nothing without you.

Since you invite us, therefore help us.

I beg you, O Lord, do not leave me sighing of desperation; but rather let me breathe hope…May I at least be allowed to catch a glimpse of the light, even from faraway, even from the depths of hell.

Teach me to seek you, and when I seek you show yourself to me, for I cannot seek you unless you guide me, nor may I find you unless you show yourself to me.

I will seek you in desiring you and desire you in seeking you, find you in loving you and love you in finding you.

READING OF THE DAY: 04 DECEMBER, 2015

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“As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!”

When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?”

“Yes, Lord,” they said to him.

Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.”

And their eyes were opened.

Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.”

But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.” – Matthew 9:27-31.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 04 DECEMBER, 2015

Saint Barbara

Virgin and Martyr
(† 235)

Saint Barbara

PATRON SAINT OF: THE U.S. ARMY ARTILLERY

Saint Barbara was brought up by a pagan father, Dioscorus. With the intention of protecting her beauty, he kept her jealously secluded in a lonely but very luxurious tower which he built for that purpose; for in his own way he loved her.

In her forced solitude, this very gifted young girl undertook to study religion, and soon saw clearly all the vices and absurdities of paganism; her clear mind realized that there could be only one supreme Creator-God, and that He is entitled to the worship of His reasonable creatures.

Divine Providence by its wonderful ways contrived to obtain for her the means to send a message to Origen, the famous exegete, asking for knowledge of the Christian faith. That teacher of Alexandria immediately sent to her, at Nicomedia, a disciple named Valentinian.

Soon she was baptized, and Our Lord appeared to her, as He would appear to others such as Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Saint Teresa of Avila, to tell her He had chosen her to be His spouse.

Saint Barbara, rejoicing, hoped to be able to communicate her precious new faith to her father, but would soon discover that hope was vain.

When she was of an age to marry, many requests for her hand came to her wealthy father.

She was his only heiress, and he rejected her expressed wish not to accept any such offer, although she said she wished to remain his consolation for his declining years. When she continued to refuse every suitor’s demands, and when Dioscorus returned from a journey to find all the idols he had placed in her tower broken in pieces and scattered about, he was furious.

Discovering his daughter’s conversion, he was beside himself with rage. She escaped and dwelt for a time in a cavern, where she was concealed by the vegetation growing at the entrance.

But finally her father’s threats of chastisement, which he made known during his searches, for anyone who might be concealing her, caused some local shepherds who knew of her whereabouts, to reveal her retreat.

Her father denounced her to the civil tribunal, and Barbara was horribly tortured twice, and finally beheaded.

Her own father, merciless to the last, asked to deal her the fatal blow himself. God, however, speedily punished her persecutors.

While her soul was being borne by the Angels to Paradise, a flash of lightning struck Dioscorus and Marcian, the civil prefect, and both were summoned in haste to the judgment-seat of God.

Saint Barbara is beloved of the Spanish-speaking peoples.

She is the special protectress of the region of Metz in France, where a magnificent church, later destroyed, was built in her honor in the 1500’s. She is invoked against sudden and unprovided death, and invariably answers all requests for the favor of receiving the Last Sacraments.

A famous instance of her intervention on behalf of a Saint who was on the verge of death, can be read in the life of Saint Stanislaus Kostka.

( SOURCE: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 14;Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources, by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894))