Thursday, May 27, 2010

ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY


Pope St. Gregory the Great sent today’s saint along with thirty monks to bring to the Angle people the Good News of Jesus Christ. Let us ask St. Augustine to pray with us today that priests, consecrated men and women, and lay people who work in the Church, may understand how to bring missionary enthusiasm to the communities they serve. Our reflection is from a speech that St. Augustine of Canterbury gave to King Ethelbert when he arrived in England.

Your everlasting peace, O king, and that of your kingdom is the object we desire to promote in coming here. We bring you news of never-ending joy. Do not regard us as superstitious because we have been at pains to come from Rome to your dominions for the sake of your salvation and that of your subjects. Do not see us as coming to force upon an unknown people benefits against their will. Be assured that only a great love constrains us to do this. For we long, beyond all the desires and glory of the world, to have as many fellow citizens with us as we can in the kingdom of God. We strive with all our efforts to prevent those from perishing, who may be advanced to the company of the holy angels.

The loving-kindness of Christ has everywhere infused goodwill into preachers of his truth. Thus without thought of themselves they burn with zeal for the salvation of all nations. Moved, too, by such love as this, Gregory, the present father of all Christendom, thirsts ardently for your salvation. He would have come to you himself had he been able, but he cannot leave the care of so many souls committed to his charge. Therefore, he has sent us in his place to open to you the way of everlasting light and the gate of the kingdom of heaven. You will reign there forever if you reject the idols of the devil and decide to enter through Christ.


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