Tuesday, October 23, 2012

ST. JOHN OF CAPISTRANO

Today’s saint was born in Capistrano, Italy and studied law at Perugia where he became the governor in 1412. During hostilities with a neighboring city he was imprisoned and went through a deep conversion as a result of the humiliation and suffering he endured. He became a Franciscan priest and was so famous for his preaching that the pope sent him as his personal emissary to various places as diverse as Palestine, France, and Poland. Our prayer is from a treatise of St. John that was written for clergy but is applicable to every Christian. As we pray for a greater commitment to evangelization, we keep in mind Pope Benedict’s words in his letter announcing the Year of Faith: “We cannot accept that salt should become tasteless or the light be kept hidden (Mt 5:13-16).

Those who are called to the table of the Lord must glow with the brightness that comes from the good example of a praiseworthy and blameless life. They must completely remove from their lives the filth and uncleanness of vice. Their upright lives must make them like the salt of the earth for themselves and for the rest of mankind. The brightness of their wisdom must make them like the light of the world that brings light to others. They must learn from their eminent teacher, Jesus Christ, what He declared to His apostles and disciples when He said: You are the salt of the earth. But what if salt goes flat? How can you restore its flavor? Then it is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. Now a light does not illumine itself, but instead it diffuses its rays and shines all around upon everything that comes into its view. So it must be with the glowing lives of [the faithful]. By the brightness of their holiness they must bring light and serenity to all who gaze upon them.

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