St.John Baptiste de Rossi
MISSIONARY AND CATECHIST
Feast: May 23
Another saint who like St Rita whom we encountered yesterday, was considered greatly pious even in his youth and early days. His own piety, besides personal devotions to the Blessed Virgin and other spiritual practices, took the form of visits to the sick in the hospitals and in other works of mercy.
For a number of years John was afraid, on account of his sickness to the point where he would not hear any important confession, passing more difficult confessors. In 1738 a dangerous sickness befell him, and to regain his health he went to Cività Castellana, a day's journey from Rome. The bishop of the place induced him to hear confessions, and after reviewing his moral theology he received the unusual faculty of hearing confessions in any of the churches of Rome. He showed extraordinary zeal in the exercise of this privilege, and spent many hours every day in hearing the confessions of the illiterate and the poor whom he sought in the hospitals and in their home, so that he became the apostle of the abandoned. In 1763, worn out by such labours and continued ill-health, his strength began to ebb away, and after several attacks of paralysis he died at his quarters in Trinità de' Pellegrini. He was buried in that church under a marble slab at the altar of the Blessed Virgin. God honoured his servant by miracles, and only seventeen years after his death the process of beatification was begun, but the troubled state of Europe during the succeeding years prevented progress in the cause until it was resumed by Pius IX, who on 13 May, 1860, solemnly pronounced his beatification. As new signs still distinguished him, Leo XIII, on 8 December, 1881, enrolled him among the saints.
Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/J/stjohnbaptistederossi.asp#ixzz2U5aDjbVO
Have you ever wondered why it was that Jesus insisted on communicating so much to his disciples in Parables and metaphores that left them confused and in the dark? If it means so much to him that they have the ability to go out into the world to communicate the Gospel to all in it, why not make the message more straight forward?
Simple answer: Because the message is not straight forward. It's not simple, it's not easy, at times, it's even unpleasant. Even something as tangible, uncomplicated as the image of being salt...this seemed straightforward to me for many years: We have flavor to bring to the world. Share the flavor.
That's more or less what Jesus meant, but there's another angle. Jesus mentions that salt can go bad, but he doesn't talk about the why that's relevant, or what salt necessarily represents.
In essence, it refers to the gifts. What makes Christianity such an challenging religion, is that we're called to not only recognize our gifts..but share them with all the world. If we don't do so, what good are these gifts. Look at Today's saint. He knew his mission was one of charity among the sick, and yet, because of his fears of his own bad health he failed to dedicate himself completely to his ministry as a confessor, until he got over that block, and was able to serve the faithful with a pious heart and mind through his deeds and his listening heart.
Are gifts are countless, and they are meant to be shared. If they're not shared, they go bad. Simple as that. If they're not shared, we can not claim to be, as the Psalmist today states ' a tree by the streams that prospers in season', for it we do not use those gifts for the betterment of the world, then' we're wasting away, not prospering.
These are harsh words, but they cut to the heart of the message of the Post Pentecost period: We've been given new life. Now what? We share it. We help others find it. We get involved. Like I said, not easy stuff, but ever so important. Our world depends on it.
|Sirach 5: 1 - 8|
|1||Do not set your heart on your wealth, nor say, "I have enough."|
|2||Do not follow your inclination and strength, walking according to the desires of your heart.|
|3||Do not say, "Who will have power over me?" for the Lord will surely punish you.|
|4||Do not say, "I sinned, and what happened to me?" for the Lord is slow to anger.|
|5||Do not be so confident of atonement that you add sin to sin.|
|6||Do not say, "His mercy is great, he will forgive the multitude of my sins," for both mercy and wrath are with him, and his anger rests on sinners.|
|7||Do not delay to turn to the Lord, nor postpone it from day to day; for suddenly the wrath of the Lord will go forth, and at the time of punishment you will perish.|
|8||Do not depend on dishonest wealth, for it will not benefit you in the day of calamity.|