24 Apr – Memorial for St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, priest & martyr
St. Fidelis Sigmaringen (1577-1622) was a lawyer and teacher of philosophy. Disgusted by the greed, corruption, and lack of interest in justice by his fellow lawyers, Mark Rey abandoned the law, became a priest and a Franciscan friar with his brother George. He changed his name to Fidelis and gave away his worldly wealth to poor people in general, and poor seminarians in particular. He served his friary as guardian, and worked in epidemics, especially healing soldiers. He led a group of Capuchins to preach to Calvinists and Zwinglians in Switzerland. The success of this work, and lack of violence suffered by mission, was attributed to Fidelis spending his nights in prayer. He was, however, eventually martyred for his preaching.
“Woe to me if I should prove myself but a halfhearted soldier in the service of my thorn-crowned Captain.”
- St. Fidelis
“…the Good News of Christ Jesus was never interrupted.”
“If this does in fact come from God you will not only be unable to destroy them, but you might find yourselves fighting against God.”
And indeed, this ‘enterprise, this movement…’ lasted more than 2000 years and as Christians, we know it will continue for all eternity. And why is that you might ask? For me it comes down to one word, LOVE!
Love conquers all and lasts forever, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for us, demonstrated so generously this unconditional love! Which is why the kingdom of God reigns eternal!
And this is what Easter is all about. We are reminded of the immensity of God’s love for us and that he will never ever abandon us, even if we find ourselves fighting Him. In the gospel text, St. John shared that in compassion and love, Jesus fed the crowd gathered to listen to Him. We continue to be nourished by His words, through His spirit and at the Eucharistic table 2000 years later. It does not matter what we have done, or if we reciprocate this love, His love is perpetual, is powerful and is steadfast.
I am a recipient of God’s lavish love, A child of grace, one with the Son.
I am an heir to His kingdom, A shareholder in His glory.
I am but a humble sinner, Completely unworthy.
But God looks down upon me, And, oh, the beauty that He sees!
His precious child His sweet creation,
In all of me, He is pleased.
He calls me His beloved, And He is mine,
There is no greater love In all creation, you will find.
His love is so extravagant, His heart, so true.
What an amazing gift, This love He offers you.
– Author Unknown
So bask in this lavish gift and, as His heirs, transmit this love in all we do and say, so that His glory lives forever!
(Today’s Oxygen by Lorraine Wong)
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, teach me to love as you do; to see myself and others around me with your loving eyes. Help me to walk this earth as Jesus did, with kindness and compassion, so that more will come to encounter your love.
Thanksgiving: Our Father, with humility and gratitude we come to you today with our hearts filled with joy & peace at this Easter season. Thank you for showering us with your unconditional love.