Oct 6 – Memorial for St. Bruno, Priest
St. Bruno (1030–1101) was educated in Paris and Rheims, France. He was ordained in 1055. He taught theology, and one of his students later became Blessed Pope Urban II. He presided over the cathedral school at Rheims from 1057 to 1075. He criticised the worldliness he saw in his fellow clergy. He opposed Manasses, Archbishop of Rheims, because of his laxity and mismanagement. He was chancellor of the Archdiocese of Rheims.
Following a vision he received of a secluded hermitage where he could spend his life becoming closer to God, he retired to a mountain near Chartreuse in Dauphiny in 1084 and, with the help of St. Hugh of Grenoble, he founded what became the first house of the Carthusian Order. He and his brothers supported themselves as manuscript copyists.
He became assistant to Pope Urban in 1090, and supported his efforts at reform. Retiring from public life, he and his companions built a hermitage at Torre where the monastery of Saint Stephen was built in 1095. Bruno combined in the religious life living as a hermit and living in a community; his learning is apparent from his scriptural commentaries.
– Patron Saint Index
Lk 10: 38-42
‘Martha, Martha,’ he said ‘you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one.’
I’ve always loved the story of Martha. She’s the superwoman in the kitchen, the alpha female toiling in silence, getting things done in the background. And though she was at first resentful about her workload, she embraced her vocation and made peace with it. We see the same ability to pivot in the story of the Apostle Paul too. One of Christ’s fiercest critics, he was struck by an epiphany on the road to Damascus, which inspired him to do a complete reversal. Both felt the calling of God and set aside their old selves, so they could be open to His promptings and heed His call.
God sets us on a stage where we can do the most good. In the run up to it, He connects the dots for us, giving us experiences to prepare us for our vocation. With Martha, her keen ability to organize the household was her gift. And though she chafed against it initially, it was Martha in the end, who had the honor of serving the Lord his last proper meal at Bethany, before Christ and his disciples made that fateful trip to Jerusalem for the Passover (John 12:1-2). With Paul, his education and deep knowledge of Jewish theology made him the perfect candidate for explaining Christ’s new church to the Gentiles. A man of letters, Paul’s prolific output would eventually form large chunks of the New Testament we now know. Both Martha and Paul were able to set aside themselves, their pride and resentment, their fear and their egos in order to be useful attendants to Christ the Risen.
It is not an easy thing to pivot. And at the beginning, it is only natural to chafe and resist it. But the heroes of Scripture have always ended up putting aside what they know to embrace life in God’s great unknown. And what a life of adventure that always turns out to be.
“No need for anxiety, there is only need for one thing”. Faith. God will give us the means and the resources for the practical aspects of living it.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Sharon Soo)
Prayer: We pray for the faith to set aside our own understanding of how the world works, to heed the call of Christ. We pray for wisdom to discern the path that Christ would have us walk.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks to the heroes of Scripture, who show us how it is done.
Wonderful reflection! Thank you for this. I love the correlation between St Paul and Mary – and bringing it full circle to each of us today. Thank you!