28 April, Wednesday – Walking the Talk

28 Apr – Memorial for St. Peter Chanel, priest & martyr; Memorial for St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, priest

St. Peter Chanel (1803-1841) was born to a peasant family and was a shepherd as a boy. He was an excellent student and was ordained at 24. He was assigned to Crozet, a parish in decline; he turned it around, in part because of his ministry to the sick, and brought a spiritual revival. He joined the Society of Mary (Marist Fathers) in 1831, and taught in the Belley seminary for five years.

In 1836, he led a band of missionaries to the New Hebrides, an area where cannibalism had only recently been outlawed. He converted many, often as a result of his work with the sick. He learned the local language and taught in the local school. He was killed by order of Niuliki, a native king who was jealous of Peter’s influence. He was the first martyr in Oceania.

“He loves us. He does what he teaches. He forgives his enemies. His teaching is good. — one of St. Peter’s catechumens, explaining why he believed Peter’s teachings.

St. Louis-Marie (1673-1716) was born poor. He studied in Paris, France, and was ordained in 1700. While a seminarian, he delighted in researching the writings of Church Fathers, Doctors and Saints as they related to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom he was singularly devoted.

Under Mary’s inspiration, he founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Wisdom, a religious institute of women devoted to the care of the destitute. During this work, he began his apostolate of preaching the Rosary and authentic Marian devotion. He preached so forcefully and effectively against the errors of Jansenism that he was expelled from several dioceses in France.

In Rome, Pope Clement XI conferred on him the title and authority of ‘Missionary Apostolic’, which enabled him to continue his apostolate after returning to France. He preached Mary everywhere and to everyone.

He was a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic, and was one of the greatest apostles of the Rosary in his day and, by means of his miraculously inspiring book, The Secret of the Rosary, he is still so today. The most common manner of reciting the Rosary is the method that originated with St. Louis’ preaching. In 1715, he founded a missionary band known as the Company of Mary.

His greatest contribution to the Church and world is Total Consecration to the Blessed Virgin. He propagated this in his day by preaching, and after his own death, by his other famous book True Devotion to Mary. Consecration to Mary is for St. Louis the perfect manner of renewing one’s baptismal promises. His spirituality has been espoused by millions, especially Pope John Paul II, who has consecrated not only himself, but every place he has visited as pope.

In True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis prophesied that the army of souls consecrated to Mary will be her instrument in defeating the Devil and his Antichrist. As Satan gains power in the world, so much more shall the new Eve triumph over him and crush his head.

The cause for his declaration as a Doctor of the Church is now being pursued.

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Acts 12:24-13:5
Jn 12:44-50

“…what I have spoken does not come from myself”

When I first started working nearly 30 years ago, there were the ‘five Cs’ that was used to describe the list of material items ‘desired’ by many, namely: Cash, Credit Card, Condominium, Car and Country Club. I would like to focus on the last item – the Country Club.

The Country Club was seen as a status symbol, namely because membership is expensive and is exclusive. Being part of a club allowed one to use its facilities such as the restaurants, pools, gyms, tennis courts, etc. Members are simply entitled to use these for a club fee!

In today’s gospel, Jesus does warn us against having a ‘country-club’ mentality. One does not automatically earn the right to enter heaven just because one professes to believe in Jesus. Instead, in addition to hearing His words, one has to “keep them faithfully”. One has to live the life of a Christian, and not just be heard to speak like one.

We are also reminded of the intimacy between God the Father and Jesus; that the only way to the Father was through His son, Jesus. In a fallen world (through Adam), we are reminded that our relationship with the Father can be made perfect through His Son, Jesus. We gain eternal life through Jesus!

(Today’s OXYGEN by Paul Wee)

Prayer: Father God, we pray that we will remember that we should not just “talk the talk”, but instead “walk the talk”. We pray that we will grow in intimacy with You as we walk daily towards You.

Thanksgiving: We are grateful that You have sent Your Son Jesus to bring us back to You. We thank you for loving us despite our sinful nature. Thank you for all that You teach us through Jesus, and for showing us how to rebuild our broken relationship with You, Father.

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