May 18 – Memorial for St. John I, Pope and Martyr
St. John (d. 526) was a priest in Rome, and became the 53rd pope in 523. Italy’s ruler then, Theodoric the Goth, was an Arian. For a while he left the Catholics alone, but in later life, he became suspicious of everyone, imagining conspiracies and attempts to seize his throne. He tried to involve Pope John in his political machinations. John led a delegation to Constantinople to negotiate with Emperor Justin I; he was the first pope to travel to Constantinople, and while there, crowned Justin. The mission was successful, but Theodoric thought John and Justin I had plotted against him. While returning to Rome, John was kidnapped and imprisoned by Theodoric’s soldiers. He died of thirst and starvation while in custody in Ravenna, Italy.
- Patron Saint Index
“I have glorified you on earth“
How do we glorify God on earth?
Jesus, right now, today, you are commissioning me to LOVE the way you love. LOVE everyone in thought and word and deed. That is ‘all’ you are asking of me if I desire, if I claim to follow you – to be one of yours. Love without thought of self.
When I was in the fifth grade, one of our Catechism projects was to make a small banner about God. I was given a burnt orange piece of burlap and some felt in various colors. I cut a heart out of pink felt, and in yellow letters, I cut out the world SMILE, and in various other colors, I cut out the words ‘God Loves You’. I know this because this very old, dirty banner stands inside my garage to this day (my parents kept it for years and gave it to me a few decades ago when they were downsizing. I threw out many things, but this banner, I kept.) These words have truly been the mantra of my life. I have always known, without a shadow of a doubt, I believe it is in my DNA, that God loves, and will always take care of me – and everyone – equally, fully, completely, eternally. And I want to live a life that sees everyone as God sees them. When we see each individual through God’s eyes, how can we not love them?
We glorify God with our love of Him and our love of every person.
Love is letting people be WHO they are and loving them unconditionally.
I am commissioned to love from the place I stand.
Love those IN the fallen world (not the ‘fallen-ness’ of the world) because God is in the fallen people (and I, too, am one of the fallen) but not in the ‘fallen-ness’.
Love all in my space, love all where I stand.
Loving, not judging the person; God alone will be the judge of persons.
It isn’t easy, but it is so simple, is it not? If we would simply love because he asked us to, can you even fathom how the world would change?
The day will come when after harnessing the space, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire. — Pierre’ Teilhard de Chardin
Simply loving, no judging. God will sort it all out.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Gina Ulicny)
Prayer: Father God, how we need to learn to love. Everyone. I beg you to give me a heart that simply loves. Lord, give me your eyes so that I will see the whole of a person and not just the part of them that irritates me, that annoys me, that angers me. Allow me to see You in them; in every one of them.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father God, for loving me, and for giving me a heart that seeks you first.