5 June, Saturday — We can be enemies to our souls

Jun 5 – Memorial for St. Boniface, bishop and martyr

Educated at the Benedictine monastary at Exeter, England where he became a monk, Boniface (c.673–754) was a missionary to Germany from 719, assisted by St. Albinus, St. Abel, and St. Agatha. They destroyed idols and pagan temples, and then built churches on the sites.

He was ordained a bishop and later became Archbishop of Mainz. He reformed the churches in his see, and built religious houses in Germany. He ordained St. Sola. He founded the dioceses of Bavaria, Thuringia, and Franconia. He evangelized in Holland, but was set upon by a troop of pagans and he and 52 of his new flock, included St. Adaler and St. Eoban were martyred.

Once in Saxony, Boniface encountered a tribe worshipping a Norse deity in the form of a huge oak tree. Boniface walked up to the tree, removed his shirt, took up an axe, and without a word he hacked down the six-foot wide wooden god. Boniface stood on the trunk, and asked, “How stands your mighty god? My God is stronger than he.” The crowd’s reaction was mixed, but some conversions were begun.

One tradition about St. Boniface says that he used the customs of the locals to help convert them. There was a game in which they threw sticks called kegels at smaller sticks called heides. Boniface brought religion to the game, having the heides represent demons, and knocking them down showing the purity of spirit.

He is the patron of many groups, including World Youth Day.

  • Patron Saint Index

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today’s readings are taken from the feria.

Tob 12:1,5-15,20
Mk 12:38-44

…those who commit sin and do evil, bring harm on themselves.

Sin is a minus in the calculus of life, pleasing to God; it is an aberration in the context of what sustains human soul. The character of sin develops from enabling wrong decisions that could be prompted by desire as the chief template; it is built around the precept of gaining satisfaction. Sin is any form of transgression against divine law. Through sin, nature is present in every human being born since the fall of Adam and, if left unchecked, continual sin could lead to suffocation of the human soul. And for iniquity, it is a more commanding placement where an offence is committed without any indication of repentance. Believe me, sin presents a troubling probe that deepens concerns and worries; it sustains decay of moral values and could be a judgment in itself. In all, it is a destroyer of souls. For those who are hardened by sin, it removes the layers of righteousness that repentance supports and replaces them with eventual defeat by death.

Many years ago, in 1980, in a remote village in a town not far from Ogoja, in a state in the south of Nigeria, a woman killed her daughter following what she called ‘spiritual revelation’ that her daughter was a witch. She was arrested and detained for questioning by the civil authority. In the course of examinations, she stated that she was part of a legion of cult women tormenting Christians and Catholics in particular. The death of her daughter, she stated, was a routine contribution she had to make to remain relevant in the group. When confronted on how she could return to a normal living condition, she retorted with the conviction of a doomed child, indicating that her decision to remain with the devil was not regrettable, she was aware of the consequences of her actions and was thoughtful in making her choice. The state government proceeded with her trial for murder and while in detention she committed suicide and died. This was a practical situation of one being an enemy of her soul.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Julius Otusorochukwu Dike, KSJI, JP)

Prayer: Lord, please help us to wipe away any form of sin and all occasions of sin in our life and keep us away from being enemies of our souls, we pray you grant us this desire. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Dear Lord, thank you for helping us to love you and keeping us away from sin and occasions of sin in our life; we thank you for the daily support in our life and making sure we remain faithful to you. You have made it possible for us not serve as enemies of our souls, we thank you father.  Amen.

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