Oct 16 – Memorial for St. Hedwig, Religious; Memorial for St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin
St. Hedwig (1174–1243) was the daughter of the Duke of Croatia, and aunt of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. She married Prince Henry I of Silesia and Poland in 1186 at the age of 12, and became the mother of seven. She cared for the sick both personally and by founding hospitals. Upon her husband’s death, she gave away her fortune and entered the monastery at Trebnitz.
- Patron Saint Index
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647–1690) was healed from a crippling disorder by a vision of the Blessed Virgin, which prompted her to give her life to God. After receiving a vision of Christ fresh from the Scourging, she was moved to join the Order of the Visitation by Paray-le-Monial in 1671.
She received a revelation from our Lord in 1675, which included 12 promises to her and to those who practiced a true devotion to His Sacred Heart, whose crown of thorns represent his sacrifices. The devotion encountered violent opposition, especially in Jansenist areas, but has become widespread and popular.
The Twelve Promises of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary for those devoted to His Sacred Heart are:
- I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
- I will establish peace in their families.
- I will console them in all their troubles.
- They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.
- I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
- Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
- Tepid souls shall become fervent.
- Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
- I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
- I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
- Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
- The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under any displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
– Patron Saint Index
Rm 4:13, 16-18
Abraham is our father in the eyes of God, in whom he put his faith, and who brings the dead to life and calls into being what does not exist.
When God was described as one who ‘calls into being what does not exist,’ it reminded me of this story. I’ve paraphrased it below and I would like to credit the owner, who I don’t know.
A scientist was boasting to God that he can make man like how God did. So God said, “Sure, go ahead.” And as the scientist was collecting dust, God waved his finger. “No, you make your own sand.”
While we have accomplished so much through science, we have not managed to create something out of nothing. We are merely discovering the laws of science which God has designed.
I used to think that faith and science contradicted each other. Besides the fact that I was trying to make sense of the Genesis story, there was no one around me who could answer my questions; and since there was no Google or YouTube then, I didn’t have access to apologists from other parts of the world. Ironically, it was through science that I was left with no choice but to admit that a Divine Creator exists.
Back when I was studying biology for my A-Levels, we had to study about cells. There was a lot to study because the cellular process is such a complex mechanism. While my teacher was going through the lesson, by the grace of God I saw beauty and intelligence. Some people will say that we are probably a result of chance, that the universe was at the right state at the right time that life began. Seeing how just one error in the whole cellular process could have been catastrophic, I found it harder to believe that we were here just by chance.
So when I acknowledged that there is a Divine Creator, the next question I had to address was, w”Who is this Creator?” I am a cradle Catholic, so I was taught that we were created by God. However, the ‘who’ in my question was not just about a name. I wanted to get to know this God. I wanted to know what he’s like. I wanted to know more about his thoughts. I wanted to know what he thought of me!
Slowly, the answers came. But not all my questions were answered. Some remained as mysteries. These mysteries allowed me to express my Faith. There are no scientific explanations on these mysteries – like the mystery of the Holy Trinity. And by the grace of God, again, I eventually made peace that there won’t be any scientific explanations this time. I smiled because I had a glimpse of what it meant to have faith.
Science brought me closer to God. I hope that it will bring everyone of us closer and closer to God.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)
Prayer: Dearest Lord, I know you are the God of scientists, even if some of them don’t know it. Please help the world recognize that science is a way to discover You and your will.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for your excellent design of life. And thank you for leaving clues of you in science.