Nov 17 – Memorial for St. Elizabeth of Hungary, married woman, religious
St. Elizabeth (1207-1231) was a princess, the daughter of King Andrew of Hungary, and the great-aunt of St. Elizabeth of Portugal. At the age of 13, she married Prince Louis of Thuringia. She built a hospital at the foot of the mountain on which her castle stood, and tended to the sick herself. Her family and courtiers opposed this, but she insisted she could only follow Christ’s teachings, not theirs.
Once, when she was taking food to the poor and sick, Prince Louis stopped her and looked under her mantle to see what she was carrying; the food had been miraculously changed to roses. Upon Louis’ death, Elizabeth sold all that she had, and worked to support her four children. Her gifts of bread to the poor, and of a large gift of grain to a famine-stricken Germany, led to her patronage of bakers and related fields.
- Patron Saint Index
“If you in your turn had only understood on this day the message of peace! But alas, it is hidden from your eyes!”
Some months ago, I began to see someone to help me with ‘anger management’.
I grew up in a conservative, patriarchal household. When I was 16, my father had a triple bypass heart operation. Though we didn’t have a label for it at the time, I now realize that dad fell into depression during his long recovery. He would go into fits of rage, for seemingly no reason, and lash out at all of us. It was so bad, my mother would give us what she called ‘The Weather Report’ when we got back from school, so we could be mentally prepared for him. Some days it would be “cloudy, with scattered storms”. When he was in a rage, it would be “thunder and lightning with gale force winds”. Very rarely was it ever “sunny, with only occasional showers”.
In Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’, those who commit the sin of wrath are doomed to spend eternity in a marsh with other angry souls. There they fight, claw and spit at each other. No one is able to leave the marsh though. It is as if they’ve abandoned clear judgment and become incapacitated by their rage.
At its crux, the concept of Sin is Man’s refusal of God’s invitation to choose the way of good. When we continuously and deliberately choose the way of Sin, our judgment is clouded, and like the souls trapped in the marsh of wrath, we are stuck in a hell of our own making. The way back to God and peace is obscured to us.
So why am I only now seeking help with ‘anger management’? They say women marry men who remind them of their fathers. It is certainly true in my case. My husband suffers from fits of rage as well. I think of it as a sickness, like my father’s battle with post op depression. And having been through it once before, I know that there is a path out, a way to leave the marsh and return to God’s peace – and that way is through Love, Patience and Faith.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Sharon Soo)
Prayer: We pray for all families dealing with depression and other mental health issues. May God give them the strength to be the rock their loved ones need, even when things seem insurmountable.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks to God for connecting the dots forward for us, for preparing us in childhood and equipping us with the skills He knew we would need as adults.
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