21 Apr – Memorial for St. Anselm, bishop & doctor
St. Anselm (1033-1109) was born of Italian nobility. After a childhood devoted to piety and study, he wanted to enter religious life, but his father prevented it, and Anselm became rather worldly for several years. Upon his mother’s death, Anselm argued with his father, fled to France, and became a Benedictine monk at Bec, Normandy. He studied under, and succeeded Lanfranc as abbot, before later becoming Archbishop of Canterbury.
Anselm was a theological writer and counsellor to Pope Gregory VII, Pope Urban II, and William the Conqueror. He opposed slavery and obtained English legislation prohibiting the sale of men. He fought King William Rufus’ encroachment on ecclesiastical rights and the independences of the Church, and was exiled. He resolved theological doubts of the Italo-Greek bishops at the Council of Bari in 1098. He strongly supported celibate clergy. King Henry I invited him to return to England, but they disputed over investitures, and Anselm was again exiled in 1106.
He was one of the great philosophers and theologians of the Middle Ages, and was proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 1720 by Pope Clement XI.
No one will have any other desire in heaven than what God wills; and the desire of one will be the desire of all; and the desire of all and of each one will also be the desire of God.” – St. Anselm, Opera Omnis, Letter 112
- Patron Saint Index
You will not be able to destroy them
Take a moment and look back at violence around the world over the recent past — the bombing of a church, kidnapping of priests, or any other acts that have hurt the Christian community. With each such instance, we always come back with a stronger belief that God is always there looking after us. Even till this day, there are some communities who are threatened by the Christian faith. No matter how much the Church has done for the needy through charities and schools, or even feeding the homeless, our faith is still under watch.
In today’s reading, the message from our Lord Jesus through His disciples was never interrupted. The mission of God in making Himself known to the world began since Christ rose from the dead, and has not stopped. Today, Christian communities in some regions may have dwindled with fewer members and are less active due to an ageing population. However, this is being more than compensated by the ranks of ever-growing young believers around the world. The annual World Youth Day brings young people together on a week’s retreat to renew their faith and to unite with the large Catholic community, bonding with fellow young Christians from other parts of the world.
Today’s Gospel reflects on the charity and generosity of Christ. That has always been the mission of the apostles given by Christ. Through acts of love, Christ preached God’s word and intentions to His children, and by believing in the works of the Lord, the community grew stronger; even inviting non-believers to experience the beautiful works from Him. Sadly, we seem to have become a community that some people love to hate. Despite the many good works that are going on in our faith, these are also threats to our fellow brothers and sisters. But we should never fear, because just as God created us, the only one who is able to destroy His works is God himself.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Austin Leong)
Prayer: We pray for all the communities and charities that are under threat. That they may be protected by authorities and not be target of violence.
Thanksgiving: Thank you our Lord Jesus Christ, who built and provided us with so much faith support over the years.
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