Happy Sunday to all my nonexistent readers, driven away by my deafening silence.
We look forward this week to the feasts of a few of my favorite saints.
Tomorrow, Monday the 21st, is the memorial of St. Aloysius of Gonzaga. Aloysius is a buddy of mine. We talk often at his side altar in St. Mary’s chapel at BC’s Jesuit community, where apparently an actual relic of his is resting (if not, then the stone which normally protects the relic on the altar is deceiving me, and I’m simply kissing brick). He’s a good man to pray to for purity of heart, especially regarding chastity, as he was so pure and innocent during his short life. Having attained saintliness at such a young age (I believe he was born into eternal life as early as age 22), I also find myself praying for his intercession simply for the grace to live the universal call to holiness, which is a call just as much for young people as it is for the mature (though I suppose Christianly speaking, holiness and maturity may be considered equivalent). It’s an added bonus that his name is Aloysius, which is a name I’ve always considered to be pretty B.A.
The following day is the commemoration of, amongst others, St. Thomas More, often considered a model Christian for our modern culture whose meaning is controlled by “bad secularization” (that is, in the Perspectives/Michael McCarthy sense). Thomas More stood up to secular authority, namely the King, to defend the sacredness and indissoluble bond of sacramental marriage, and the primacy of the Bishop of Rome over the universal Christian church. This, of course, cost him his life – the ultimate act of fidelity and courage. It’s almost standard and normal to think of martyrdom in the early Church. I suppose this is because that time is “so far removed” from ours and is much closer to a “barbaric” time where the culture at large seemingly wasn’t so averse to executing people even simply due to their religious beliefs. However, to think that there was genuine martyrdom in the 16th century, even in a civilized country such as England – that is a bit startling. Of course, there is martyrdom still today (think of the Polish priest HH BXVI held up as a model priest during the close of the Year for Priests), and there were convoluted reasons “justifying” Thomas More’s execution in the 16th century, but still, the fact remains, people, even in the modern age of egalitarianism and “openness,” are still being killed for their faith. The model of Thomas More should remain an example, and his presence living among us as a member of the Church in Heaven should remain an intercessory aid, for those of us living in this age of “bad secularization.”
Finally, on the 24th, we have the solemn feast of St. John the Baptist. Much of what was said for Thomas More can also be said of St. John. He was beheaded for proclaiming the Gospel, and so on. I may write more on him later in the week, as I don’t have any more time now. The boys and I are headed off to my favorite – Sunday Solemn High Mass at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, Newton, MA.