Commemoration of St. Peter Chrysologus
Today we hear of two faithful witnesses to the Lord who have two different reactions to their message. Jeremiah, who initially was threatened for prophesying that the priests needed to change their ways, is spared by the princes who listened to the Lord’s message. (Jr 26:16) St. John the Baptist, however, suffers imprisonment and beheading. (Mt 14:3-12)
Sometimes we have more mission left and are left where we are, like Jeremiah. At some point, however, our mission is complete and the Lord moves us to a new place, a new people, or eventually brings us to Himself as He did with St. John the Baptist. Let us beg the Lord to help us keep in mind what is the mission and goal He is giving each of us right now. In order not to be discouraged in our faithfulness to the Lord’s call, let us remember our success is not judged by what others decide. Fidelity to Christ is ultimate success.
Grace: An intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty.
Reflection: In the meditation upon sin, we made reference to Dante’s vision of hell, a cold, desolate place where the fire of love has been extinguished and all lies in a spiritual torpor. This is the perfect image of the heart grown cold to the stirrings of love which God places within it. At the opposite end of Dante’s journey lies a vision that perfectly encapsulates the final meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love. From the lowest reaches of the spiritual universe, Dante ascends to the heights of heaven, where he views “the love that moves the sun and the other stars.” At the heart of the universe lives the Trinitarian God, whose perfect love draws all being into an ordered symphony of praise. Dante feels himself drawn into this harmonic vision through the enflaming of his passions and desires. No one with eyes to see can sit impassively at the vision of God’s love. From the disordered state in which Dante had fallen at the beginning of the poem, he becomes progressively cleansed of his disordered affections through the grace of God and the intercession of Beatrice until finally he is able to pass through the heavens and stand in the presence of God. But notice that Dante only sees God’s depths after he has been interiorly transformed.