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St. Osanna Andreasi

St. Osanna was a Dominican tertiary, who spent her adult life serving the poor and the sick and offering spiritual direction to many. However, she was also a mystic and a visionary, eventually bearing the pain and red marks of the stigmata, though not the bleeding.She was born in 1449 to a noble Italian family. Her visions, first of angels and of the Trinity, began at the young age of five. She felt a call to religious life and became a tertiary at 17, having already rejected a marriage arranged by her father.Her visions continued into her adult life, and she often fell into ecstasies. She was also a strong critic of the lack of morality of her day. She died in 1505.

What Grief Can Teach Us

The “small piece”—the blow and suffering of unwanted loss and change—was a darkness to which I brought many emotional habits and patterns: anger, a feeling of being jinxed or doomed, and a longing to escape this path on which I found myself. I know today that grief did not create these patterns; it only illuminated them. They were already there. Still, it felt as if grief were the only cause of my confusion and unhappiness. It was difficult to accept that if the soul is to mature, it must go through the darkness and beyond it. But it must. The “large picture” is only revealed by the dark’s hidden and sustaining light. Recognizing which habits and patterns kept me lost in a loop of reactivity was crucial. The old patterns were lifeless and offered only suffering. But the darkness was alive, and offered a reappraisal of everything I had formerly concluded about life and its meaning.

—from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds As Light by Paula D'Arcy

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Venerable Matt Talbot

Statue of Venerable Matt Talbot | flickr
Image: Statue of Venerable Matt Talbot | flickr

Venerable Matt Talbot

Saint of the Day for June 18

(May 2, 1856 – June 7, 1925)

 

Venerable Matt Talbot’s story

Matt can be considered the patron of men and women struggling with alcoholism. He was born in Dublin, where his father worked on the docks and had a difficult time supporting his family. After a few years of schooling, Matt obtained work as a messenger for some liquor merchants; there he began to drink excessively. For 15 years—until he was almost 30—Matt was an active alcoholic.

One day he decided to take “the pledge” for three months, make a general confession and begin to attend daily Mass. There is evidence that Matt’s first seven years after taking the pledge were especially difficult. Avoiding his former drinking places was hard. He began to pray as intensely as he used to drink. He also tried to pay back people from whom he had borrowed or stolen money while he was drinking.

Most of his life Matt worked as a builder’s laborer. He joined the Secular Franciscan Order and began a life of strict penance; he abstained from meat nine months a year. Matt spent hours every night avidly reading Scripture and the lives of the saints. He prayed the rosary conscientiously. Though his job did not make him rich, Matt contributed generously to the missions.

After 1923, his health failed, and Matt was forced to quit work. He died on his way to church on Trinity Sunday. Fifty years later, Pope Paul VI gave him the title venerable. His Liturgical Feast Day is June 19.


Reflection

In looking at the life of Matt Talbot, we may easily focus on the later years when he had stopped drinking for some time and was leading a penitential life. Only alcoholic men and women who have stopped drinking can fully appreciate how difficult the earliest years of sobriety were for Matt.

He had to take one day at a time. So do the rest of us.


Venerable Matt Talbot is the Patron Saint of:

Alcoholics
Sobriety


Click here to read more about Matt Talbot and 13 other Franciscan saints!


Saints resources

The post Venerable Matt Talbot appeared first on Franciscan Media.

The Radical Gospel Journey

A masculine spirituality would be one that encourages men to take the radical gospel journey from their own unique beginning point, in their own unique style, with their own unique goals— which is what we end up doing anyway, but now with no doubt or apology or need to imitate our sisters or even our fathers, for that matter. That takes immense courage and self-possession. Such a man has life for others and knows it. He does not need to push, intimidate or play the power games common to other men because he possesses his power with surety and calm self-confidence. He is not opinionated or arrogant, but he knows.  He is not needy of status symbols because he draws his identity from God and from within. He does not need monogrammed briefcases and underwear; his identity is settled and secure. He possesses his soul and does not give it lightly to corporations, armies, nation-states or the acceptable collective thinking. 

—from the book From Wild Man to Wise Man: Reflections on Male Spirituality by Richard Rohr, OFM

 From Wild Man to Wise Man

A Saint Is Invincible

Male saints are, quite simply, people who are whole. They trust their masculine soul because they have met the good masculine side of God, whom we have called “The Father.” The Father taught them about anger, passion, power and clarity. He told them to go all the way through and pay the price for it. He shared with them his own creative seed, his own decisive word, his own illuminating Spirit. They are comfortable knowing, and they are comfortable not knowing. They can care and not care—without guilt or shame. They can act without success because they have named their fear of failure. They do not need to affirm or deny, judge or ignore. But they are free to do all of them with impunity. A saint is invincible.

—from the book From Wild Man to Wise Man: Reflections on Male Spirituality by Richard Rohr, OFM

 From Wild Man to Wise Man

Sharing in the Trinity

Although the hidden life of God remains a mystery inaccessible by reason alone, professing God as Trinity is not meant to distance us from him. Through the Son’s incarnation and the sending of the Holy Spirit, not only are we capable of understanding the eternal relationship of intimate loving communion that is the Holy Trinity, we are able to share in it. This is why we were created, why every human heart cries out to be loved. This is why people discover themselves in the words of Jesus and leave everything to follow him. The revelation of God as a relationship explains what it means to be human.

—from the book Inspired: The Powerful Presence of the Holy Spirit by Fr. Gary Caster

Inspired: The Powerful Presence of the Holy Spirit

When Have You Met the Dark?

The dark meets each person in unique ways, and our individual thresholds assume varying forms. Each one is significant. When a life experience calls into question the things you’ve formerly known and believed, the moment can be decisive. From my own journey, I vividly remember times of sheer confusion when I didn’t know if I was being overcome by the dark, or by a great love. Then the wondering, too deep for words, if they were in fact the same.

—from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds As Light by Paula D'Arcy

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Saint Anthony, Pray for Us

Anthony traveled tirelessly in both northern Italy and southern France—perhaps four hundred trips—choosing to enter the cities where the heretics were strongest. Yet the sermons he has left behind rarely show him taking direct issue with the heretics. Anthony preferred to present the grandeur of Christianity in positive ways. It was no good to prove people wrong. Anthony wanted to win them to the right, the healthiness of real sorrow and conversion, the wonder of reconciliation with a loving Father. The word fire recurs in descriptions of him. And though he was called the “Hammer of Heretics,” the word warmth describes him more fully.

from the book Saint Anthony of Padua: His Life, Legends, and Devotions edited by Jack Wintz, OFM

Saint Anthony of Padua: His Life, Legends, and Devotions

Saint Anthony and the Child Jesus

The image of Anthony holding the Divine Infant is a symbol and model for each of us. The image inspires us to go through life clinging to the wonderful mystery of the humble, self-emptying Christ, who accompanies us as a servant of our humanity and of the world’s healing. This is the kind of love that radiates from the Christ child so often pictured in St. Anthony’s arms. Would it not be a good idea for all of us to go through life carrying an imaginary God-child in our arms—and holding him up to the world? The child, however, is not really imaginary or fictitious. Two thousand years ago, thanks to the Virgin Mary’s “Yes,” the Son of God left behind his divine condition and came to dwell as a human child among us. Our faith tells us that he does accompany us each day like a humble servant—like a vulnerable child. Like St. Anthony, we do well lovingly to carry this image with us on our journey through life.

from the book Saint Anthony of Padua: His Life, Legends, and Devotions edited by Jack Wintz, OFM

Saint Anthony of Padua: His Life, Legends, and Devotions

God Gives Us What We Need

While we all need encouragement, sometimes we may rely a bit too much on others. Maybe we’re afraid to join a gym or a support group if we can’t convince someone to go with us. We don’t have to be so afraid. We are enough because God is with us. Just as Gideon’s reinforcements were whittled down, maybe our familiar supports fall away for one reason or another. When we’re left facing our own weakness, there’s nothing else to do but call on God’s strength. Whatever fears we’ve faced in the past, we’ve survived them all. The support we were looking for at the time may not have been there. That doesn’t mean God wasn’t supporting us. After all, we did get through. That same God will always provide what we need—both the internal resources and external assistance—to get through anything he has in mind for us.  

—from the book Fools, Liars, Cheats, and Other Bible Heroes  by Barbara Hosbach

Fools, Liars, Cheaters, and Other Bible Heroes