A Nursing Child
He was very frail and sickly. Everything
seemed to go wrong with him. Many despised
him. He had a tough life. And yet he was
He was once asked what his secret was. He
was surprised at the question. He did not
even realize there was something special
about him. Saints are always the last to
be aware of their goodness.
"You have all these mishaps. So many
things went off the beam in your life. Don't
you feel all these blows?" The man replied,
"Yes I do. They hurt a lot but they
don't leave a lasting wound."
"How is this possible? You must have
a special ointment that tone down these blows.
What is it?"
"Yes, I do have an ointment. When people
lie about me and say wicked things, I have
the ointment of compassion. The quality of
strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable
combination. When I get sick and pain wrecks
my body, I use the ointment of prayer. I
found this very good. And when the wound
bleeds and hurts excessively, I keep repeating
to myself, "My good doctor wants it."
"Your doctor?" "Yes!"
said the good man pointing at the Crucifix…
"If pain comes, that means the doctor
is curing me of a deeper condition!"
There is a power in Jesus Christ that many
of us fail to exploit. Saturninus was lynched
by the pagan priests of the city and ordered
to renounce his faith or face death. Saturninus
held firm to his faith and his refusal encouraged
the priests to execute him cruelly. They
tied him to a wild bull by his feet and then
let the bull run free through the city. Saturninus
was dragged to death; his body was later
found by some of the faithful and reverently
We modern Christians should take inspiration
from the words that he in 305 addressed to
the Roman judge who earlier on, had him arrested
for participating in the Saturday night Eucharist.
"The Christian cannot live without the
Eucharist. Do you not know that the Christian
exists for the Eucharist and the Eucharist
for the Christian?"
The Cure of Ars spoke of the same secret
in a humorous dialogue with one of his parishioners,
who rather meanly told him, "I really
marvel at God… how He is able to make use
of an ass like you to do so much good!!"
"My son" replied the Cure promptly,
"one can tell that you don't know the
Scriptures well!" "What do the
Scriptures have to do with it?"
"Well, the Scriptures say that that
Samson managed to kill thousand Philistines
with just the jawbone of a donkey. Imagine
what God can do with a whole ass like me!?"
You see it is never about our power of endurance.
It is always about his eagerness to act in
As the psalmist sings, "Lord, my heart
is not proud, nor are my eyes fixed on things
beyond me, in the quiet I have stilled my
soul, like a child at rest on its mother's
breast, I have stilled my soul within me."
Like a baby relaxed and unruffled after having
been nursed - this is where God wants to
lead us - humility coupled with trust.
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
granted for any non-commercial use,
that the content is unaltered from
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