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Monday, June 13, 2016

What is it in St. Anthony of Padua’s life do you want to imitate? Pray to God for that grace - Daily Reflections June 13,2016


THE ADVENTURER SAINT
 
We are back to the series of Gospel readings taken from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Today we have the wonderful spiritual benefit of celebrating the liturgical memorial of a saint: that of the ever-popular St. Anthony of Padua.
       When a full-length feature film about him was produced some years ago, the many “twists and turns” in his life were highlighted in the narrative. His life was portrayed as exciting and dramatic, even to the extent of having the elements of action and adventure.
       It’s worth recalling a few of such “twists and turns.” Born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1195, Anthony at the age of 15 joined the Augustinian Monks of Coimbra, where he was ordained priest. In 1221, when the relics of five Franciscan martyrs were brought from Morocco to Portugal, he had an ardent desire to follow in their footsteps. He then transferred to the Franciscan Order, and after some time was sent to Africa to preach to the Muslims. However, he was soon afflicted with a severe illness, and a few months later he had to return to Portugal. The ship in which he sailed was driven off its course and landed in Sicily. From there, Anthony went to Assisi, where he met St. Francis. Eventually Anthony was discovered for his gift of preaching and teaching theology. He spent the last years of his life in Padua, where he died at 36 years old.
       It all somehow connects with today’s Gospel message. As Jesus revisits and revises the law concerning retaliation (the famous “an eye for an eye”), He raises the bar with an almost completely new teaching on non-violent, passive resistance. Such is the disarming forcefulness, the “violence” of the peace and generosity which Jesus advocates, along with its totally countercultural character.
     St. Anthony of Padua was certainly without the violence of a revolutionary, nor with the bravado of an action star. His was that of a man of God, a follower of Jesus’ radical teaching, a saint. Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB
 
REFLECTION QUESTION: What is it in St. Anthony of Padua’s life do you want to imitate? Pray to God for that grace.
 
Thank You, Lord, for the gift of St. Anthony of Padua. May his life inspire me to be a non-violent disciple in the world. Amen.
 

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