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Sunday, April 10, 2016

St Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr

"Blessed are they who follow the way of the Lord." Ps 119

Having the courage to speak out in the face of injustice is rare. To speak directly against a king or president seems inconceivable to most of us, but that is exactly what St. Stanislaus did at the beginning on the second millenium. Unable not to confront his king for egregious offenses against the poor and God, Stanislaus was martyred for demanding that the king repent and change his life.

Stanislaus is a good Easter saint. Challenged by the resurrection not to be afraid, to stand up, stand out and speak up, the apostles rose to the occasion and became a living Gospel. So did Stanislaus. Empowered by the word, and unafraid to speak with the authority of the Gospel, Stanislaus became the apostle of Poland, a figure revered as much by the Polish people as Thomas Becket is by the English.

Heroes can sometimes thrill us, but unless we are moved to change by their witness to the faith, their memories are a distraction to our own conversion. Stanislaus continues to be a mentor for the Polish people, not just because of his confrontation with his king, but because he acted, not to advance his own power but God's.

Today, live the Gospel simply and faithfully.

What keeps you from speaking out for the poor more consistently?

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