Friday, June 22, 2012

St Aloysius Gonzaga

Forgive me. Somehow I forgot to post this reflection yesterday.

"Like a fire there appeared the prophet Elijah whose words were as a flaming furnace." Sir 48:1

Saints are not only a reflection of God's immense love, they also reflect their own culture. St. Aloysius Gonzaga is a ready example of this. Though bright and talented, and born into wealth and power, Aloysius rejected all of it, struggling with his parents and advisors who wanted him to use his family's influence to advance his status in the society.

Moved as a child to love God more deeply, and excited about stories of Jesuit missionaries to India, Aloysius resisted the lures of Renaissance life, and joined the Jesuits in his teens. Given to severe penances and long prayer, the Jesuits tried to moderate his spiritual life with little success, and when the plague struck Rome where he was living, Aloysius contracted the disease and died at twenty three.

None us us has to take on radical forms of penance and prayer, but all of us have to discern how it is God would have us live in a society that too often discards the poor, the weak and elderly as nuisances and unnecessary burdens. Jesus' command to feed the hungry, cloth that naked, and visit the sick and imprisoned must find a place and a form in every society if the Gospel is to endure as a life and a lifestyle.

Today, ask God for guidance about how to live the gospel in your particular circumstances.

What are your biggest obstacles to live the Gospel with simplicity and integrity?

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