Monday, January 5, 2015

Two stories of the saints (St. Anselm and St. Anthony)

The following excerpts are taken from the magnificent work of St. Francis De Sales "The Devout Life":
St. Francis

"We are told that S. Anselm of Canterbury… [observed that] a hunted hare took refuge from imminent death beneath the Bishop’s horse, the hounds clamoring round, but not daring to drag it from its asylum, whereat his attendants began to laugh; but the great Anselm wept, saying, “You may laugh forsooth, but to the poor hunted beast it is no laughing matter; even so the soul which has been led astray in all manner of sin finds a host of enemies waiting at its last hour to devour it, and terrified, knows not where to seek a refuge, and if it can find none, its enemies laugh and rejoice.” And so he went on his way, sighing.

Constantine the Great wrote with great respect to S. Anthony, at which his religious expressed their surprise. “Do you marvel,” he said, “that a king should write to an ordinary man? Marvel rather that God should have written His Law for men, and yet more that He should have spoken with them Face to face through His Son.” When S. Francis saw a solitary sheep amid a flock of goats; “See,” said he to his companion, “how gentle the poor sheep is among the goats, even as was Our Lord among the Pharisees;” and seeing a boar devour a little lamb, “Poor little one,” he exclaimed, weeping, “how vividly is my Savior’s Death set forth in thee!”

Take the time to meditate upon these stories St. Francis relates.


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