Nov 26, 2022, 3:29:32 AM11/26/22
Meditation for the Day
Your real work in life is to grow spiritually. To do this you must
follow the path of diligently seeking good. The hidden spiritual
wonders are revealed to those who diligently seek this treasure. From
one point to the next, you have to follow the way of obedience to
God's will until finally you reach greater and greater spiritual
heights. Work on the material plane should be secondary to your real
life's work. The material things that you need most are those that
help you to attain the spiritual.
--From Twenty-Four Hours a Day
• November 26th - St. Silvester Gozzolini
Sylvester was born in 1177 to the noble Gozzolini (Guzzolini) family
of Osimo, Italy. Little is known of his early life. He did study law
at Bologna and Padua, but became interested in theology. The story is
told that when he switched his studies to theology and sought the
priesthood, his father was so infuriated that he refused to speak to
Sylvester for ten years.
After ordination Sylvester was a canon at Osimo where he worked
diligently to bring the Gospel values to his people. His zeal did get
him into difficulties with his bishop who lived a lax and unedifying
life. When Sylvester respectfully rebuked him for his behavior, the
bishop threatened to remove him from his post.
In 1227, Sylvester, who had long been drawn to the contemplative life,
is said to have had a vision of the decaying body of a very handsome
man. He resigned his rich post and became a hermit 30 miles from Osimo
in a very lonely spot. He subsequently moved to Grotto Fucile and was
soon surrounded by disciples who were drawn to his simple and holy
In 1231 He built his first monastery in a pagan ruins at Monte Fano
near Fabriano, Italy. He chose a very austere interpretation of the
Rule of St. Benedict as the rule for his monks to follow, and thus was
born the Silvestrine order. This community was approved by Pope
Innocent IV in 1247.
Sylvester governed his community for 36 years with great wisdom,
prudence and love. At his death in 1267 there were 11 monasteries,
either new or reformed, under his rule and guidance. These would later
increase to 56 throughout Italy, Portugal and Brazil. Sylvester was
canonized by Pope Clement VIII in 1598.
Today the congregation is part of the larger Benedictine
Confederation, and while small, has monasteries in Italy and Ceylon.
They are identified by their dark blue habits. While we don't have a
lot of historical data about Sylvester, what we do have gives us a
picture of a man of great courage and simplicity. He faced the anger
of his noble father to pursue a call to the unpopular service of God.
He was not afraid to confront sin and was willing to give up his
comfortable and rich position to live a life totally dedicated to
prayer and service to God.
The saints must be honored as friends of Christ and children and heirs
of God, as John the theologian and evangelist says: 'But as many as
received him, he gave them the power to be made the sons of God....'
Let us carefully observe the manner of life of all the apostles,
martyrs, ascetics and just men who announced the coming of the Lord.
And let us emulate their faith, charity, hope, zeal, life, patience
under suffering, and perseverance unto death, so that we may also
share their crowns of glory.
-- Saint John of Damascus
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they
also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail
because of Him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7)
A sin that is most common and very little recognized is the sin of
idle talk. Let us ponder what the Holy Bible has to say on this
subject and then adjust our lives accordingly. From the Holy Bible:
“But I tell you that of every idle word men speak, they shall give
account on the day of judgment. For by thy words thou wilt be
condemned” (Matt. 12:36-37). What is the general rule about the use of
the tongue? “But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and
slow to wrath. For the wrath of man does not work the justice of God”
(James 1:19-20). What does idle talking lead to? "But avoid profane
and empty babblings, for they contribute much to ungodliness and their
speech spreads like a cancer" (2 Tim. 2:16:18)