On Gratitude for God's Grace (V)

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Dec 7, 2011, 1:43:44 PM12/7/11
On Gratitude for God's Grace: (V)

Be thankful for the smallest blessing, and you will deserve to receive
greater. Value the least gifts no less than the greatest and simple
graces as especial favors. If you remember the dignity of the Giver,
no gift will seem small or mean, for nothing can be valueless that is
given by the most high God. Even if He awards punishment and pain,
accept them gladly, for whatever He allows to befall us is always for
our salvation. Let whoever desires to retain the grace of God be
thankful for the grace given him, and be patient when it is withdrawn.
Let him pray for its return, and let him be prudent and humble lest he
lose it once more.
--Thomas à Kempis --Imitation of Christ Bk 2 Ch 10

December 7th - St. Buithe (Buite, Boethius) of Scotland

Died 521. Saint Buithe was a Scot who spent some years in Italy and
elsewhere on the continent before returning to Scotland to evangelize
the Picts. It is said that Buithe raised the son of King Nectan of the
Picts from the dead (or the king himself in some versions). In
gratitude the king gave the saint a church-- Carbuddo ("Castrum
Butthi"), which appears to have taken its name from him (originally
Kirkbuddo or the church of Buithe).

About 500 AD, Buithe founded a school at Monasterboice in County
Louth, which gained dominance in the 9th and 10th centuries when the
Viking raids threatened the great schools of Ireland. This school was
known for its sculpture; the Crosses of Monasterboice are world
renowned. They incorporate representation of Biblical subjects
directly on the Crosses, visual lessons for the faithful and less
likely to be destroyed than were books. Two of these crosses,
including the Muireadach Cross dating from 923, survive at
Monasterboice. Fourteen historical poems of its Abbot Flann (11th
century) also survive in old Gaelic books, especially in the "Book of
Leinster" (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Healy, Kenney, Montague, Moran,
Porter, Simpson,Skene, Stokes).

Troparion of St Buithe tone 8

Great wonderworker and ascetic, O Father Buithe,
who by the power of thy prayers didst restore the slain to life,/
intercede with Christ our God that He will grant us life eternal
in the realms of the blessed.

Images of the Muireadach Cross, Monasterboice:

Saint Quote:
O Lord, grant us that love which can never die, which will enkindle
our lamps but not extinguish them, so that they may shine in us and
bring light to others. Most dear Savior, enkindle our lamps that they
may shine forever in your temple. May we receive unquenchable light
from you so that our darkness will be illuminated and the darkness of
the world will be made less. Amen.
--Saint Columba

Bible Quote:
He who causes a sinner to be converted from his misguided way, will
save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins. James

From The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus

We read in history of a proof of love so prodigious that it will be
the admiration of all ages.

There was once a king, lord of many kingdoms, who had one only son, so
beautiful, so holy, so amiable, that he was the delight of his father,
who loved him as much as himself. This young prince had a great
affection for one of his slaves; so much so that, the slave having
committed a crime for which he had been condemned to death, the prince
offered himself to die for the slave; the father, being jealous of
justice, was satisfied to condemn his beloved son to death, in order
that the slave might remain free from the punishment that he deserved:
and thus the son died a malefactor's death, and the slave was freed
from punishment.

This fact, the like of which has never happened in this world, and
never will happen, is related in the Gospels, where we read that the
Son of God, the Lord of the universe, seeing that man was condemned to
eternal death in punishment of his sins, chose to take upon Himself
human flesh, and thus to pay by His death the penalty due to man: He
was offered because it was His own will (Is. 53:7). And his Eternal
Father caused him to die upon the cross to save us miserable sinners:
He spared not his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all (Rom.
8:32). What dost thou think, O devout soul, of this love of the Son
and of the Father?

Thou didst, then, O my beloved Redeemer, choose by Thy death to
sacrifice Thyself in order to obtain the pardon of my sins. And what
return of gratitude shall I then make to Thee? Thou hast done too much
to oblige me to love Thee; I should indeed be most ungrateful to Thee
if I did not love Thee with my whole will at least spend that period
of my life that remains to me only in loving Thee, obeying Thee, and
pleasing Thee.

O men, men! let us love this our Redeemer, who, being God, has not
disdained to take upon Himself our sins, in order to satisfy by His
sufferings for the chastisement which we have deserved: Surely He hath
borne our infirmities, and carried our sorrows (Is. 53:4)

St. Augustine says that our Lord in creating us formed us by virtue of
His power, but in redeeming us He has saved us from death by means of
His sufferings: "He created us in his strength; he sought us back in
his weakness."

How much do I not owe Thee, O Jesus my Saviour! Oh, if I were to give
my blood a thousand times over,--if I were to spend a thousand lives
for Thee,--it would yet be nothing. Oh, how could anyone that
meditated much on the love which Thou hast shown him in Thy Passion,
love anything else but Thee? Through the love with which Thou didst
love us on the cross, grant me the grace to love Thee with my whole
heart. I love Thee, infinite Goodness; I love Thee above every other
good; and I ask nothing more of Thee but Thy holy love.
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