Our cry must come from the heart

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Dec 5, 2021, 3:09:19 AM12/5/21
Our cry must come from the heart

If the cry to the Lord uttered by those who pray is made with the
sound of the bodily voice without the heart being turned to God, who
can doubt that it is made in vain? But if it comes from the heart,
even if the bodily voice is silent, it can be concealed from everyone
else but not from God.

Therefore, when we pray--whether aloud as required or silently--to
God, our cry must come from the heart.
--St. Augustine -- Commentary on Psalm 118 (29), 1

December 5th - St. Crispina, Martyr

ST AUGUSTINE frequently mentions St. Crispina as one well known in
Africa in his time, and we learn from him that she was a woman of
rank, native of Thagara in Numidia, married, with several children,
and worthy of estimation with such famous martyrs as St. Agnes and St.
Thecla. During the persecution of Diocletian she was brought before
the proconsul Anulinus at Theveste, charged with ignoring the imperial
commands. When she came into court Anulinus asked: “Have you
understood the meaning of the decree?” Crispina replied: “I do not
know what that decree is.”

Anulinus: It is that you should sacrifice to all our gods for the
welfare of the emperors, according to the law given by our lords
Diocletian and Maximian, the pious Augusti, and Constantius, the most
illustrious Caesar.
Crispina: I will never sacrifice to any but the one God and to our
Lord Jesus Christ His Son, who was born and suffered for us.
Anulinus: Give up this superstition and bow your head before our sacred gods.
Crispina: I worship my God every day, and I know no other.
Anulinus: You are obstinate, disrespectful and you will bring upon
yourself severity of the law.
Crispina: If necessary I will suffer for the faith that I hold.
Anulinus: Are you so vain a creature that you will not put away your
folly and worship the sacred deities?
Crispina: I worship my God every day, and I know no other.
Anulinus: I put the sacred edict before you for your observance.
Crispina: I observe an edict, but it is that of my Lord Jesus Christ.
Anulinus: You will lose your head if you do not obey the emperors’
commands. All Africa has submitted to them and you will be made to do
the same.
Crispina: I will sacrifice to the Lord who made the heavens and the
earth, the sea and all things that are in them. But I will never be
forced to sacrifice to evil spirits.
Anulinus: Then you will not accept those gods to whom you must give
honour if you would save your life?
Crispina: That is no true religion that forces the unwilling.
Anulinus: Will you not comply, and with bent head offer a little
incense in the sacred temples?
Crispina: I have never done such a thing since I was born, and I will
not do it so long as I live.
Anulinus: Do it, however, just to escape the penalty of the law.
Crispina: I do not fear what you threaten, but I fear the God who is
in Heaven. If I defy Him then shall I be sacrilegious and He will cast
me off, and I shall not be found in the day that He comes.
Anulinus: You cannot be sacrilegious if you obey the law.
Crispina: Would you have me sacrilegious before God that I may not be
so before the emperors? No indeed! God is great and almighty: He made
the sea and the green plants and the dry land. How can I consider men,
the work of His hands, before Himself?
Anulinus: Profess the Roman religion of our lords the unconquerable
emperors, as we ourselves observe it.
Crispina: I know one only God. Those gods of yours are stones, things
carved by the hands of men.
Anulinus: You utter blasphemy. That is not the way to look after your
own safety.
Then Anulinus ordered her hair to be cut off and her head shaved,
exposing her to the derision of the mob, and when she still remained
firm asked her: “Do you want to live? Or to die in agony like your
fellows Maxima, Donatilla and Secunda?”
Crispina: If I wanted to die and abandon my soul to loss and endless
fire I should treat your demons in the way you wish.
Anulinus: I will have you beheaded if you persist in mocking at our
venerable gods.
Crispina: Thank God for that. I should certainly lose my head if I
took to worshipping them.
Anulinus: Do you then persist in your folly?
Crispina: My God, who was and who is, willed that I be born. He
brought me to salvation through the waters of baptism. And He is with
me to stay my soul from committing the sacrilege that you require.
Anulinus: Can we endure this impious Crispina any longer?

The proconsul ordered the proceedings that had taken place to be read
over aloud, and he then sentenced Crispina to death by the sword. At
which she exclaimed: “Praise to God who has looked down and delivered
me out of your hands”. She suffered at Theveste on December 5, in the
year 304.

The passio of this martyr is printed in Ruinart’s Acta Sincera, but a
more critical text has been edited by P. Franchi de’ Cavalieri in
Studi e Testi, vol. ix (1902), pp. 23-31. Among similar records, which
are so often overlaid with wordy declamations and extravagant
miracles, the document ranks high. Still, as Delehaye has pointed out,
it cannot in its entirety be accepted as a faithful transcript of an
official procès verbal preserved as a legal record of the trial....

Saint Quote:
If God had drawn the world from preexistent matter, what would be so
extraordinary in that? A human artisan makes from a given material
whatever he wants, while God shows His power by starting from nothing
to make all He wants.
-- Saint Theophilus of Antioch

Bible Quote:
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him
out of them all. He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken."
[Psalms 34:19-20 ]

The Most Holy Name of Jesus
is our Strength insuperable.

"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be Saved."--Rom. x. 13:
(Hymn of Thomas a Kempis)

In Christ's dear Name with courage bear
Whatever ills betide;
For worldly good is oft a snare,
And fills the heart with pride.
What seems a loss will often prove
To be our truest gain;
And pains endured with patient love
A jewelled crown obtain.

Brief is this life, and brief its pain,
But long the bliss to come;
And trials borne for Christ attain
A place with martyrdom.
The Christian soul by patience grows
More perfect day by day,
And brighter still and brighter glows
With Heaven's eternal ray.

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