Daily Reflection April 24 2008: St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Priest and Martyr

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About the Saint:

Saint Fidelis was born at Sigmaringen in Germany in 1578. He was a lawyer, and then entered the Order of Friar Minor Capuchin at Freiburg in Breisgau. He lived a life of prayer and penance, and gained a great reputation as a Preacher. He was sent by the newly formed Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith to preach in Switzerland where he was put to death by a group of fanatics in 1622.

Collect of the Day:

Father you filled Saint Fidelis with the fire of your love and gave him the privilege of dying that Faith might live. Let his prayers keep us firmly grounded in your love, and help us to come to know the power of Christ’s Resurrection.

We make our prayer through Jesus Christ your Son Our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever One God world without end. Amen.

Today’s Readings:

The First Reading: Colossians: 1:24-29: I became the servant of the Church when God made me responsible for delivering His message to you.

The Gospel John: 17:20-26: I want those You have given me to be with me where I am.

In today’s Epistle St. Paul tells us that:

“I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the Church.”

In this passage we see that St. Paul rejoices in his sufferings for the Church. It sounds odd that someone would rejoice in suffering, but so strongly did Paul feel his calling to spread the Good News of Christ, that he counted even suffering for this message as a cause of joy. In Philippians 3:8 he goes on to tell us:

“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”

This continues to show us the lengths to which Paul would go to follow his vocation. How does this tally with the fire that many feel for the Gospel today? Or the value that we each place on living and sharing through the example of our lives, choices and actions the Gospel ourselves?

Is going to Mass weekly enough of a commitment to Christ? Can we remember God for one hour or two and consider this filling our obligation to Him? Or do we carry what we gain in that time spent in God’s Presence to all the other aspects of our being. I believe these are necessary questions that we each much address, at least those of us who claim to be Christ’s followers.

Christianity is not and cannot become a spectator sport! We cannot just sit in the pews and consider this to be enough. We cannot sit idlely by while others are suffering and hurting, hungering for wholeness and keep silent about the cause of our joy. But you might say “Msgr. Ian, that is why we have you clergy and religious for.” And I say this is true, it is the job of clergy and religious to spread and live the Gospel values, but clergy and religious cannot be everywhere.

Consider everybody you meet in a day, a week, a month or even a year, at work, through clubs and associations, out shopping or socialising, within your own family and your own home, and see the countless number of oppourtunities that exist where you might be the only contact that these people have with a member of the Church. Paul refers to the Church as a Body, specifically the ‘Body of Christ’. Now we are all members of this Body if we are Christians. Can our own bodies function properly when one of it’s members ceases to work? No we become impaired, the same can be said for the ‘Body of Christ’ the Church, when Her members cease to function properly. So are we to be an aid to the Body, or a dead limb or a cancer that needs to be removed?

I am not trying to belittle anybody but to awaken the Spirit of Evangelism in us, we all know that a healthy Body is an active Body. I am not telling you to become a ‘Bible Basher’ or to become someone that tries to force everyone to what they believe, rather to become a vessel in which the light of Christ shines through via our lives to all we come in contact with.

Christianity is not a solo activity but a social activity, St. Augustine of Hippo tells us:

“What do I desire? What do I want? Why do I speak? Why do I live, if not for this reason: that together we might live with Christ…….I do not want to be saved without you.”

And niether do I.

Msgr. Ian+

Closing Prayer:

Lord God, you crowned Saint Fidelis with a Martyr’s death, when filled with your love, he was preaching the Faith. Let our lives be rooted in love, so that with him, and by his prayer, we may know the power of Christ’s Resurrection.

We make our prayer through Jesus Christ your Son Our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever One God world without end. Amen.

One Response to “Daily Reflection April 24 2008: St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Priest and Martyr”

  1. Ewetse Paul Maswikiti Says:

    LORD JESUS CHRIST SON OF THE EVER LIVING GOD THROUGH ST FIDELIS SIGMERINGEN HELP US TO FOREVER REMAIN IN GOD’S LOVE AND HELP ONE ANOTHER IN THIS CHRISTIAN JOURNEY.

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