Friday, January 14, 2011

This saint understood the created world, from ant to angel

St. Paul the Hermit -- January 15

St. Paul (229-342) fled to the desert to escape the persecutions of the Emperor Decius. After this danger was over, St. Paul had a call from God to remain a hermit. 

For more than 90 years, Paul lived in solitude and contemplation, a very noble and difficult state.  Why? 

The eremitic life is one in which the contemplative is always speaking with God, living with one's soul absorbed in the things of God, in profound thoughts, in high aspirations, in noble causes.

The true contemplative focuses on the external spiritual battles of the Church and on his own internal personal battles.  He gains the strength of soul to withstand the onslaughts of the devil in his solitude and also the onslaughts of the devil in worldly ambiances.

St. Paul practiced the virtue of respect.   This virtue takes all of creation seriously with an understanding of the most profound intention for which each thing was made.  From the ant to the angel, from the sand to the sea, every creature has a Divine plan to give glory to the Creator. 

Today's man lacks this virtue and chooses to indulge in banality and triviality.  He runs after instant gratification without the thought of the reason for his own existence or for the existence of created things in the context of the Creator. 

Let us pray to St. Paul the Hermit for the virtue of respect, for without it there is no moral perfection or sanctity.

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