Saturday, July 30, 2016


Here is a true story which was preserved by Saint Gregory in Chapter 7 of his Second Book of Dialogues:

“On a certain day, as the venerable Benedict was in his cell, the young Placidus, one of the Saint’s monks, went out to draw water from the lake; and putting his pail into the water carelessly, fell in after it.  The water swiftly carried him away, and drew him nearly a bowshot from the land.  Now the man of God, though he was in his cell, knew this at once, and called in haste for Maurus, saying: ‘Brother Maurus, run, for the boy who went to the lake to fetch water, has fallen in, and the water has already carried him a long way off!’

A marvelous thing, and unheard of since the time of the Apostle Peter! Having asked for and received a blessing, and departing in all haste at his father’s command, Maurus ran over the water to the place whither the young lad had been carried by the water, thinking that he was going over the land; and took him by the hair of his head, and swiftly returned with him. As soon as he touched the land, coming to himself, he looked back, and realized that he had run on the water. That which he could not have presumed to do, being now done, he both marveled and was afraid of what he had done.

Returning therefore to the father, he told him what had happened.  And the venerable Benedict did not attribute this to his own merits, but to the obedience of Maurus.  Maurus, on the contrary, said that it was done only in accord with his command, and that he had nothing to do with that miracle, not knowing at that time what he did. But in this amicable contention of mutual humility, the youth who had been saved came as judge; for he said, ‘When I was being drawn out of the water, I saw the Abbot’s garment over my head, and perceived that it was he that drew me out of the water.’ ”

I have read many other amazing stories in the book series, Butlers Lives of the Saints, and I never tire of hearing about the seemingly impossible accomplishments that the saints accomplished for the greater glory of God.  Saint Joan of Arc led the French Army to Victory though she was just a child and was inexperienced in the ways of the world.  Saint Maria Goretti converted the soul of her murderer by her obedience and utmost loyalty to the laws of God.  Little children suffered martyrdom without the slightest complaint.  Saint Katherine of Alexandria converted thousands by her profession of Christ.  The list goes on without end...

I remember that I used to wonder, “What is their secret?”  “How could they possibly do such things?”  The answer is that they were very humble, trusting, and obedient to God, and they never questioned the commands given to them by Him or by their superiors.  They undertook every task given to them without questioning whether they had the strength to do it, and God rewarded their loyalty by helping them to accomplish the impossible.

We may never reach the same degree of perfection as the saints.  We may never perform the same glorious wonders as they did.  Yet, the more humble, trusting, and obedient we become, the more we will be likely to achieve at least little deeds and little accomplishments which will give great glory and honor to God!

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