August 10, 2016 Feast of Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr
Jesus said to his disciples: "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, today you give me the example of St Lawrence. He gave his life so that your name would be honored and loved by all people. I would like to have the courage to follow his example of courageous love and die to myself so that I will merit graces for the many souls in need.
Petition: Lord, help me to forget myself and put your interests before mine.
1. Christ's Love: Christ would never demand something of us that he has not already lived himself. There is no deity worshiped by men, other than Jesus Christ, who has sacrificed his life out of love for his believers. It is Christ's sacrificial love which has the power to multiply love in our lives. Christ's act of selfless love gives birth to other acts of the same kind.
2. St Lawrence: St Lawrence was a deacon of the early Church in the middle of the third century. He died a martyr by being roasted slowly on a grill. When he had been grilled for some time he asked his murderers to turn him over so as to "grill the other side"! Lawrence's faith and courageous love are fruits of Christ's sacrifice. Although we may not be called to such heroism, Christ won the same grace for us to bear our crosses and live a life of selfless love and generosity.
3. Fruit of Fidelity: When we reflect on the lives of the saints we are inspired by their faithful service to Christ and his Church. Their fidelity is a fruit of Christ's fidelity. Our own acts of fidelity will give life and courage to others to do the same. Constant fidelity is above all the fruit of the grace of God, and our cooperation with it. Constant fidelity until death is the fruit of the fruits of this grace combined with our response. God is the one who creates in a soul the indispensable greatness needed for fidelity. Above all, he grants us the daily gift of his fortitude to persevere in it.
Dialogue with Christ: Lord, help me to be more generous in my daily commitments to you. Although you may not be calling me to be a martyr like St Lawrence, please allow me to offer small sacrifices each day for the Church and the salvation of souls.
Resolution: I will offer a sacrifice of fidelity to my prayer or apostolic commitments today for the souls in purgatory.