One simple prayer can change your world … Tuesday, January 22

English: Jesus crucified. after Rubens. In the...

A Rosary Meditation … The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery, the Crucifixion. “And one of the robbers crucified with Him said, ‘Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.’ ” Matthew 27:44 & Luke 23:39, 42. I love the story of the Good Thief, St. Dismas. He starts out hopeless and steals Heaven. That part about being hopeless nearly lasted to the end, his end. You see, he didn’t go to his cross with a repentant heart. Just the opposite. The proof is in his attitude as he hung there on the cross while the people walking by hurled insults at Jesus. Dismas took part in this. See Matthew 27:44. Two thieves, one on either side, deriding Christ with all the rest. Speaking from a purely human perspective their taking part in this probably kept the heat off them. They were a part OF the crowd by taking part, and therefore not a target FOR the crowd. But at some point something changed. And what changed was the heart of Dismas. Put yourself in his place. He knew he was guilty and deserving of punishment but the more he listened and the more he watched the more of the reality of Christ he experienced. Here was a man who prayed God forgive his tormentors rather than curse them. Here was a man in the throes of death still caring for his mother. Here was a man punished for being innocent and not crying out against the injustice. Then it happened. He no longer saw Jesus. He saw Jesus CHRIST. And, not long before they broke his legs to quicken his death, he offered one simple, one pure prayer. Maybe the first prayer he had offered in many, many years. It was his last prayer. And with it he left being a thief behind, became the “Good Thief”, and the first canonized saint of Christ’s Church.

Today … St. Vincent Pallotti. Born in Rome in 1795, St. Vincent became a priest and dedicated himself completely to God and the care of souls. He dreamed of gaining for Christ all non-Catholics, especially the Mohammedans. To this end he inaugurated a revolutionary program which envisaged the collaboration of the laity in the apostolate of the clergy. But St. Vincent was also well aware of the many deprivations in the natural sphere that hindered the spread of the Faith. He thus obtained and spent huge sums for the poor and underprivileged. He founded guilds for workers, agricultural schools, loan associations, orphanages and homes for girls – all of which made him the pioneer and precursor of Catholic Action. His great legacy was the congregation which he founded for urban mission work, known as the “Society for Catholic Action”. This great worker for Christ died in 1850 from a severe cold which he most likely caught on a cold rainy night after giving his cloak to a beggar who had none. Very much the opposite of St. Dismas isn’t he? Proving that Heaven is open to all kinds, which knowledge should give us all comfort. Proving that regardless our status we ought never give up.

Good Thought … “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” ~ Winston Churchill ~