Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on January 8, 2010

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 5:12-16

It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately. Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but “Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.

Reflection on the gospel reading: Ignatius of Loyola sought to fashion the members of the Society of Jesus into contemplatives in action. Today’s gospel depicts various elements of Jesus’ ministry. In just a few sentences, Jesus shows compassion, heals, remonstrates, and teaches. But perhaps most basic of all, he withdraws from the crowd to find a quiet place and pray and reflect on the meaning of what he does. Each one of us lives a busy life, and we sometimes neglect to create space for meditation. I have long turned Socrates’s advice on its head: I believe the unlived life isn’t worth reflecting on. So do as our Lord does: Show compassion, heal, cajole, and teach! But Socrates’s real advice remains as useful today as it was more than two millenniums ago, “The unreflected life isn’t worth living.” Prayer and action are two sides of the coin as we strive to become contemplatives in action.

Saint of the day: Eurosia Fabris was born in Quinto Vicentino, an agricultural area, near Vicenza, on Sept. 27, 1866. Her parents, Luigi and Maria Fabris, were farmers. At the age of 4, Eurosia moved with her family to Marola, a village in the municipality of Torri di Quartesolo. She lived there for the rest of her life. She attended only the first two years of elementary school between 1872 and 1874 because even at such a young age, she was forced to help her parents with farm work and her mother in particular with the household chores.

It was enough, however, for her to learn to read and write with the help of the Scriptures or religious books such as a catechism. Besides her domestic tasks, she helped her mother in her work as a dressmaker, a practice which Eurosia would also take on later. Even as a child, she was rich in virtue and spirituality, always careful in providing for the needs of her family. She was 12 when she made her first Communion. From then on, she received the Eucharist on all religious feasts, since at that time daily Communion was not the practice.

Eurosia joined the Association of the Daughters of Mary in the parish church of Marola, and was faithful in participating in their devotions. She diligently observed the practices of the group which helped increase in her a love for Mary. In Marola, she lived within sight of the shrine of the Madonna of Monte Berico. Her favorite devotions were to the Holy Spirit, the infant Jesus, the cross of Christ, the Eucharist, the Virgin Mary, and the souls in the purgatory. She was an apostle of good will in her family, among her friends, and in her parish, where she taught catechism to the children and sewing to the girls who came to her home. By age 18, Eurosia was dedicated, pious and hardworking. These virtues, along with her pleasant personality, did not go unobserved and several young men proposed marriage to her, though she did not feel called to accept.

In 1885, Rosina, as her family called her, was affected by a tragic event. A young married woman near her home died, leaving three very young daughters. The first of them died shortly after her mother. The other two girls, Chiara Angela and Italia, were only 20 months and 2 months old, respectively. The father of these girls was away, living with his uncle and a grandfather who suffered from a chronic disease. They were three very different men, always quarreling among themselves. For six months, every morning, Rosina would go to care for the children and take care of their home. Later, following the advice of people close to her and after praying about it, she decided to marry. Rosina married Carlo Barban, well aware of the sacrifices that married life would hold for her in the future. The marriage occurred in May 1886 and, in addition to the two orphaned babies, she had nine other children. Her home was always opened to other children as well. Among them were Mansueto Mazzuco, who became a member of the Order of Friars Minor, taking the name Brother Giorgio. To all these children, “Mamma Rosa” offered affection and care, sacrificing her own needs to provide for them a solid Christian formation. From 1918 to 1921, three of her sons became priests, two for the diocesan clergy and one as a Franciscan (Father Bernardino), who would become her first biographer.

Once married, she embraced her marital obligations, always showing the greatest love and respect for her husband and becoming his confidant and adviser. She had a tender love for all her children. She was a hard worker who fulfilled her duties. Mamma Rosa lived an intense life of prayer, which was evident by her great devotion to God’s love, the Eucharist, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Like the strong woman in Scripture, she became a treasure to her family. She knew how to balance the family budget and at the same time exercised great charity toward the poor, sharing her daily bread also with them. She cared for the sick and gave them continuous assistance, showing heroic strength during the final illness of her husband Carlo, who died in 1930. Mamma Rosa became a member of the Franciscan Third Order, known today as the Secular Franciscans. She faithfully attended all their meetings, but above all tried to live the true Franciscan spirit of poverty and joy in her home, in the midst of her daily work and prayer.

Mamma Rosa’s family home was an ideal Christian community where her children were taught to pray and love God’s will as they practiced Christian virtues. In her vocation as a Christian mother, Mamma Rosa sacrificed herself day by day. She died on Jan. 8, 1932, and was buried in the church of Marola.

Spiritual reading: To love anyone is to hope in him for always. From the moment at which we begin to judge anyone, to limit our confidence in him, from the moment at which we identify him with what we know of him and so reduce him to that, we cease to love him and he ceases to be able to be better. (Charles de Foucauld)


One Response

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  1. marian vandenbraak said, on January 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I also have a devotion to the Holy Spirit which I have had as a gift all of my life. The Holy Spirit speaks to me very uniquely and in a very special way. Thank you for this article which reminds me of the importance of prayer and also the importance of the Holy Spirit.

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