The Holy Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of St. Lawrence. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Diligence so he can focus on growing in the spiritual life and by pursuing the Virtue of Piety so he can frequently seek the intercession of the Saints.
Feast of St. Lawrence – August 10 – Jn 12:24-26
After raising Lazarus from the dead, and being anointed with costly nard by Lazarus’ sister Mary, Jesus makes His triumphal entry into Jerusalem at the Passover (likely date: April 3, 33 A.D.). Purposefully entering Jerusalem in a highly provocative and symbolic way as a king to announce the salvation of His coming Kingdom, Jesus sets the stage for His final confrontation with the Jewish and Roman rulers, through which He will accomplish His saving Passion and the Resurrection.
Jesus reveals His “hour” has finally arrived. His “hour” is the beginning of His Passion through which Jesus will be glorified and all men who follow Him will receive eternal life. Jesus describes His “hour” in a metaphor of a seed which must necessarily “die” to bear much fruit; He will die and open the doors to Heaven to those who are willing to follow Him by giving up themselves for His Kingdom. Jesus reveals that the Apostles must be prepared to follow His example of giving up His life, if they wish to gain the eternal rewards of the Father’s love. The Apostles will give up their lives for Him: every apostle will be martyred for Jesus, except for John, who did not abandon Christ on the Cross but suffered great persecution and exile, and Judas, who betrayed Jesus and committed suicide.
Two centuries after the Ascension of Jesus, the Roman Emperor Valerian murdered Pope Sixtus II and sought to confiscate all the Church’s wealth from St. Lawrence, one of the 7 deacons of Rome. Tradition holds that St. Lawrence sold everything and gave the money to the poor. When Valerian demanded to see the Church’s “treasure”, St. Lawrence showed Valerian a group of paupers; St. Lawrence was slow-roasted to death over a fire. St. Lawrence’s tomb continues to be venerated at the Basilica of Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls in Rome.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by Jesus as He builds His Holy Catholic Church: Divine Prophet, Jesus teaches with powerful and poetic metaphors from nature (grain, growth, fruitfulness), gained through His human experience, which speak to the hearts and minds of men across the millennia; Divine Priest, He establishes the Sacrament of Holy Orders, including the Diaconate (from the Greek word, diaconia, meaning “service”), and inspires men like St. Lawrence to heroic sacrifice to build His Church.
Be diligent in building your spiritual life
Realize: Inspired by the heroic model of Jesus’ death and responding to His call for men to follow, St. Lawrence diligently served Jesus and followed Him in death and martyrdom; every Catholic man can seek to diligently imitate St. Lawrence each day in small acts of witness by sacrificing for Jesus Christ.
Believe: Reflect upon Diligence in Following Christ (CCC 520, 618, 1709, 2715).
Pray: St. Lawrence, pray for me to grow in the Virtue of Diligence (a part of Temperance) so I build a daily discipline to pray, read Sacred Scripture, sacrifice, and perform many small Works of Mercy each day of my life.
Seek the intercession of the Saints
Realize: In the Communion of Saints, every Catholic man is blessed to be able to strive to imitate and seek the intercession of the Saints, the greatest human beings who have ever lived.
Believe: Reflect upon the Communion of the Saints (CCC 946-962, 2683) and Patron Saints (CCC 2156, 2165).
Pray: St. Lawrence, pray that I grow in the Virtue of Piety (a part of Justice) so I honor the Saints and I develop a veneration for those Saints who can help in my own particular struggles in the Spiritual Combat.