Posted by: fvbcdm | April 28, 2012

Feast of Saint Zita (27 April 2012)

If you have listened to, or read, this daily message for a while, you’re probably aware that between October, 1950, and June, 1954, I was on active duty in the Navy and spent much of that time in California—San Diego, Alameda, aboard the aircraft carrier the USS Boxer, Moffatt Field, and then discharge at Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. And one of my most beloved spots in that whole area was the Paulist Fathers’ church of Old St. Mary’s in Chinatown of San Francisco, with its lending library behind it.  The library was presided over by a lovely lady by the name of Minna Berger.  She and I got to know one another well since I spent much of my time in that library and in her delightful presence.  

On one of my first visits to the library, I noticed on the check-out desk a basket containing holy cards; Miss Berger invited me to take several of them.  Two of them had to do with the Holy Name of Jesus.  The quotation on one was from the writings of St. Bernard of Clairvaux and it said, “The Holy Name of JESUS is honey in the mouth, music in the ear, a shout of gladness in the heart.” I was unfamiliar with the impassioned spirituality of St. Bernard, so had never heard that before.  I took one or two of those cards with me and kept at least one of them for years.  It may still be among my papers and souvenirs.  The other holy card that I took from Miss Berger’s basket in the library contained a quotation which we find in this Sunday’s first reading at Mass.  Saint Peter is speaking to the people of Jerusalem after he and Saint John had cured a crippled man in the Temple.  Saint Peter declares that he and John had worked the miracle through the name of Jesus and then he goes on to say: “There is no other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”  Again, that quotation hit me like a ton of bricks.  I was twenty-one years old and very impressionable; quotations like those struck me as being gifts SO true, SO beautiful that I could walk around all day in the delight that they afforded me. Think of those words of Saint Peter, my dear friends, as we celebrate this fourth Sunday of Easter.  Whether we think of them as being powerful enough to cure one cripple, or to achieve the eternal salvation of  millions of people,  they belong to Sacred Scripture and are therefore the words of God.  As Saint Bernard used to say, “Rest in these truths.”  Let them permeate your mind and heart and become deeply imbedded in your spiritual life.  Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

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