Thought for the Day – 5 June
“Boniface, known as the apostle of the Germans, was an English Benedictine monk who gave up being elected abbot to devote his life to the conversion of the Germanic tribes. Two characteristics stand out: his Christian orthodoxy and his fidelity to the pope of Rome.
How absolutely necessary this orthodoxy and fidelity were, is borne out by the conditions Boniface found on his first missionary journey in 719 at the request of Pope Gregory II. Paganism was a way of life. What Christianity he did find had either lapsed into paganism or was mixed with error. The clergy were mainly responsible for these latter conditions since they were in many instances uneducated, lax and questionably obedient to their bishops. In particular instances their very ordinations were questionable.
These are the conditions that Boniface was to report in 722 on his first return visit to Rome. The Holy Father instructed him to reform the German Church. The pope sent letters of recommendation to religious and civil leaders. Boniface later admitted that his work would have been unsuccessful, from a human viewpoint, without a letter of safe-conduct from Charles Martel, the powerful Frankish ruler, grandfather of Charlemagne. Boniface was finally made a regional bishop and authorized to organize the whole German Church. He was eminently successful.
Boniface bears out the Christian rule: To follow Christ is to follow the way of the cross.
For Boniface, it was not only physical suffering or death but the painful, thankless, bewildering task of Church reform.
Missionary glory is often thought of in terms of bringing new persons to Christ”, which he did in the thousands too.
“It seems—but is not—less glorious to heal the household of the faith.” (Fr Don Miller OFM)
So those little deeds we do in our lives and in our ‘online lives’ – they too can be seen – where we remain true to the Church and to the Holy Father and Magisterium – as following St Boniface in orthodoxy and faithfulness and contributing to the teaching of the faith.
St Boniface, pray for us!