Second Thought for the Day – 6 February – The Memorial of St Alfonso Maria Fusco (1839-1910)
“At the start of today’s celebration, we addressed this prayer to the Lord: “Create in us a generous and steadfast heart, so that we may always serve you with fidelity and purity of spirit” (Collect).
By our own efforts, we cannot give ourselves such a heart. Only God can do this and so in the prayer we ask him to give it to us as his “creation”. In this way, we come to the theme of prayer, which is central to this Sunday’s scriptural readings and challenges all of us who are gathered here for the canonisation of new Saints. The Saints attained the goal. Thanks to prayer, they had a generous and steadfast heart. They prayed mightily, they fought and they were victorious.
The saints are men and women who enter fully into the mystery of prayer. Men and women who struggle with prayer, letting the Holy Spirit pray and struggle in them. They struggle to the very end, with all their strength and they triumph but not by their own efforts: the Lord triumphs in them and with them. The seven witnesses who were canonised today also fought the good fight of faith and love by their prayers. That is why they remained firm in faith, with a generous and steadfast heart. Through their example and their intercession, may God also enable us to be men and women of prayer. May we cry out day and night to God, without losing heart. May we let the Holy Spirit pray in us and may we support one another in prayer, in order to keep our arms raised, until Divine Mercy wins the victory.”
Homily of HH Pope Francis – St Peter’s Square – Sunday 16 October 2016 – HOLY MASS AND CANONISATION OF THE BLESSEDS: Salomon Leclercq, José Sánchez del Río, Manuel González García, Lodovico Pavoni, Alfonso Maria Fusco, José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, Elisabeth of the Holy Trinity Catez
Holy Saints in Heaven, Pray for us!