Thought for the Day – 5 July – The Memorial of St Anthony Mary Zaccaria (1502-1539)
Compassion for the sick and the poor led Dr Anthony Mary Zaccaria to see beyond the sick bodies of his patients and recognise the need for a different kind of healing. After becoming “Fr” Zaccaria, he tried to fill that need and dedicated the rest of his life to doing so. …….the Pauline ardour of his preaching would probably “turn off” many people today. When even some psychiatrists complain at the lack of a sense of sin, it may be time to tell ourselves that not all evil is explained by emotional disorder, subconscious and unconscious drives, parental influence and so on. The old-time “hell and damnation” mission sermons have given way to positive, encouraging, biblical homilies. We do indeed need assurance of forgiveness, relief from existential anxiety and future shock. But we still need prophets to stand up and tell us, “If we say ‘We are without sin,’ we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). (Fr Don Miller OFM).
St Anthony was such a prophet, he let God step in and lead him to a whole new set of plans. May we too allow God room in our boat to navigate us to a new way of life!
“We are fools for Christ’s sake:
our holy guide and most revered patron, was speaking about himself and the rest of the apostles and about the other people who profess the Christian and apostolic way of life.
But there is no reason, dear brothers, that we should be surprised or afraid; for the disciple is not superior to his teacher, nor the slave to his master. We should love and feel compassion for those who oppose us, rather than abhor and despise them, since they harm themselves and do us good and adorn us with crowns of everlasting glory while they incite God’s anger against themselves. And even more than this, we should pray for them and not be overcome by evil but overcome evil by goodness.
We should heap good works like red-hot coals of burning love upon their heads, as our Apostle urges us to do, so that when they become aware of our tolerance and gentleness they may undergo a change of heart and be prompted to turn in love to God.”