Quote of the Day – 22 May – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter C, Gospel: John 15:1-8 and the Memorial of St Rita of Cascia (1386-1457)
Blessed by God,
you were a light in darkness
through your steadfast courage
when you had to suffer such agony
upon your cross.
You turned aside from this vale of tears
to seek wholeness for your hidden wounds
in the great passion of Christ. . . .
You were not content
with less than perfect healing
and so endured the thorn for fifteen years
before you entered into the joy
of your Lord.
This poem was engraved on the casket of St Rita of Cascia and is one of the few contemporary sources that tell us about her. St Rita received her “hidden wounds” in an unfortunate marriage. For eighteen years she endured the abuses and infidelities of a violent husband. She also suffered the rascality of two sons who were strongly influenced by him. She was delivered from these miserable circumstances in a horrific way – one day her husband was brought home dead, brutally slashed by his enemies. Her rambunctious sons planned to get revenge but died before they could obtain it.
At every stage of her life, Rita seems to have bravely endured unendurable circumstances – frustration because her parents overrode her wish to become a nun, married an abuser, refused three times by the Augustinians, afflicted with the pain and embarrassment of the stigmata. None of these things, however, prevented her from serving God and her sisters. We can pray for her intercession in our desperate need but we should also imitate her love in action.