Thought for the Day – 17 July – Wednesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, C, The memorial of St Alexius of Rome – “the Man of God” “the Beggar Saint”
St Alexius is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology under 17 July in the following terms: “At Rome, in a church on the Aventine Hill, a man of God is celebrated under the name of Alexius, who, as reported by tradition, abandoned his wealthy home, for the sake of becoming poor and to beg for alms unrecognised.”
“With regard to God, there is no strict right to any merit on the part of man,” the Catechism plainly teaches us. “Between God and us there is an immeasurable inequality, for we have received everything from Him, our Creator” (#2007). The Alexius of lore, who at least could’ve rightfully claimed the privileges associated with his family ties, instead embraced a life of severe deprivation and extravagant piety in absolute concealment.
Why? Not for points, not to earn salvation but out of a rare plenitude of gratitude and love. “In the evening of this life, I shall appear before you with empty hands, for I do not ask you, Lord, to count my works,” is how St Thérèse of Lisieux expressed the same notion. “I wish, then, to be clothed in Your own justice and to receive from Your love the eternal possession of Yourself” (CCC 2011).
Even simpler, is St John of the Cross: “At the end of your life, you will be judged by your love” (CCC 1022) and nobody will be comparing scores.
Let us love to be unknown! (St Philip Neri).