Quote/s of the Day 11 September – Friday of the Twenty Third week in Ordinary Time, Readings: 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22b-27, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 12, Luke 6:39-42 and the Memorial of Blessed Charles Spinola SJ (1564-1622) Priest, Martyr, Missionary to Japan
“A disciple is not above his teacher…”
“Let us then learn from the Cross of Jesus our proper way of living.
Should I say ‘living’ or, instead, ‘dying’?
Rather, both living and dying.
Dying to the world, living for God.
Dying to vices and living by the virtues.
Dying to the flesh, but living in the spirit.
Thus in the Cross of Christ, there is death
and in the Cross of Christ there is life.
The death of death is there and the life of life.
The death of sins is there and the life of the virtues.
The death of the flesh is there and the life of the spirit.”
St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
Blessed Charles Spinola went underground, going by the foreshadowing alias “Joseph of the Cross”, a haunt of the shadows who was obliged to conceal himself from daylight because his foreign features were instantly recognisable. With the help of Nagasaki’s ample Christian community he eluded capture for an amazingly long time.
“For nearly two years and a half I have devoted myself to encourage and support the Christians of this country, not without great difficulty. Having no home, I pass secretly from house to house, to hear confessions and celebrate our holy mysteries by night. Most of my time I spend in utter solitude, deprived of all human converse and consolation, having only that which God gives to those who suffer for His love … However I am tolerably well and, though destitute of almost everything and taking but one scanty meal a day, I do not fall away. Does not this prove that “man liveth not by bread alone?”
-Letter of Spinola dated March 20, 1617
“Father, how sweet and delightful
is it to suffer for Jesus Christ!
I have learned this better by experience
than I am able to express,
especially since we are in these dungeons
where we fast continually.
The strength of my body fails me
but my joy increases as I see death draw nearer.
O what a happiness for me,
if next Easter I shall sing the heavenly Alleluia
in the company of the blessed!”
“Oh, if you had tasted the delights
with which God fills the souls
of those who serve Him
and suffer for Him,
how would you condemn all that the world can promise!”
“… God is to be served chiefly for Himself alone,
for He is the fountain of all goodness
and merits all our devotion,
without any hope of reward.”
Bl Charles Spinola SJ (1564-1622)