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Friday, September 30, 2011

Never Judge

St. Benedict Labre was born March 26, 1748 at Amettes, France. He was the oldest child in a family of 15 children. In his later teenage years, he tried to enter various Trappist, Carthusian, and Cistercian monasteries. In some, he was allowed to enter but did not persevere according to their standards. Some say it was due to either his health or his unyielding desire to be totally destitute that prevented him from staying in any one monastery. Sometimes, upon his return home, his family merely said, “We told you so.” He soon left home again, and the last word his parents received from him was that he was headed to Rome to find and enter a rigorous religious order.

After he arrived at Rome, St. Benedict seemed to have received a special illumination as to what his vocation would be–he felt called to make a perpetual pilgrimage to the famous sites of Europe. He wore only the shabbiest apparel, slept on the ground, and never begged for money unless he was sick. He carried two rosaries, a Bible, a breviary, and The Imitation of Christ. Upon Benedict’s entry into a confessional, the priest would often have to brace himself against the homeless odor of sweat and dirt.

Sores on his knees attested to his long hours of prayer. Sometimes, his body would levitate while he was praying. Soon, his intense austerities took their toll. Benedict died on April 16, 1783; he was 35 years old. Leo XIII canonized him in 1881, and his feast day is April 16th.

A couple of years ago, there was a young man twenty-something living homeless in downtown Los Angeles by the name of Nathan. He felt his vocation in life was to be homeless and to minister to other homeless people. After hearing the story of St. Benedict Labre, we probably should not judge.
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newguy40 said...

Your post is very true.
I am what you'd call a button down shirted, shaved head, orthodox sort of fella living in a very liberal (pagan) west coast city. I have to remember not to judge those judging me by MY appearance.


Anonymous said...

Amen! Well said newguy.