Thought of the day
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr - Feast

Saint Lawrence, like a seed thrown on the ground

       At first glance a mustard seed appears small, ordinary and unimportant ; it has no taste, gives off no smell, gives no cause for presuming any sweetness. But when it is crushed then it spreads abroad its odor and reveals its strength, it has a taste like flame and burns with such strength that we are astonished to find so great a fire in so little a seed… Christian faith, in the same way, seems at first sight to be small, ordinary and weak; it does not show its power nor display its influence. But when crushed by various trials, it demonstrates its vigor, makes its energy burst forth, breathes out the flames of its faith in the Lord. The divine fire makes it quiver with such ardor that, even as it is burning, it warms those who share it, as Cleophas and his companion said in the holy Gospel while the Lord was conversing with them after his passion: “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” (Lk 24:32)… 

       We might compare Saint Lawrence to a mustard seed: crushed with numerous tortures he merited the grace of an outstanding martyr in the sight of all the world. While he was yet dwelling in his body he was humble, ignored, ordinary; after he had been tortured, torn apart and burned, he shed on all the faithful throughout the world the good odor of his nobility of soul… Seen from without, this martyr was burning in the flames of a cruel tyrant, but a greater flame, that of the love of Christ, was consuming him from within. An impious king may well have piled on the wood and lit even larger fires but Saint Lawrence, in the fervor of his love, no longer felt those flames… No earthly suffering had mastery over him any longer: his soul already dwelt in heaven.