Weedy 2012-08-08 01:01:46
Meditation for troubled times:
Cling to the belief that all things are possible with God. If this belief is
truly accepted, it is the ladder upon which a human soul can climb from the
lowest pit of despair to the sublimest heights of peace of mind. It is possible
for God to change your way of living. When you see the change in another person
through the grace of God, you cannot doubt that all things are possible in the
lives of people through the strength that comes from faith in Him who rules us
— From Twenty-Four Hours a Day
August 7th – Pope St. Sixtus II
Elected 31 Aug., 257, martyred at Rome, 6 Aug., 258. His origin is unknown. The “Liber Pontificalis” says that he was a Greek by birth, but this is probably a mistake, originating from the false assumption that he was identical with a Greek philosopher of the same name, who was the author of the so-called “Sentences” of Xystus. During the pontificate of his predecessor, St.. Stephen, a sharp dispute had arisen between Rome and the African and Asiatic Churches, concerning the rebaptism of heretics, which had threatened to end in a complete rupture between Rome and the Churches of Africa and Asia Minor (see SAINT CYPRIAN OF CARTHAGE). Sixtus II, whom Pontius (Vita Cyprian, cap. xiv) styles a good and peaceful priest (bonus et pacificus sacerdos), was more conciliatory than St. Stephen and restored friendly relations with these Churches, though, like his predecessor, he upheld the Roman usage of not rebaptizing heretics.
Shortly before the pontificate of Sixtus II the Emperor Valerian issued his first edict of persecution, which made it binding upon the Christians to participate in the national cult of the pagan gods and forbade them to assemble in the cemeteries, threatening with exile or death whomsoever was found to disobey the order. In some way or other, Sixtus II managed to perform his functions as chief pastor of the Christians without being molested by those who were charged with the execution of the imperial edict. But during the first days of August, 258, the emperor issued a new and far more cruel edict against the Christians, the import of which has been preserved in a letter of St. Cyprian to Successus, the Bishop of Abbir Germaniciana (Ep. lxxx). It ordered bishops, priests, and deacons to be summarily put to death (“episcopi et presbyteri et diacones incontinenti animadvertantur”). Sixtus II was one of the first to fall a victim to this imperial enactment (“Xistum in cimiterio animadversum sciatis VIII. id. Augusti et c** eo diacones quattuor”–Cyprian, Ep. lxxx). In order to escape the vigilance of the imperial officers he assembled his flock on 6 August at one of the less-known cemeteries, that of Pr textatus, on the left side of the Appian Way, nearly opposite the cemetery of St. Callistus. While seated on his chair in the act of addressing his flock he was suddenly apprehended by a band of soldiers.. There is some doubt whether he was beheaded forthwith, or was first brought before a tribunal to receive his sentence and then led back to the cemetery for execution. The latter opinion seems to be the more probable.
For some time Sixtus II was believed to be the author of the so-called “Sentences”, or “Ring of Sixtus”, originally written by a Pythagorean philosopher and in the second century revised by a Christian. This error arose because in his introduction to a Latin translation of these “Sentences”. Rufinus ascribes them to Sixtus of Rome, bishop and martyr. It is certain that Pope Sixtus II is not their author (see Conybeare, “The Ring of Pope Xystus now first rendered into English, with an historical and critical commentary”, London, 1910). Harnack (Texte und Untersuchungen zur altchrist. Literatur, XIII, XX) ascribes to him the treatise “Ad Novatianum”, but his opinion has been generally rejected (see Rombold in “Theol. Quartalschrift”, LXXII, T bingen, 1900). Some of his letters are printed in P.L., V, 79-100. A newly discovered letter was published by Conybeare in “English Hist. Review”, London, 1910.
This version taken from:
Strive to acquire the virtues you think your brothers lack, and then you will no longer see their defects, because you yourselves will not have them.
— Saint Augustine of Hippo
But he that heareth and doth not is like to a man building his house upon the earth without a foundation: against which the stream beat vehemently. And immediately it fell: and the ruin of that house was great. (Luke 6:49) DRB
Why one cannot separate Christ from His Saints:
“…the saints are the instruments of the Holy Spirit, having received
the same energy as He has. As certain proof of what I say, one might
cite the charisms of healing, the working of miracles, foreknowledge,
the irrefutable wisdom which the Lord called ‘the Spirit of your
Father’ (Mt. 10:20), and also the sanctifying bestowal of the Spirit
which those sanctified with these gifts receive from and through them.
Thus God said to Moses, ‘I shall take the spirit which is on you and
put it on them’ (Num. 11:17); similarly, ‘when Paul laid his hands’ on
the twelve Ephesians, ‘the Holy Spirit came upon them’, and at once
‘they spoke in tongues and prophesied’ (Acts 19:6).”
— From St. Gregory Palamas (The Triads; Paulist Press pg. 88):