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Thursday, 29 November 2012

St. Paul and Perfection Part Four

Today in a different Carmelite Church, that on Clarendon Street, it was the memorial of two Carmelite priests martyred in Sumatra. Here is a short biography and prayer from the Carmelite website:

By the way, the priest said that we should pay attention to these and all martyrs as we are now living in a completely secularized world which is not conducive to Christianity. Good and poignant message....for Eire. And yes, they use the Communion rail.

Blesseds Denis & Redemptus

November 29: An Optional Memorial from the Common of Several Martyrs.

Denis of the Nativity, a priest, called in the world Pierre Berthelot, was born in Honfleur in France in 1600. He was a cartographer and naval commander for the kings of Portugal and France before he joined the Discalced Carmelites in Goa in 1635. It was also at Goa that the Portuguese lay brother, Thomas Rodriguez de Cunha, born in 1598, had made his profession in 1615, taking the name Redemptus of the Cross. They were sent to the island of Sumatra, where, in the town of Achen, they received the martyr’s crown on November 29, 1638. The picture is of Blessed Denis.

we celebrate the memory
of Blesseds Denis and Redemptus
who died for their faithful witnessing to Christ.
Give us the strength to follow their example,
loyal and faithful to the end.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

However, what struck me was the First Reading from Romans 5:1-5, which fits nicely into the perfection theme. \In this passage, St. Paul writes a clear summary of the Illuminative Stage of the life of the virtues. One virtue leads to the next and the joy, the glory in suffering is real peace. In this passage, Paul's certainty of the love of God, and the word is caritas, indicates the Unitive Stage, at least the first steps. Paul knows the love of God in his heart by experience and therefore, everything else falls into place. There is no striving here, only cooperation with grace, and his boasting is not that at all, but a teaching method on the way of perfection. Notice that Paul explains that the Holy Spirit is in him-the Indwelling of the Trinity is a reality to Paul:

Romans 5:1-5

Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition 
Being justified therefore by faith, let us have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ:
By whom also we have access through faith into this grace, wherein we stand, and glory in the hope of the glory of the sons of God.
And not only so; but we glory also in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience trial; and trial hope;
And hope confoundeth not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us.