E-mails -- September 1
heaven around 720)
Well, there´s no use complaining. You hurt your knee, you had the
operation, and now you´ve got to recuperate. It´s going to take time. It will be painful, probably.
And most likely you´ll miss the whole volleyball season. Those are the facts, my dear niece, and
there´s no use in trying to change them.
I can understand why you feel a bit depressed about
them. But, can I be frank? If you let those feelings of depression take over, you´ll be acting like
a pagan. As a Christian, you know that the God in charge of your life is loving and all-powerful.
He´s even more interested in your happiness than you are (I know, that´s hard to fathom, but it´s
true). So if he permitted this disturbance in your plans, there must be a reason. Knowing you as
well as I do, I would venture to say that the reason is plain enough. He wants you to learn the
lesson that today´s saint learned.
Giles came from a wealthy, aristocratic family. He grew up
in Greece, and put his considerable natural talents to work in pursuit of holiness. It seemed he was
pretty successful. While still young, he became known for his learning and his piety. And when his
parents died, he showed that his virtue was more than a mere façade, using his inherited fortune to
serve the poor.
By then, his fame and popularity were making life a bit difficult. He really
wanted to pursue prayer, silence, and sacrifice, to be dedicated completely to the contemplation of
God. But honors and recognition would´t leave him alone. Finally he moved. He went to France and
found a cave to live in. There he was able to focus on God. He lived off wild herbs and deer´s milk,
and spent several years in solitary prayer, learning the wisdom that only God can
Eventually he was discovered, however, when the king´s hunting party chased a doe into
his cave, where the frightened creature sought protection from its pursuers. They shot an arrow into
the thorn bush that hid the opening of the cave, but instead of hitting their quarry, they hit
Giles, right in the leg. The saint begged them to leave him to heal alone, but the king would have
none of it. He allowed the saint to stay in the cave, but insisted on attending to him and his
needs. And that was the end of his solitude. From then on his fame spread once again – needy souls
flocked to him for guidance and for the miracles that spread in his wake. Eventually the king built
a monastery nearby and made St Giles abbot. A town grew up around the monastery, a place where the
poor could find respite.
God´s plan was to make Giles a fountain of light and grace for a
whole generation of suffering, needy people (in eighth-century France life was short, hard and
unstable). But Giles had to take some time to be with God in order to fill up his spiritual
reservoir so that the plan could come to fruition. I can´t help thinking that your current
situation, with the surprise interruption in your oh-so-busy schedule, is God´s way of inviting you
to give him a bit more attention, so that his plan for your life will be sure to unfold.
loving uncle, Eddy
To read more about other Saints of the day, CLICK