My Yoke Is Easy,
My Burden Is Light
Bishop and Martyr
Saint Boniface, known as "the apostle of Germany," was born in Britain about the year 673. He entered monastic life at Exeter but left England in 719 to preach the Gospel in Germany. He baptized many there and was ultimately consecrated bishop with his see at Mainz. He attracted many companions with whose help he founded dioceses in Bavaria, Thuringia, and Franconia. He also convened church councils and promulgated canon laws governing the German church. While preaching the Gospel to the Frisians in 754, St. Boniface was martyred. He was buried in the monastery of Fulda. What follows in an excerpt from one of his letters (Ep. 78: MGH, Epistolae 3, 352, 354) which is read in the Church's Office of Readings each year on his feastday, June 4.
In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of lifeís different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on her course.
The ancient fathers showed us how we should carry out this duty: Clement, Cornelius and many others in the city of Rome, Cyprian at Carthage, Athanasius at Alexandria. They all lived under emperors who were pagans; they all steered Christís ship Ė or rather his most dear spouse, the Church. This they did by teaching and defending her, by their labors and sufferings, even to the shedding of blood.
I am terrified when I think of all this. Fear and trembling came upon me and the darkness of my sins almost covered me. I would gladly give up the task of guiding the Church which I have accepted if I could find such an action warranted by the example of the fathers or by holy Scripture.
Since this is the case, and since the truth can be assaulted but never defeated or falsified, with our tired mind let us turn to the words of Solomon: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own prudence. Think on him in all your ways, and he will guide your steps. In another place he says: The name of the Lord is an impregnable tower. The just man seeks refuge in it and he will be saved.
Let us stand fast in what is right and prepare our souls for trial. Let us wait upon Godís strengthening aid and say to him: O Lord, you have been our refuge in all generations.
Let us trust in him who has placed this burden upon us. What we ourselves cannot bear let us bear with the help of Christ. For he is all-powerful and he tells us: My yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Let us continue the fight on the day of the Lord. The days of anguish and of tribulation have overtaken us; if God so wills, let us die for the holy laws of our fathers, so that we may deserve to obtain an eternal inheritance with them.
Let us be neither dogs that do not bark nor silent onlookers nor paid servants who run away before the wolf. Instead let us be careful shepherds watching over Christís flock. Let us preach the whole of Godís plan to the powerful and to the humble, to rich and to poor, to men of every rank and age, as far as God gives us the strength, in season and out of season, as Saint Gregory writes in his book of Pastoral Instruction.
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Confirmation - The Sacrament of Champions
Confirmation is often called the "Sacrament of the Spirit." If we've already received the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Baptism, why do we need the sacrament of confirmation? What is the purpose and meaning of this sacramental anointing? What difference should confirmation and the gifts of the Holy Spirit make in our lives? These questions and more are answered by this dynamic talk appropriate for both teens and adults.
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In the Gospels, Christ made it clear just how important the sacraments are for our lives. Yet today, many Catholics take them for granted. With little understanding of the importance and power of the sacraments, these Catholics are simply going through the motions.
But as Marcellino DíAmbrosio explains in Godís Seven Gifts, God gave us the sacraments as a gift to help us in our walk with him.
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