Indifferent toward religion as a young man, Anselm became one of the Church's greatest theologians and leaders. He received the title "Father of Scholasticism" for his attempt to analyze and illumine the truths of faith through the aid of reason.
At 15, Anselm wanted to enter a monastery, but was refused acceptance because of his father's opposition. Twelve years later, after careless disinterest in religion and years of worldly living, he finally fulfilled his desire to be a monk. He entered the monastery of Bec in Normandy, three years later was elected prior and 15 years later was unanimously chosen abbot.
Considered an original and independent thinker, Anselm was admired for his patience, gentleness and teaching skill. Under his leadership, the abbey of Bec became a monastic school, influential in philosophical and theological studies.
During these years, at the community's request, Anselm began publishing his theological works, comparable to those of St. Augustine (August 28). His best-known work is the book Cur Deus Homo ("Why God Became Man").
At 60, against his will, Anselm was appointed archbishop of Canterbury in 1093. His appointment was opposed at first by England's King William Rufus and later accepted. Rufus persistently refused to cooperate with efforts to reform the Church.
Anselm finally went into voluntary exile until Rufus died in 1100. He was then recalled to England by Rufus's brother and successor, Henry I. Disagreeing fearlessly with Henry over the king's insistence on investing England's bishops, Anselm spent another three years in exile in Rome.
His care and concern extended to the very poorest people; he opposed the slave trade. Anselm obtained from the national council at Westminster the passage of a resolution prohibiting the sale of human beings.
Anselm, like every true follower of Christ, had to carry his cross, especially in the form of opposition and conflict with those in political control. Though personally a mild and gentle man and a lover of peace, he would not back off from conflict and persecution when principles were at stake.
"No one will have any other desire in heaven than what God wills; and the desire of one will be the desire of all; and the desire of all and of each one will also be the desire of God" (St. Anselm, Letter 112).
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
My soul longs for your presence, Lord.
Lord, may I never take the gift
To be conscious about something is to be aware of it. Dear Lord help me to remember that You gave me life. Thank you for the gift of life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures created for me. To be aware of the beauty that surrounds me. The marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember that all these things come from you.
The Word of God
Sometimes I wonder what I might say if I were to meet you in person Lord. I think I might say "Thank You Lord" for always being there for me. I know with certainty there were times when you carried me, Lord. When it was through your strength I got through the dark times in my life.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Meditation: Matthew 28:8-15
Monday within the Octave of Easter
Go tell my brothers. (Matthew 28:10)
Even though your celebration of Easter probably took place in a packed church, that's not how it all started two thousand years ago. It began when two women ran from an empty tomb to tell their friends that Jesus had been raised from the dead. It began with the announcement of the good news—first to Mary Magdalene and her companion, and then to the eleven apostles. In fact, the angel's instructions to share the good news were so important that Jesus himself appeared and gave the same command: "Go tell my brothers" (Matthew 28:10).
What if the women had kept the news to themselves? What if fear of the authorities had trumped their excitement? Your life would be quite different today, wouldn't it?
Think back to your first encounter with Jesus. Didn't another person play some part in introducing you to him? That person was following the angel's words! In his apostolic exhortation On Evangelization in the Modern World, Pope Paul VI made the same point: "In the long run, is there any other way of handing on the gospel than by transmitting to another person one's personal experience of faith?" (46). Everything depends on evangelization!
Of course, we need to have that personal experience before we can pass it on. We need to be able to demonstrate a life filled with the hope and joy of the resurrection. We need to be just different enough to prompt people to ask us, "Why are you so peaceful? What's your secret?" Then, as St. Peter said, we can "be ready" to answer these questions with humility and enthusiasm
(1 Peter 3:15).
Have you encountered the risen Lord? Then "run," just as Mary Magdalene did, to tell people about him. The fact that people still deny Jesus' resurrection, as the chief priests did, shouldn't scare you. Before he gave his command to Mary Magdalene, Jesus told her, "Do not be afraid" (Matthew 28:10). Let the good news of the empty tomb empower you. Let your own experience of his love give you confidence. You have the light of the gospel within you. Now, go!
"Lord, I praise you for sharing with me the greatest good news there is: the message of new life now and eternal life with you forever. Give me the courage and zeal to share that message with everyone I meet."
Acts 2:14, 22-33; Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11
Imagine that today the Lord rose from the dead, from the tomb. Normally our lives are based on Sunday and going to Church on Sunday. But because He rose on the "Sabbath" a Saturday, now the new day to honor is the next day, the new Sabbath. That's what God did, died Friday, left alone on the Sabbath, and rose on the "first day of the week" Sunday. Easter is now, and will be for 50 days in the Catholic Liturgical calendar. Now we have reason to celebrate. Why? For what? Jesus is alive! ALELUYA! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! The women that were at His feet at the cross were among the first to see the Lord alive, but in the glorious form. The last to see him were the ones that were afraid to be with Him at the cross for fear of their own lives. But I take great courage from this. To know that even though I have done wrong, or been afraid before, now, Jesus will meet us, those who seek Him STILL; this inflames the heart and soul like nothing else. This is true fuel for the fire of Love. If I've ever doubted, there is no reason to doubt now. This is where we are in the life of Jesus, at a point of either:
This is where we fit in the world, and in the Bible. And yes, we ALL fit, but do we all want to? This is God's question. He sent the women and the disciples to Galilee. Why there? I'm not completely sure, but we do know that He spent much of his time there, and there He would feed them in the thousands with the miracle of the bread and fish. Now, He would make the disciples, including the women, fishers of men evangelizing, and providing them with the bread from Heaven, because He would now serve them from Heaven, break bread with them in the new Life, the new Covenant, through Him, with Him, and all of Him. As a matter of fact, many times He would appear from here on out and the disciples would not even recognize Him half of the time, that is, until He broke bread with them. When we partake of the Eucharist, it helps us to recognize Jesus in our lives. When you have this recognition, you have this sight. Over this Easter weekend, something peculiar struck me, as I pondered the Kingdom of God. Most often it is felt among the people, or a place. And I realized something, because how can it be everywhere I go? It is in the heart. No more walls or buildings, no more things to keep it down, not sin, not death. What God did is truly amazing, He went from what we see, to what we do not see, from what is apparent, to what is at the core, He goes from the outside in. The Holy Sacraments work in this manner. What we see on the outside is an inward sign of faith. When I seek, and when I believe is tied as one truth. Never stop seeking Him, because the day we stop seeking, we stop seeing. For those that truly seek, there is not enough to seek because you keep finding. That's what drives prospectors crazy with "gold fever", only this is more precious, His blood is most precious, that is why Our Mother Mary soaked it all up from the steps Jesus took during and after His Passion, she sought every last bit of Him even after He rose, always with Him in her heart. That is what a truly disciple and lover of Christ is to be, completely consumed with Him, and if this becomes a reality, you will begin to see Him in the people, to the point where you will let them beat you. A man of courage and strength will let Himself be beat up for those doing the beatings. Humility? You heard it right...JESUS. Obedience? That is for the disciple following the discipline to do...and we let the Holy Spirit do the leading