Benedictus Deus

Benedictum Nomen Sanctum eius


Filed under: Liturgical Calendar,Time After Pentecost — November 11, 2008 @ 9:40 am

St. MartinToday is the Feast of St. Martin.  This was one of the greatest Feast days in Europe, rivaling even the Nativity of John the Baptist.  It was kept as a holy day of obligation in France (I don’t know if it still is, but I doubt it).  Due to its proximity to harvest time it was kind of like a European Thanksgiving day.  Here is my post from last year, but I want to make one correction.  In the story of St. Martin’s cloak he was already a catechumen, he did not wait until after his vision of Christ to decide to convert as indicated in my summary.  Also if anyone knows of any other St. Marin songs I would like to hear about them.

In the Liturgical Year Dom Gueranger mentions the many miracles of St. Martin and their role in the conversion of pagan Gaul.  Quoting Cardinal Pie he points out that so much is made of reasoning with people about the faith these days.  But in the Gospels and throughout history it has always been God’s awesome miracles that have the most impact.  God does not deign to reason with us.  He tells us what is, and what is not and He exacts faith in his Word.  God backs up his revelation not with reasoned discourses, but by wondrous works such as those that punctuated St. Martin’s life and were so prevelant throughout history around his tomb.

I used to be really into apologetics because I like to reason things out, and I always just assumed that other people did too.  I figured that if I could make a tightly reasoned case for my beliefs, then surely people would convert.  I’m sure it would be no surprise to learn I never convinced anyone to convert.  I couldn’t even get liberal Catholics to straighten out!  (In my defense I was pretty much blindsided by the whole concept of ‘liberal catholics’ so I was completely unprepared).  Of all the converts I know few, if any reasoned their way into the Church.  Almost all of them converted because of an experience, or some example (like Mother Thersea).  The fact is most people don’t like to reason things out all that much.  Or it comes more as a secondary thing.  Apologetics has its place, but I think mostly it serves just to help remove some stumbling blocks for the unbeliever.

We would do well to remember that it is the example we set and the holiness of our lives that will be the only message most people get regarding our faith.  For the most part, it doesn’t matter how rational our explinations are or how eloquently expressed.  The proof is in the pudding as they say.  God knows it, and we should too.

Today I will pray to St. Marin to help  me be better example, and to live a more holy life.  I will also apologize profusley for once again failing to plan anything special for his feast day!  As King Clovis said, “How can we hope for victory, when we have offended Blessed Martin?”

Have a blessed St. Marin’s Day!

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