He knew it then...
and He knows it now...
"...a hermit of the Lebanese mountain is inscribed in the number of the blessed, a new eminent member of monastic sanctity is enriching, by his example and his intercession, the entire Christian people. May he make us understand, in a world largely fascinated by wealth and comfort, the paramount value of poverty, penance and asceticism, to liberate the soul in its ascent to God..."Many miracles are attributed to this saint and the story of the days leading up to his death on Christmas Eve 1898 is just amazing. Here is an excerpt from Fr. Mansour Awad's Three Lights From the East:
Father Charbel spent the night before Christmas, 1898 in church, following his usual custom of twenty-three years, ever since he became a hermit at the hermitage of Saints Peter and Paul on the mountain of Annays. He did not waver from this praiseworthy custom. But that last night, he was lying down, neither awake, nor praying, nor meditating; he was asleep, sleeping the sleep of death. His soul, however, was with God, quite awake, in the eternal awakening. This was the last night Father Charbel would spend in the church of Saints Peter and Paul. Contrary to his custom and for the first time, Father Charbel was lying on the floor, over the mat of hair, with his face exposed.Just from doing the little bit of research for this post, I know I will be reading more about this saint of my heritage as well as adding him to my circle of heavenly helpers.
Please note that people never saw his face when he was alive. He always kept his head down in church, at work or when walking, always looking to the ground. He would lift his eyes only to heaven. When in church, he always faced the altar with his eyes fixed on the tabernacle. However, when he died and was Lying face upward, his eyes were closed, still not looking at anyone, exactly as in his lifetime. Holding vigil at the body of the Servant of God in church, were his companions of the hermitage, Father Macarius Mishmshany, and Brother Francis of Artaba, along with a group of monks from the monastery of St. Maron. As soon as they learned of the passing of Father Charbel they rushed to the hermitage to kiss his hands and to be blessed by touching his body while bidding him farewell. Many spent most of the night kneeling near him, praying. You can read the rest here.
"Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. "But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare; for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth. But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man."
(Luke 21:34~36)Each of us is living in this particular day and time for a very good and specific reason. The coming days may not be pretty, and they can be scary, but as a fellow blogger reminded me, sin is scarier! So we here in this time, who love and strive to follow Our Lord, need to be vigilant in our prayer and watchfulness. God will give us the grace we need just as He did to the countless saints before us. He doesn't plant us on this earth and then just say: there you go, you're on your own. He wants us to depend on Him and trust Him. Yes, He will give the grace, but it is up to us to cooperate with it.
"My Daughter. Speak to the world about My Mercy; let all mankind recognize my unfathomable Mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them. (Diary 848, p.333)So let us be like the ten wise virgins with our oil lamps filled, and wait in prayerful vigil for the Bridegroom.
Elisabeth Leseur once made this comment in her writings: "The suffering sent by God that I offer to Him is the fact that among all the friends surrounding me, I have no one to whom I can totally open my heart... who might understand and help me." (from Magnificat's Meditation of the Day)The rest of the reflection goes on to say how she puts her trust in God and that He is the one to whom she can always pour out her heart and soul.
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.