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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Today is the Feast of St. Rita of Cascia

What a great saint! She lived in 14th century Italy, a time when great factions engaged in open violence. Her husband, watchman for the town, was attacked and killed one night by a rival faction. Afraid that her twin teenage sons would avenge their father's death, she prayed for peace and that God would prevent them engaging in a vendetta killing. Both boys died a short while later from natural causes. While Rita mourned the loss of her husband and sons, she was at peace knowing the sin of murder was not on their consciences.

Rita wished to enter the Augustinian order but there were many sisters of the opposite faction so she was refused. She set about working to establish peace between the two groups and was so successful all objections to her entry were removed.

She is one of the saints to pray to for what seem like impossible causes. In that vein, let us pray that she will intervene in our poor divided nation to bring about peace.

While we can never ignore differences based on morality or pretend that evil is really good, we can treat every person with whom we come in contact with respect and charity. Sinners will never be won over by hate and condemnation. Jesus gave us the way when he asked the woman taken in adultery, "Has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you. Go in peace, but from now on avoid this sin." We too, while we recognize certain behavior as sinful, can love the sinner and pray for his strength against temptation. After all, hasn't each of us struggled against temptation" It is only by God's grace that the enemy can be defeated. St. Rita, pray for us. For more about St. Rita go here.

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