06 June Saint of the day

Saint of the day

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06-06

June 6

 St. Norbert

 (1080?-1134)

Friends sometimes jokingly mangle the name of the Premonstratensians into “Monstrous Pretensions,” just as the Franciscan O.F.M. is said to mean “Out For Money.” The name actually derives from Premontre, the region of France where Norbert established this Order in the 12th century.

Recalling the nickname, Norbert’s founding of the Order was in truth a monstrous task: combating rampant heresies (particularly regarding the Blessed Sacrament), revitalizing many of the faithful who had grown indifferent and dissolute, plus effecting peace and reconciliation among enemies.

Norbert entertained no pretensions about his own ability to accomplish this multiple task. Even with the aid of a goodly number of men who joined his Order, he realized that nothing could be effectively done without God’s power. Finding this help especially in devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, he and his Norbertines praised God for success in converting heretics, reconciling numerous enemies and rebuilding faith in indifferent believers.

Reluctantly, Norbert became archbishop of Magdeburg in central Germany, a territory half pagan and half Christian. In this position he zealously and courageously continued his work for the Church until his death on June 6, 1134.

Comment:

A different world cannot be built by indifferent people. The same is true in regard to the Church. Sad to say, the so-called updating of the Church has not engendered the different Church which was so devoutly and hopefully envisioned by Vatican Council II. A principal reason for this failure was—and is—the indifference of vast numbers of nominal faithful, their indifference to ecclesiastical authority and essential doctrines of the faith. Unswerving loyalty to the Church and fervent devotion to the Eucharist, as practiced by Norbert, will continue immeasurably towards maintaining the people of God in accord with the heart of Christ.

Quote:

On the occasion of his ordination to the priesthood, Norbert said, “O Priest! You are not yourself because you are God. You are not of yourself because you are the servant and minister of Christ. You are not your own because you are the spouse of the Church. You are not yourself because you are the mediator between God and man. You are not from yourself because you are nothing. What then are you? Nothing and everything. O Priest! Take care lest what was said to Christ on the cross be said to you: ‘He saved others, himself he cannot save!'”

Produced by the Franciscans and St. Anthony Messenger Press (www.franciscanradio.org)

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