Wednesday Eleventh Week Ordinary Time at Ferdinand Benedictines
[Scripture Readings: 2 Cor 9:6-11; Mt.6:1-6, 16-18 ]
St. Romuald, born in 956, indulged in the pleasures of the world common in every century. One day this twenty year old Italian boy witnessed a duel between his father and a relative. His father won, but Romuald was struck to the heart at their relative's death. He fled to a Benedictine community near Ravenna to do penace by prayer and fasting. There he discovered his vocation to be a monk and was eventually elected abbot at the age of 40. But after three years some of the monks found him to be uncomfortably holy and eased him out. Let newly elected leaders take warning!
As often happens, God used this rejection for the renewal of monastic life in Italy. Romuald was inspired to establish his own monastic order, the Camaldolese, commited to prayer and penance. In his Brief Rule he writes: “Sit in your cell as in paradise. Put the whole world behind you… realize above all that you are in God;s presence… empty youself completely, and sit waiting, content with the grace of God.”
Romuald spent the next thirty years of his life founding monasteries in both Italy and France. At one of them he was accused of a scandalous crime by a young nobleman whom he had rebuked for a dissolute life. Amazingly, his fellow monks believed the accusation. Romuald was given a severe penance, forbidden to offer Mass and was excommunicated. It was an injustice that he bore in patience and silence for half a year until he was exonerated.
Romuald's father, Sergius, was so moved by the example of his son, that he also became a monk, living and dying a holy life. in penance for the crime he had committed. The saints did not have easy lives, did they? Let us bear our little burdens not only patiently but with joy, knowing that our small intercessory sufferings are treasures that can bear great fruit.