The CAPG's Blog

Tuesday March 24, 2020

Bishop England

It was, (...), when Charleston was scourged by disease that the charity and heroism of the bishop were put to the test. "When that frightful scourge," writes W.G.Read, "the yellow fever, desolated Charleston, he was ever at his post." This is nothing new or strange to those who know the Catholic Priesthood. But when the Protestants of Charleston saw this apostolic man hurrying under the fiery noons of August and September, or the deadly midnight dew, to assist and console the victim of the plague, usually of the humblest and the poorest, they could not but exclaim, in the sincerity of their wonder and admiration: "This is Christian charity!"

"A near relative of mine, speaking of him to me, said: "I met him one forenoon, while the fever was at its highest, brushing along through, perhaps, the hottest street in the city. When I tell you he was blazing, I do not exaggerate - he was literally blazing! The fire sparkled from his cheeks, and flashed from his eyes! I shook hands with him, and as we parted, I thought to myself, my dear fellow, you will soon have enough of this!"

"But his work was not yet done. No! Season after season, amid vice, squalidity, and wretchedness, where intemperance, perhaps, kept maudlin watch by the dying and the dead; while the sob of sorrow was broken by the shriek of destitution and despair - there still stood Bishop England, the priest, the father, and the friend - to assure the penitent - to alarm the sinner - to pity and to succor - baptized again and again - unto his holy function, in that frightful black vomit - the direct symptom of the malady!"

Source: Trials and Triumphs of the Catholic Church in America by P.J. Mahon, James M. Hayes

Day 29 – March 24 - On Envy

Envy is a sadness which we feel on account of the good that happens to our neighbor.

Envy, my children, follows pride; whoever is envious is proud. See, envy comes to us from Hell; the devils having sinned through pride, sinned also through envy, envying our glory, our happiness. Why do we envy the happiness and the goods of others? Because we are proud; we should like to be the sole possessors of talents, riches, of the esteem and love of all the world! We hate our equals, because they are our equals; our inferiors, from the fear that they may equal us; our superiors, because they are above us. In the same way, my children, that the devil after his fall felt, and still feels, extreme anger at seeing us the heirs of the glory of the good God, so the envious man feels sadness at seeing the spiritual and temporal prosperity of his neighbor.

We walk, my children, in the footsteps of the devil; like him, we are vexed at good, and rejoice at evil. If our neighbor loses anything, if his affairs go wrong, if he is humbled, if he is unfortunate, we are joyful... we triumph! The devil, too, is full of joy and triumph when we fall, when he can make us fall as low as himself. What does he gain by it? Nothing. Shall we be richer, because our neighbor is poorer? Shall we be greater, because he is less? Shall we be happier, because he is more unhappy? O my children! how much we are to be pitied for being like this! St. Cyprian said that other evils had limits, but that envy had none. In fact, my children, the envious man invents all sorts of wickedness; he has recourse to evil speaking, to calumny, to cunning, in order to blacken his neighbor; he repeats what he knows, and what he does not know he invents, he exaggerates....

Through the envy of the devil, death entered into the world; and also through envy we kill our neighbor; by dint of malice, of falsehood, we make him lose his reputation, his place.... Good Christians, my children, do not do so; they envy no one; they love their neighbor; they rejoice at the good that happens to him, and they weep with him if any misfortune comes upon him. How happy should we be if we were good Christians. Ah! my children, let us, then, be good Christians and we shall no more envy the good fortune of our neighbor; we shall never speak evil of him; we shall enjoy a sweet peace; our soul will be calm; we shall find paradise on earth.

Source: Lenten Reading plan: Daily readings from St. John Vianney, Patron of Parish Priests, by Fr. Bryan W. Jerabek