SEPTEMBER 23 – ST. THECLA, VIRGIN, MARTYR.
ST. THECLA is one of the most ancient, as she is one of the most illustrious, Saints in the calendar of the Church. It was at Iconium that St. Paul met St. Thecla, and kindled the love of virginity in her heart. She had been promised in marriage to a young man who was rich and generous. But at the Apostle’s words she died to the thought of earthly espousals; she forgot her beauty; she was deaf to her parents’ threats, and at the first opportunity she fled from a luxurious home and followed St. Paul. The rage of her parents and of her intended spouse followed hard upon her; and the Roman power did its worst against the virgin whom Christ had chosen for His own. She was stripped and placed in the public theatre; but her innocence shrouded her like a garment. Then the lions were let loose against her; they fell crouching at her feet, and licked them as if in veneration. Even fire could not harm her. Torment after torment was inflicted upon her without effect, till at last her Spouse spoke the word and called her to Himself, with the double crown of virginity and martyrdom on her head.
REFLECTION: It is purity in soul and body which will make you strong in pain, in temptation, and in the hour of death. Imitate the purity of this glorious virgin, and take her for your special patroness in your last agony.
WORD OF THE DAY
GRAVE SIN. The transgression of a divine law in a grievous matter with full knowledge and consent.
The matter may be serious either in itself (as blasphemy) or because of the circumstances (as striking one’s father or mother) or on account of its purpose (as telling a lie in order to destroy a person’s character). Sufficient knowledge of the serious nature of a sinful action is present if one is clearly conscious that the act is mortally sinful, say because the Scriptures or the Church identify certain acts as seriously offensive to God. It is enough that one knows that what one intends to do may be a mortal sin, but does it anyhow. Indifference to the laws of God is equivalent to disobeying them.
Full consent is present when one freely wills to commit an action although one clearly knows it is gravely sinful. No sin is committed if one does not will the deed, no matter how clear one’s knowledge may be. After all, the essence of sin is in the free will. Thus, too, a person does not sin who, with the best of will, cannot dispel obscene or blasphemous thoughts and desires, even though he or she well knows they are gravely sinful. The resolution to perform an action is not the same as the pleasure or satisfaction experienced in the emotions, nor the same as a compulsive idea, “I like the sin.” One sign of partial knowledge or not full consent would be the fact that a person does not complete an action when this can easily be done, or is so minded that the person would rather die than commit a grave sin.Modern Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John Hardon SJ (Get the real one at Eternal Life — don’t accept an abridged or edited version of this masterpiece!)
This article, SEPTEMBER 23 – ST. THECLA, VIRGIN, MARTYR. is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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