Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18
Your typical reflection for today would most likely center itself around a panegyric to the lives of Ss. Peter and Paul. However I would like to take a bit of a different stance. I have learned that the martyrs teach us not only how to die for our faith but also how to live it. So instead of reflecting on the lives and martyrdom of these early leaders of the nascent Christian community in Rome, I would like to share with you the life lessons learned by one of their illustrious descendants: "il papa buono" Blessed Pope John XIII.
Here are Pope John XXIII’s 10 lessons to living a better life here and now!
1. Only for today, I will seek to live the day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.
2. Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.
3. Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.
4. Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.
5. Only for today, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.
6. Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.
7. Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.
8. Only for today, I will make a plan for myself, I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.
9. Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one who exists in this world.
10. Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness.
The list is simple yet challenging and incredibly profound. We pray on this Feast of the Apostles, Peter and Paul and also through the intercession of Blessed John XXIII that we might try to imitate their lives of faith so that we too might merit their eternal glory in Christ.
Patrick Quinn ([email protected]) is the director of Planned Giving at the Passionist Development Office in Chicago.