Feast of Martin de Porres
This is the feast day of Martin de Porres (1579-1639). "Martin of charity" he was called, born of mixed race, in Lima, Peru. At the age of twelve his mother sent him to a barber-surgeon to "learn the art of medicine" as it was known in the day. One commentator described his experience as "learning the art of healing."
Initially, Martin became a "lay helper" in the Dominican order. His spiritual routine of prayer, sacrifice and availability to the poor, led his religious brothers to encourage him to become a vowed religious. He lived the Word: "Your kindness should be known to all–the Lord is near," (Philippians 4:5) by making himself available to slaves and other marginal people. This was his "art" and God’s grace working through him.
Do I work at the art or craft to which God has called me to make God’s Presence "known to all?" Do I pray for that particular grace and skill? Am I accepting of whatever way, as humbling as it may appear, the Lord wants me to manifest His love?
Lord, what do you want of me today? I am totally open to your inspiration and guidance.
Fr. Alex Steinmiller, C.P. is president of Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School, Birmingham, Alabama.