The medieval Italian bishop St. Peter Damian( 1007 -1 072) was born in Ravenna, where his mothers died when he was still young. Peter was first left with an older brother, who was very unkind and neglectful; later another brother cared for him, and arranged for him to be well educated. Peter became a professor, and in 1035 he joined the Benedictine Order.
Peter soon gained a reputation for being generous to the poor; it was his custom to invite one or two poor persons to share his snacks. In the convent Peter practised severe punishments, travelling long periods without food or sleep and spend hours in prayer.
Eventually Peter became abbot of the monastery and dedicated himself to fostering spiritual reform and renewal. The pope frequently asked him to mediate in disputes involving different convents or disagreements between local religious and government officials. Peter was then appointed bishop of Ostia( the port metropoli of Rome ), where he was vigorous in his efforts at reform; he reinstated discipline among his clergy and promoted a simpler, more spiritual lifestyle for his people.
He wrote many notes and speeches, but throughout this period he desired to return to the monastic lifetime. This request was finally granted, but he was still called to serve as a papal legate from time to time. After returning from one such assignment, Peter was overcome by a fever. With his monks met around him in prayer, St. Peter Damian died on February 22, 1072; in 1828 he was declared a Doctor( an pre-eminent and reliable educator) of the Church.
1. Personal experiences of sustaining should construct us sympathetic to others in need; St. Peter’s difficult childhood stimulated him particularly mindful of the poor and lowly.
2. Holiness requires us to be both firm and gentle. St. Peter had a reputation for being quite impatient and critical with those who took belief casually, but he could also be very consoling and encouraging to those experiencing impediment or sorrow.
From Johnnette Benkovic’s Graceful Living: Meditations to Help You Grow Closer to God Day by Day
” In tranquility, look forward to the joy that follows sadness. Hope makes “youre going to” that exultation and love enkindles your ardor .”
–From a letter of St. Peter Damien
The letter to the Hebrews tells us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”( 11:1 ). How does this help me live out the advice of St. Peter Damien?
Read more: feedproxy.google.com