"Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me."
St. Lawrence, who was a deacon during the Roman Empire, knew that he was going to get martyred like Pope St. Sixtus II under the emperor Valerian. Lawrence was in charge of the church's material goods and he knew that Valerian was sending his guard to confiscate them. So he rounded up all of the goods of the church and gave them to the poor. When the Roman guard came asking for all of the riches of the church, Lawrence said that he would have to inventory and gather them together and that would take some time. Lawrence gathered together all of the poor, sick, lepers and when the guard came back he declared them the "riches of the church". The guard said that Lawrence would die because of this inch by inch. He was placed on a bed of coals as the picture shows above. He blessed the coals and his persecutors. Then after a while he said his famous line, "Turn Me Over, This Side is Well Done." St. Lawrence's feast day is August 10th.
We are in a spiritual battle now in our time in areas of social justice, health care practices, abortion and other areas in which the governing powers are in a different philosophy with the church.
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago during his homily for the feast of St. John the Baptist said that he is turning 75 and will be retiring. His predecessors all died in office. He said the next archbishop of Chicago will probably be imprisoned and the his follower will be martyred. We may be facing the same question that St. Lawrence faced at the time of his service. Will we have the strength to accept death for our faith?
Prayer: Let us pray for the fortitude to stand firm and steadfast in witness to the faith, and in witness to the truth like St. Lawrence did. May the Lord rouse His mighty power and come swiftly to our aid.
Promise: I promise to put my faith first, in all situations.
Praise: We offer great praise to God for servants such as St. Lawrence and Cardinal Francis George who give their lives in service.