Growing Apologist

Becoming a Defender of Truth

Five Quick Lessons From a Saint

 “Fight all error, but do it with good humor, kindness, and love. Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause.”  ~St. John of Kanty

St. John of Kanty

Here are five quick facts about St. John of Kanty and the example he sets for all believers.

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Who is This Man?

  • St. John of Kanty was born on June 23, 1390 in Kanty, Silesia, Poland. His parents recognized the quick, kind intelligence of their son and sent him to the University of Cracow where he earned a doctorate in philosophy. He was ordained priest and given a position to teach at the university.

  • He was well liked by the students which bothered his superiors at the college. Falsely accused of doing wrong, he was sent to be a parish priest at Olkusz, a diocese of Krakow. Being frightened of the responsibilities of a parish priest, it took some time for him to win the hearts of the town people, but he eventually did through love.

  • A legend says that as some people robbed St. John of Kanty, they asked him if that was everything, and he replied yes. After the robbers left, he remembered some gold that he had sewn into his clothes. He tracked the robbers down and insisted that they took the gold as well. Shocked, the robbers refused and then gave him back all that they took.

  • St. John of Kanty lived on the bare minimum he needed in order to survive, giving everything else to the poor. He would go as far as to give the very dinner he was eating to a passing beggar (only to return to find his plate miraculously re-filled).

  • He died on December 24, 1473 and was canonized in 1676 with his feast day set to December 23. St. John of Kanty is the patron saint of Poland.

Prayer

“Grant, we pray, almighty God, that by the example of the Priest Saint John of Kanty, we may advance in knowledge of holy things, and by showing compassion to all, may gain forgiveness in your sight. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.” [1]

References

[1] Optional Memorial of St. John of Kanty, priest, Catholic Culture 

[2] St. John of Kanty, Catholic Online

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Love Came Down

A reflection on love and relationships in light of Jesus

Holding Hands shadow on sand

If there is anything that I’m learning that is a matter of importance, it is that love is rough. It is one of the hardest things that a person can do, especially all giving love. I do not have any kids of my own. I am not married. But I have this man, whom I adore, and as I wait for him to present me with a ring, I realize that there will be never anything harder to do than always fully giving myself over to the love that is between us.

I struggle everyday to set aside my more difficult traits for him. I know that I could go to a jewelry store and find the perfect ring. I could get what I desire most, propose to him, and take care of it so that it would never plague me again. But I realize that this is not the love that we are supposed to have for each other. I am not even sure that it could be called love. It would be me pushing events in the manner and timing of my choosing merely because I couldn’t suffer waiting any longer. It would be taking the easy way out.

The love that we feel, between the BF and I, between the parent and the child, more importantly between husband and wife, it is a very minor reflection of God’s love and endurance for us. I have a hard time setting aside my controlling behaviors for the man I know very dearly, the man who I profess my love for. And yet Love came down from heaven with an even greater purpose—a purpose to redeem all of mankind—to suffer incredible pain that would have killed any other person time and again before they even reached the cross.

Jesus didn’t just love us. He was human, and yet he was able to set aside his humanity in order to do the Lord’s bidding. Jesus suffered greatly for us. He knew what was coming and he still did not run, push it aside, or take the easy way out, because he is love. Loving people and being in relationships is not easy at all, but we have an amazing intercessor that is willing to help us understand just what love endure. Who better to show us how to set aside our wants, desires and emotions for the well being of our love ones?

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Jesus, Bring the Rain

My family has just made it through an ordeal, one that I don’t wish to describe here in detail.  This is for their sake because while I do play a part in that story, I’m not really a main character in it and so it is not my story to tell, beyond the fact that it was a true struggle and involved financial stability.  During this struggle, it truly gave me an appreciation for my past and for my own struggles that I went through as I wrestled like Jacob with God years ago.  It imparted on me some understanding of the purpose behind the suffering.  God did not create us to suffer, but starting with the choices that Adam and Eve made, suffering came into the world by our own free will. 

It is not an easy lesson to learn or to accept, but I think that without learning this lesson, one cannot be granted peace in every circumstance.  Now obviously I have not really learned this lesson, because while like the song ‘Bring the Rain’ from Mercy Me, my soul cries ‘I am Yours regardless of The dark clouds that may loom above’, I still struggle with ordeals and suffering.  I still haven’t learned to cast all my burdens to the Lord, and I worry and fret over my family and mine circumstances.  But every test that the Lord brings before me, either the tests that I personally experience or the tests that my family and friends go through, it imparts on me a little more understanding, and a little more wisdom.  It is this that I seek to remember, when I am presented with a new challenge of discomfort.  Like a ton of bricks, the song lyrics from Mercy Me hit me on my way to work this morning, and it was something that I wanted to share with you.

I hope too that you my readers also learn this lesson at the pace that the Lord grants you and that in your suffering you can learn to turn to God and give him your trust. 

‘Bring the Rain’ by Mercy Me
I can count a million times People asking me how I Can praise You with all that I’ve gone through The question just amazes me Can circumstances possibly Change who I forever am in You Maybe since my life was changed Long before these rainy days It’s never really ever crossed my mind To turn my back on you, oh Lord My only shelter from the storm But instead I draw closer through these times So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace Bring the chance to be free Bring me anything that brings You glory And I know there’ll be days When this life brings me pain But if that’s what it takes to praise You Jesus, bring the rain   I am Yours regardless of The dark clouds that may loom above Because You are much greater than my pain You who made a way for me By suffering Your destiny So tell me what’s a little rain So I pray Holy, holy, holy  Is the Lord God Almighty

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