Today is the feast day of St. Peter Chrysologus (c. 380–c. 450), Doctor of the Church and bishop of Ravenna.  He was known for his excellent sermons; Chrysologus means something like “golden word” or “golden-worded.”

I found a wonderful speech he gave about prayer, fasting, and mercy:

There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant, and virtue endures. They are prayer, fasting and mercy. Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives. Prayer, mercy and fasting: these three are one, and they give life to each other.

Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. Let no one try to separate them; they cannot be separated. If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others you open God’s ear to yourself.

When you fast, see the fasting of others. If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry. If you hope for mercy, show mercy. If you look for kindness, show kindness. If you want to receive, give. If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery.

Let this be the pattern for all men when they practice mercy: show mercy to others in the same way, with the same generosity, with the same promptness, as you want others to show mercy to you.

Therefore, let prayer, mercy and fasting be one single plea to God on our behalf, one speech in our defense, a threefold united prayer in our favor.

It’s a good reminder that fasting is not only for Lent!

Yesterday was the feast day of one of my dearest friends in Heaven, St. Martha.  She’s Patron Saint of homemakers, cooks, laundry workers, and other domestic kinds of people.  She’s also Patron Saint of single laywomen–which, of course, makes her very special to me!  As my Patron Saint for 2008, she did help me grow my own domestic skills.  Julie has written a wonderful post about St. Martha.

I just realized that I missed the feast day of my Patron Saint for 2009, St. Jason!  His feast day was 12 July.  *sigh*  I’m such a bad protegée!  But I think I have been learning a lot from him.