“The more hidden the better. Thank God, for Your hidden life” Father John Hardon SJ
The Vision of the Blessed Alfonso Rodriguez, Zurbaran
This devout man, following the deaths of his wife and three children, resolved to enter Holy Orders. Lacking the education to train as a priest, he was admitted to the Jesuit Order as a lay brother and was sent to a new Jesuit college in Majorca, where he spent the nest forty-five years as a doorkeeper. In this humble position, he became a source of spiritual support and care for all, believing that every time he heard the bell ring, God was standing outside. His devotion to God and to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary caused him to have a profound impact on those with he served, including Saint Peter Claver. Despite his severe self-mortification and the many pitfalls and trials that he encountered, he was noted for his humility, total obedience, love and charity and for his preaching. The point is well-made, that although the heroic saints attract our attention and devotion, we can also serve in smaller callings and in suffering the ordinary trials and temptations of a fallen world.
In Honour Of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
Laybrother of the Society of Jesus
Honour is flashed off exploit, so we say;
And those strokes once that gashed flesh or galled shield
Should tongue that time now, trumpet now that field,
And, on the fighter, forge his glorious day.
On Christ they do and on the martyr may;
But be the war within, the brand we wield
Unseen, the heroic breast not outward-steeled,
Earth hears no hurtle then from fiercest fray.
Yet God (that hews mountain and continent,
Earth, all, out; who, with trickling increment,
Veins violets and tall trees makes more and more)
Could crowd career with conquest while there went
Those years and years by of world without event
That in Majorca Alfonso watched the door.
Gerard Manley Hopkins