Wednesday, March 12, 2014

St. Fina

Happy Feast of St. Fina!

Saint Fina was a beautiful young woman who came into her family at a time when they were poor (from the accounts I read, it didn't seem to have always been that way).  She, like many other saints we have read about, was extremely giving.  Although she had very little, she saved some of what she had for those less fortunate than herself.  This is not where her sainthood lies though.  Her father dies while she is still young and near the same time, she is struck by a sudden illness, which leaves her paralyzed.  She he is forced to lay on a plank (yes, a stiff board) for 6 years unable to move.  During which time she is often left alone while her mom goes to work or begs.  She is also covered in what seem to be hideous sores, which transpose her beauty into something that her neighbors and friends do not want to see.  This leaves her alone for long stretches of time.  During this time she keeps her eyes fixed on the cross and repeated "It is not my wounds but thine, O Christ, that hurt me".  What would happen to a young girl in this position?  I would have prayed for a miracle, honestly, I know I am not a strong as St. Fina.  At this point her mother suddenly dies, leaving her totally and completely alone.  Only one friend would still come and attend to her, Beldia. Fina and Beldia spoke of St. Gregory the Great and his sufferings, so Fina began to pray for his intercession. She prayed for peace in her affliction.  St. Gregory came to her and told her she would be given rest on his feast day.  On that day, they found her dead.  When they removed her from her plank, they found it covered in white violets.  The entire town attended her funeral, at which were noted many miracles.  One of which was St. Fina, dead, reaching up and healing her friend, Beldia's hurt arm.  

As I have already said, I'm not anywhere as strong as St. Fina.  I would love to say, that any time I have been ailing, I didn't complain, but that would be an all out lie.  I complain, I fuss and I don't resemble her in the least.  She is a great example of a peaceful illness.  Not peaceful as in lack of pain and suffering, but peaceful in heart and spirit.  While I pray I never have an extended illness or die a slow and lingering death, I pray that if I do, if I ever have to face my mortality in that manner I can do it with the same grace that St. Fina did.  I pray I can accept God's will in every aspect of my life, especially those areas that are the most difficult to accept His will in. I pray that God will lead my life, and that more importantly, I ALLOW God to lead my life.  I'm sure this has always been an issue, but for me it seems to be so difficult.  Our world tells us to grab the bull by the horns and take charge.  Stepping back is quite a leap and quite our of character for our society.  This Lent, I vow more than every to accept God's will with more grace and acceptance than I ever have and to do so with a happy heart.  

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