Wednesday, April 2, 2014

St. Peter Regulatus

Happy Feast of St. Peter Regulatus!

St. Peter Regulatus was born in Spain to a noble family.  At the age of 13, he joined the local Franciscan Order.  After many years he moved to the monastery at Tribulos.  He he was known for his severe asceticism (an absence of worldly pleasures: restraints of body, speech, mind and wealth), as well as his abilities to levitate and enter into ecstasies (reduced external awareness & increased internal/spiritual awareness, often including visions).  He brought needed reforms to the monastery as abbot and promoted reforms in other Franciscian houses.  He was an extreme follower of the community rules (thus the name Regulatus).

Here we are again.  I guess there is truly a saint for everyone to relate to, but this one is not one I can relate to.  Don't get me wrong, I can respect him for his abilities that I don't possess, but I cannot relate.  I am not one of asceticism (hope you realize, I had to look that up, I had no clue!).  I give up at lent, I don't go to extreme, but I don't live off bread and water alone and I am certainly not the person who holds back my mind or my speech very often.  I simply am not that person.  I really do not understand the levitating or ecstasy thing.  Maybe if I spoke to someone who had experienced that or understood it better, but I cannot understand it at this time (it was not taught in the Methodist Church, nor was it covered in RCIA).  Then we come to his extreme following of the rules.  Wow....I'm really bombing on this one, but I do have a child who is an extreme follower of the rules.  It drives me a little batty to be honest.  I love him, but there is no wiggle room at all!

I finally looked for stories about Peter and found one which I can really appreciate.  Peter lived off of bread and water most of his life and gave most of what he had to the poor and needy.  It is said that he would hand out all of the bread he possessed, but the bread wouldn't run out as long as there was still a person in need waiting to be fed.  That is amazing!  That is what I will take from St. Peter Regulatus and try to implement.  I want to be more giving of what I have.  I want to help others in need, not just giving to the thrift store or donating to worthy causes, but being the hands and feet of Christ in our world.

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