November 5, 2014 by lucieromarin
Okay, so you know how it’s possible to feel hard-done-by when you look back on your youth and think about the awful sermons, or the worthless vocations talks, or whatever constitutes your particular gripe, and you ask yourself how you can possibly be expected to maintain a spirit of optimism or hope about your future, never mind overcoming the disadvantages of your upbringing?
Forget it. Spare a thought for Blessed Eustochia of Padua, whose life I discovered this week. In summary:
She was the daughter of a seduced nun, possessed by the age of four, ill-treated by her father’s wife, rejected by the religious order she wanted to join because of the scandal of her birth, and subjected to attempted murder by the locals of Padua, who accused her of trying to murder the Abbess, her guilt assumed because of her demonic fits and her origins. She died in 1469, at the age of twenty-five – loved by the religious sisters who she’d won over by her persistence in faith – and her body remained incorrupt until 1633.
Just think – a child conceived in unspeakable sacrilege, burdened exteriorly with surroundings of suspicion and rejection, and interiorly with diabolical fits and rages, became happy, holy, loved, and was chosen by God for incorruptibility and recognition as a beata. She had one champion – a priest who defended her vocation and insisted that she be allowed to pursue it. And that just goes to show what a difference one good friend can make – especially when that friend also has the power to exorcise!
And if this doesn’t convince you, go and look up Margaret of Castello, and ask yourself how you would have fared as a blind, hunchbacked dwarf, first walled into a cell by your parents, and then, as a sixteen-year-old, taken to the middle of another city…and left there.
Clearly, I’ve not written for a while. I don’t attribute this to blogger-burnout, but to finding that I have less to say than I did, which I’m taking as proof that religious burnout heals in time, and that the need to talk less about it constitutes a sign of that healing.