A Year with the Saints – 26 February


Sometimes a soul rises more towards perfection by not excusing herself than by ten sermons. Since by this means one begins to acquire freedom, and indifference as to what good or evil may be said. Nay more; by a habit of not replying, one arrives at such a point that when he hears anything said of himself, it does not seem as if it related to him, but rather like an affair belonging to someone else. Saint Teresa of Avila

Father Alvarez, the confessor of Saint Teresa, having been falsely accused of a grave fault in a provincial assembly and seriously reproved for it in public, said nothing, either in public or private, in his own defense. Afterwards, God rewarded this heroic silence with extraordinary favors.

Among the ancient monks, there was one named Eulogius, very humble and patient. Wherefore, the lax and negligent threw all their faults upon him; and he, being corrected and reproved for them, humbly accepted, without any denial or excuse, the penances which were given for them and performed them with great patience. The older Fathers, seeing him every day under reprehension, were displeased with him, and told the Abbot that he ought to apply some remedy, for they could not bear this state of things any longer. The Abbot took time, and, in prayer, entreated the Lord to enlighten him, and teach him what he ought to do with this brother. Then God revealed to him his innocence and great sanctity. Being extremely astonished at this, he called together all the monks, and said to them: “Believe me, I would prefer the faults of Eulogius with his patience and humility, to all the good works and virtues of many others who murmur against him, and think they are doing well themselves. And that you may see how great is the virtue of our companion, let each of you bring here the mat on which he sleeps.” When all the mats were brought, he had a good fire lit and threw them all into it. Everyone was instantly burned except that of Brother Eulogius, which remained. Then, prostrate upon the ground, they all asked pardon of God, and conceived the highest opinion of their brother. But he was grieved at being discovered, and the next night fled to the desert, where he would be unknown; for he knew very well that no one can be honored in this world and in the next.

MLA Citation