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St Martin’s tears

St Martin’s tears

Sulpicius Severus, personal friend and enthusiastic disciple of St. Martin of Tours*, describes how the latter knew he would soon go to his eternal reward and said as much to his brethren.  Those around him were overcome with grief and wondered aloud how they would cope without him.

‘Thereupon‘, Severus writes,

‘he broke into tears, for he was a man in whom the compassion of our Lord was continually revealed’.

How beautiful: he cries for he sees as Jesus sees.

I wonder how he would have coped today, reading the newspaper, watching the news, walking through any city?  There is a term used in media circles – ’emotional fatigue’ – which is the result of ‘overexposure’ to pictures of war zones, refugees, victims of floods or earthquakes, stories of the neglected and unloved.  ‘Emotional fatigue’ means that we remain unaffected by footage that would otherwise touch our hearts and move us to compassion.  While, unfortunately, we need to have a little detachment from such realities (otherwise we’d be a crumpled mess on a daily basis), we must be careful not to shrug them off entirely.  The compassion of our Lord needs to be continually revealed, so if not through his people, then through whom?

St Martin of Tours, pray for us, that we may see as Jesus sees and reveal at least a little of His compassion in our daily lives.


* I know Martinmass was yesterday.  I hope you’ll forgive me and agree that it’s ‘better late than never’.

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