St Antoninus

Martyr (entered heaven in the fourth century)

Dear Antoine,

So, idolatry is making a comeback, is it?  The picture of you studying your Bible while your roommate burns incense to his crystals makes me smile – it proves once again that God has a sense of humor.  Your reaction to the situation, however, makes me frown.  Don’t be so juvenile.  God’s Providence has made you two roommates, so you better stop complaining and start making a plan of evangelization – starting with your example of charity, patience, and sincere understanding.  After all, he probably has never met someone who was really in love with Christ, and his deviant religiosity may be a sincere step in God’s direction; you should help him into the light by your respect and example.

Very different was the situation back when today’s saint was battling idolatry in fourth century Palestine.  He was a Christian stonemason, but the rest of the people in his town still worshiped stone statues.  He went after them with vehement exhortations and heartfelt appeals, and it seemed that they were convinced.  So he was free to retire into the wilderness with a hermit friend of his for a couple years of spiritual training.  When he returned, the townspeople had relapsed, so he marched into their temple and smashed the statues of their so-called “gods.”  This time they violently drove him out of the city.  A neighboring bishop took him under his wing and put him in charge of building a church.  The pagans strongly objected to such a project, so strongly, in fact, that they rioted and slew the young project manager, who was only 20 years old.

I hope that helps put your current affair in proper perspective.  Trust in God, my dear nephew, and convert your pagans one at a time.

God bless,

Uncle Eddy

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