St Bathildis

Widow (entered heaven this day in 680)

Dear Beth,

It was good to hear that you made it through the first round of interviews.  I know how long you have been hoping to win the Rhodes Scholarship, and how it has been the reason behind many of the decisions about how you have spent your time during college.  I also know that your motivations are healthy – contrary to the pure vanity behind many applicants, you have realized how much you could do for the Kingdom if you were able to get through the doors such a Scholarship opens, doors otherwise mostly closed to well-formed Catholics.  Count on my continued prayers.

But I would like to remind you that God works in mysterious ways.  And if you don’t win the Scholarship, you mustn’t let that stop you from pursuing your noble ideals.  Either way, win or lose, God is in charge, and his plan will unfold no matter what, as long as you keep stirring up your faith and trust in him.  On this point, I have often reflected on the example of today’s remarkable (though little known) saint. She was an English girl captured and sold into slavery in France at a young age.  The mayor of the Merovingian palace bought her up, and she, strong in her Christian faith even though so young, carried out her duties well, such that she rose through the ranks of the household and caught the eye of bachelor king, Clovis II, who ended up marrying her.  Their three sons all succeeded to the throne, and her influence throughout their reigns did much to further the evangelizing efforts of this newly Christian kingdom. She supported numerous monasteries, fueled the zeal of a number of holy bishops, freed crowds of slaves, and generally went out of her way to use her position and influence for the benefit of the Church.  So much did she love the Lord, that towards the end of her life, when the order and prosperity of the realm were assured, she entered one of the convents she had endowed, a step she had long yearned to take. There she modeled humility and charity in every way, never asserting her royal dignity nor insisting on special treatment. Without a doubt, her prayers and sacrifices of those years fertilized her apostolic endeavors of her earlier years.

So you see, my talented young niece, God, can bring immense good out of what might appear to be a horrible failure.  And just St Bathidlis rose from English slave-girl to Queen of France to consecrated widow, your path to Christian greatness may follow a route you wouldn’t have predicted.  Just keep on trusting and forge ahead. God bless.

Your affectionate uncle, Eddy

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