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St Casimir of Poland
(entered heaven in 1848)
It sounds to me like you have begun your spring vacation too early. Reliable sources have informed me of your growing laxity – spending more time playing backgammon than perusing textbooks (plus your obsession to that positively addicting pastime of disc golf – would that you had gone to college farther north, where winter would have corralled such frivolities) is no way to get ready for your life’s mission. You should be focusing your efforts during these formative years on laying the groundwork for holiness, not pampering your tendencies to self-indulgence. Maybe you need to reflect on the example of young men who have used their educational opportunities wisely. Take today’s saint for example.
Casimir was one of the 13 thirteen children whom Elizabeth of Austria bore to her husband, King Casimir IV of Poland. He and his two brothers had the privilege of receiving their education at the able hands of John Dlugosz, a holy and brilliant cleric from Krakow. Early on, St Casimir tempered the ease and comfort of court life by making little sacrifices – like wearing an uncomfortable hair shirt under his princely robes, or sleeping on the floor sometimes, or spending his free time visiting the poor and the sick… Anything he could do to make sure that the comforts and privileges of his state didn’t soften up his willpower. It paid off. When Casimir was about 15 (that’s the age when noblemen finished their education back then), some Hungarian noblemen connived with his father (King of Poland, remember) to topple their king. The young saint was implicated in the plot: he was sent at the head of the Polish army to forcefully remove the unwanted leader. Before the armies engaged, however, Casimir became convinced that the war was unjust, and circumstances allowed him an opportunity to abandon his mission. Later, word was received from the Pope condemning the attempted coup and vindicating the young prince’s decision. Nevertheless, his father was furious and had him imprisoned in a dreary castle for three months as punishment. Afterward, he returned to court, but continued rejecting these petty conflicts (which only contributed to the Turkish advance into Europe). He also continued his life of prayer and study and didn’t let up on his personal austerities. These aggravated a congenital lung condition, and he died at the young age of 23. Polish pilgrims flocked to his tomb, where miracles began occurring through his intercession almost immediately. Forever after his countrymen have called him, “St Casimir the Peace Maker.”
I am not wishing upon you an early grave (although I would prefer that than a long life of scandal and debauchery), but I would say that you may need to make a visit to our Lord in the Eucharist, so you can talk with him about how to recover a balance between hobbies and duties. In the meantime, count on my prayers.
Your loving uncle, Eddy