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St Edward the Confessor
King of England (entered heaven in 1066)
Today, once again, God has granted that both of us are still alive on the anniversary of our namesake. Let us thank him together for the wonderful (and often overlooked) gift of existence.
I am pleased to hear of your plans to go into civil service (though I can’t say I agree with your decision to dive right into law school after you graduate this year – you will need more than book-learning to be a worthy political leader). May I be so bold as to recommend you one, little thing, in honor of St Edward?
As you know, Edward lived in exile until he was forty years old, when finally his rightful sovereignty was reestablished and he came to sit on England’s throne. As you also know, he ruled with such equity and prudence that ever afterwards England’s folk recalled his days with longing. Under his prayerful and gentle scepter, war was all but banished from the volatile island, and the rambunctious nobles were pacified (not least because of his judicious marriage to the beautiful and pious Edith, daughter of the brutal and ambitious Earl Godwin, who had previously murdered Edward’s brother Alfred). Economic prosperity coupled with religious fervor gave England a truly golden age under Edward, the king who won the hearts of all his people. But you can read all about his diplomatic and domestic policies in any good history of England. I am rather interested in the secret source of his virtue and wisdom: he attended daily Mass. Even on his extended hunting trips (his favorite pastime), which often kept him in the wilderness for days on end, he arose each morning to offer himself anew with Christ in the sacred mysteries. A soul who stays close to Christ in the Eucharist, fills his mind each day with the torrent of doctrine flowing from the liturgical prayers and readings, and unites his own longings and efforts to Christ’s on the altar is guaranteed a fruitful life. You can bank on it, and St Edward is one of many cases that prove it.
So I would humbly advise you to start attending Mass daily. Don’t wait. The devil will put up obstacle after obstacle to make sure you keep delaying – and then years will pass, years in which you could have been soaking your every thought and decision in the sweet grace of God. Years in which you could have been filling your heart and mind with the light and strength that made St Edward into such an effective ruler and exemplary follower of Christ. Make the time, my dear nephew; you won’t regret it.