St Moses

Martyr (entered heaven in 251)

Dear Melissa,

May I ask you to commiserate with me for a few lines today?  You see, I am imagining you all celebrating thanksgiving together, and it fills my soul with warmth.  I have often considered that if God has mercy on the USA it will be only because we were wise enough to institute a national holiday to thank him for his blessings.  I do wish that I could be with you and the others, but once again, Providence has seen fit to have me share in a different kind of feast, a feast of suffering and of love, bittersweet, but I am more than glad to partake of it.  Today’s saint achieved his crown by tasting much the same fare, and I have reflected deeply on his example.

They say he was a priest in Rome who had converted from Judaism (thus the name).  He was so active in his ministry, that he and his little band of clergy were the first to be arrested when the Emperor Decius initiated his brutal persecution.  They professed their faith boldly under the daunting interrogations, and refused to burn incense to any god but the one, true God, Jesus Christ.  What courage those first generations showed!  No wonder the devil has changed his tactics these days – it must have infuriated him to see so many stalwart Christians stand fast in the face of physical danger; surely he is much more satisfied nowadays, when Christians shelve their faith only to indulge in self-gratifying pleasures and specious pseudo-creeds.

In any case, Moses and his companions were imprisoned for 11 months and 11 days, and they held fast not only against the Roman threats, but also against the cajoleries of Novatian, who was doing his best during that persecution to propagate a dangerous heresy.  I can picture Moses and his fellow warriors in their prison (probably much less comfortable than mine), praying, encouraging one another, perhaps even enjoying themselves – their consciences filled with peace and joy, knowing that they were on the straight and narrow path to a heavenly reward.  Moses, who was older than the rest, finally died, and was counted a martyr by all.  I daresay I hope to see him soon myself, but then again, I have plenty of nephews and nieces who can still use a scrap or two of avuncular wisdom now and again.  Count on my prayers.

Ever your uncle,


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