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St Nunilo and St Alodia
Virgins and Martyrs (entered heaven in 851)
I got a note from your other uncle today. He just received the “CEO of the Decade” award. He wrote me while he was in a total crisis. And odd crisis, it was. He mentioned the award, and how after he received it he went home, put the kids to bed, said goodnight to his wife, then went down to the Perpetual Adoration chapel at the nearby parish. (As soon as he mentioned that, I knew he was in dire straights; he never goes there when life is moving along smoothly.) He spent two hours sitting there in the chapel, thinking, and trying to pray. Can you guess what he was thinking about? His college years (no joke), and how much time he wasted then. He did very well in college, and won plenty of awards there as well, but he still has regrets. Immediately, I thought of you and our ongoing conversation about “time management.” His case proves my point that every minute really matters, and that when we go before our Lord on Judgment Day, one of our deepest regrets will be the time we could have spent building his eternal Kingdom that we spent instead building our personal kingdom of sand castles. Today’s saints are a perfect example.
They were sisters born of a Christian mother and a Muslim father in northeastern Spain. It was soon after the Muslims had conquered the country, and after their mother had been widowed and (unwisely) married a Muslim for a second time, the sisters obtained permission to go and live with a Christian aunt. There they could be free from their stepfather’s harsh treatment and from the steady stream of importunate suitors (they had both resolved to consecrate their virginity to Christ) that bothered them at home. Soon afterwards began one of the many persecutions against the Christians. The sisters were known to be devout Christians, and were brought (to their joy) before the city official, who used flattery, deceit, and threats to convince them to renounce their faith. They stood firm. Next he put them in the care of some wicked women, who tried to wear down their resolve with subtle but evil enticements – to no avail. Finally, in accordance with the laws of the time, they were beheaded because they refused to abandon their Christian faith.
At first glance, this heroic story has nothing to do with “time management.” But at second glance, it has everything to do with it. Remember, the key to our effective use of time is knowing our goal: if we know where we’re going, we can easily figure out the most efficient way to get there; if we are unsure about our destination, or if we have a bunch of contrary destinations, we will never get anywhere. These two Spanish girls have a lot to teach us about our final destination: they believed in it so strongly that they were willing to give up all that this passing world has to offer in order to attain it, while we often can’t even squeeze a visit the Blessed Sacrament into our “busy” schedules. Food for thought, anyway, and for prayer.