St Peregrine

Bishop of Auxerre (central France), Martyr (entered heaven around 260)

Dear Perry,

I just read an article claiming that 70% of Americans list shopping among their top 3 forms of entertainment.  God help us! Shopping for entertainment? I thought shopping was a nuisance, a necessary evil (taking time to go run errands and buy things, etc.).  Since when has it become entertainment?  I guess this is only logical, however, in a world that values things more than people, health more than life, and comfort more than truth.  The problem with all of this, of course (as you and I have frequently discussed), is that it weakens us. The toughness we need in order to stand firm in our faith and go forth to expand the Kingdom of God requires habits of self-discipline and sacrifice, but consumerism (searching for meaning by acquiring things) forms habits of self-indulgence and laziness.

Just imagine if today’s saint had been contaminated with this “shopping” mentality.  Would he have been capable of spearheading Christ’s advance into the heart of Roman Gaul (modern France, you know)?  I think not. At least, his last and greatest mission would not have taken place, since it required a heroic degree of self-sacrifice.  The Roman prefect near Auxerre was dedicating a new temple to Jupiter. When Peregrine heard of it, he marched right into the town and started a campaign to convince the citizens to abandon their idolatry.  To no avail. He was immediately seized, tried, and condemned to death. After they tortured him, they cut off his head.

Surely he cared more for the lasting values of the Kingdom of God than he did for the comforts and trinkets of this passing kingdom here below.  Watch out, my dear nephew, lest the “shopping for fun” mentality (and everything it implies) deaden your courage and dampen your zeal for spreading Christ’s Kingdom.  

Your Uncle always, Eddy

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