St Quodvultdeus

Bishop of Carthage (North Africa) (entered heaven around 450)

Dear Diva,

I know this sounds condescending, but I’m going to say it anyway: you musn’t worry about your future.  Our Lord warned us that each day brings sufficient trouble for itself, remember? You should, of course, make normal plans and fulfill your duties responsibly, but to worry – really WORRY about your future, that, my dearest niece, is a temptation.  God is your Father, if you follow his teachings and inspirations, he will take charge of your life’s path.

Today’s saint is a good example.  He was bishop of Carthage, in North Africa, and lived contemporaneously with another great African Father of the Church, St Augustine of Hippo.  They knew each other, or at least they knew of each other. Quodvultdeus, like his counterpart in Hippo, dedicated himself to preaching and teaching the true faith, countering the widespread heresies of his age.  He defended the Catholic faith against Arianism while he was bishop of Carthage – so effectively, in fact, that when the Arian Visigoths under Genseric overran the city, Quodvultdeus and his clergy were sent or a final joy-ride into the Mediterranean on un-seaworthy vessels.  No record exists describing how the saint reacted to such a cruel fate, but it is safe to say that he followed the advice of his name. “Quodvultdeus” is a very interesting name. It is a composite of a three-word Latin phrase: “Quod (whatever) vult (wants) Deus (God)” – “whatever God wants.”  The saint was willing to die for the faith (Christians were so courageous back then!), if God so wished, but God did not want. Miraculously, the ships made their away across the sea and docked in Naples, Italy. St Quodvultdeus and his comrades disembarked and continued their preaching and teaching, combating the reigning heresy on that peninsula, Pelagianism, with as much zeal and efficacy as they had combated Arianism.

It’s good to contemplate the example of the saints; they remind us that even though we can’t always figure out exactly how, God truly is taking care of things.  So, when you are tempted to worry about your future, as long as you have done your part responsibly, you can parry the worry with a simple prayer: quod vult Deus – whatever God wants.  It worked fabulously for today’s saint, I don’t see why it can’t work equally well for you.

Your devoted uncle, Eddy

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