St Martin

Today is the feast of St Martin of Tours.

 

During my childhood in the late fifties and early sixties, I looked forward to the feast of St Martin in Malta before coming to Australia as a thirteen-year-old.

Martin was a Roman soldier who became a Christian and later a Bishop.

 

There is a famous story of how he gave his military cloak to a beggar who later on in a dream revealed Himself to be Christ.

 

He also was also noted for preaching the Gospel to the poor.

 

I guess that a beautiful custom grew because of his care of the poor.

 

Each child was given a bag made from cloth in which were an assortment of ‘goodies‘ by their parents.

 

There used to be an assortment of nuts, most still in their shells.

 

There was often a packet of dried figs and some fruit.

 

We were so excited each year to get this beautiful treat. I was particularly partial to slicing the dried figs in half and putting some of the nuts in between, a fig ‘sandwich’! I still enjoy that treat!

 

There were other traditions that we so looked forward to!

 

We were not poor, but we also were careful not to waste anything.

 

The wonder and awe of a child!

 

Do we have to lose some of that simple joy as we get older?

 

Is not a sense of awe one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

 

Did not Jesus remind us to become like little children?

 

Why do we have to become so complicated?

 

Maybe it is our response to life that becomes compliant!

 

Indeed, I do not want to belittle the big challenges that we have to face.

 

Lord give the freedom to respond to them with the freedom of a child, to trust you like a child.

 

 

 

 

Image credit: Catholic News Agency