Monday, August 10, 2009

The "Hootspa" of St. Laurence

It's the feast of St. Laurence, Deacon and Martyr, (258) who literally took the riches of the church and gave them to the poor and the sick. When he was commanded to "show me the money" by the jealous emperor Valerian he presented those same people while telling the emperor "these are the treasures of the church." Whoa! That took some faith, or at least some major hootspa on Laurence's part.

You can imagine the response of Valerian....not good - and Laurence was grilled to death. Of course that has been disputed over the centuries but it makes for a great story - and for the eating of waffles in commemoration....I kid you not!

This is one of those legendary martyr deaths that freaked me out as a child. I didn't care what Laurence had done in life - I could only concentrate on his manner of death and worry that God would call me to become a shish-ka-bob for Jesus....

So now as an adult I am in search of some deeper meaning in Laurence's story. I found it in Sam Portaro's "Brightest and Best" "Laurence's witness is indicative of the paradoxical nature of Christian living...We grow more constrained every day, more eager to gather in than to give away. We worry that our resources are diminishing and conservation is our only hope of survival, our overriding fear that what we have might be taken away - or worse, that we might be surpassed by someone else. We are afraid of dying, of being done to death by the many demands and the complexities of our living, afraid that we shall not be adequate to all that is asked of us." p. 136

St. Laurence, pray for us, that the flames of Divine love may burn away all traces of vice within us, and that we may be practical and zealous in the service of the poor. Amen.
(i bet you never view waffles the same after reading this)


Sandy said...

The way he's carrying his grill along with him--that is pretty creepy.

ROBERTA said...

Well Sandy,
there were lots of creepier depictions of St. Laurence out there that I did NOT choose where the grill was in use :(

Jane said...

You've outdone yourself today! The perfect amount of wit to balance that "in my face", profound excerpt from Sam Partaro's writing.

And I MAY NOT view waffles the same after this, but I FOR SURE will think of you when I hear the word "shish-ka-bob"

Vicki said...

Isn't there something very Pythonesque about this? The grilling...the waffles...the Spanish Inquisition.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

You made me laugh when you talked about being afraid God would call you to be a shish-kabob for Jesus!!

ROBERTA said...

yes, it does seem rather Pythonesque! No one expects the Spanish Inquisition! Put him on the dish rack and bring in the comfy chair -that will make him confess :)

ROBERTA said...


today's saint du jour is Clare - a woman who whacked off her hair, and walked barefoot in the cold for Jesus - and suffered ill health (imagine!) her spirit & all the wonderful deeds she did but the self-flagellation - i could live w/o.....i like woolen sox.