Sunday, December 19, 2010

St. Lufthild (? to c.850)

   And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
 (Matthew 8:20)

  It was brutally cold tonight. The ground was frozen, the tree limbs bare, and the bird feeders empty. Still, there was something quite beautiful about the moon above, the Christmas lights twinkling from nearby houses, and the chilly silence.
 What are homeless people doing right now? Why is it, I wonder, that I only seem to think of them on the coldest nights that are close to Christmas?
  Now my mind is preoccupied with people who need a place to sleep and a warm meal. I'm not about to rattle of homelessness statistics. I'm going to be more sensitive to the needs of other people even if it means having a less for myself.
  In the words of Charles Dickens, "I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
    St. Lufthild is a patron saint of homeless people. She was born in the 9th century and was abused by her stepmother for sharing the family's food with the poor. Tired of being beaten up, but unwilling to stop giving to the needy, St. Lufthild ran away and lived as a homeless hermit.
  She died c.850 and miracles continue to happen in her name. St. Lufthild's feast day is Jan. 23.

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