Slander can ruin a good man's reputation so that he can do no more good; something that should give us pause, nay should stay our hand when we seek to do harm through gossip or false testimony.
Think of Jesus in his home town or at Gerasene or on the Cross; Paul and Peter as they traveled abroad. The desire to tear down what we do not understand and fear can often overcome reason and compassion. The light of devotion can often dispel shadows in our lives we wish best hidden.
There is perhaps a bit of irony in his name, for one so self-less. It is through Eusebius that we know Narcissus' story, and it is quite a tale. Apparently he was pretty strict about religious observances which earned him some powerful enemies. Together these accused him a heinous crime of which he was acquitted but from which the damage was done and he stepped down from his office.
Perhaps it was the reason perhaps not, perhaps the tale is apocryphal, perhaps it points to a truth within the story, but whatever the cause he became a hermit.
One of the things we can thank him for is helping to decide that Easter would always fall on Sunday, regardless. The Liturgical Year cycle, with its sanctoral calendar, is an important part of our daily commitment to the life of Christ.
We live in a world of sin, our world (gift that it is), our sin. We must be slow to judge if we judge at all, but we must always recognize sin for what it is. There are those who stumble and those who deliberately cause harm; we think neither above the mercy and salvation of God but we do not allow the sin to continue. We sinners must be challenged by our baptism to do good, confess and repent when necessary, and change our lives as if we were baptized into Christ Jesus.
If we stumble, then we acknowledge our guilt. Conversion is a daily affair. We are constantly moving toward the Light, setting ourselves aside for God. We do not all have to become hermits but we must take on the mindset of one who has consecrated oneself to the Lord. Then amidst our sin and the sin of the world around us we can continue to serve and be Faithful.
Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now it is of course required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. It does not concern me in the least that I be judged by you or any human tribunal; I do not even pass judgment on myself; I am not conscious of anything against me, but I do not thereby stand acquitted; the one who judges me is the Lord. Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God. ...Who confers distinction upon you? What do you possess that you have not received? But if you have received it, why are you boasting as if you did not receive it? You are already satisfied; you have already grown rich; you have become kings without us! Indeed, I wish that you had become kings, so that we also might become kings with you. For as I see it, God has exhibited us apostles as the last of all, like people sentenced to death, since we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and human beings alike. We are fools on Christ’s account, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clad and roughly treated, we wander about homeless and we toil, working with our own hands. When ridiculed, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we respond gently. We have become like the world’s rubbish, the scum of all, to this very moment.
1 Corinthians 4:1-5,7-13
Truth to Ponder
I decided to spend a year thinking about the Faith celebrated in the sanctoral calendar. There are also just some events, Scriptural, and other quotes that strike me on random days; or randomly on days, as the case may be.
Saint's Days by Month
Days by Entry