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During the famous German «Kultutkampf», the most famous and fearless defender of the Catholic Church was the great orator Windhorst, former president of the Ministry of Hanover. He was the leader of the Center in the Reichstag, which had more than 100 members, and in the end forced the Prince of Bismark to abolish many laws hostile to the Church. One day the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph made him the very advantageous offer to be the guardian of the prince of Thurn and Taxis, still a minor. This position would have brought him an annual income of 120,000 francs, plus, in case of death, a pension for his widow and children. What did the old man do, who lived only on the pension he received as a former minister? First he consulted two exiled bishops, who advised him not to leave the struggle and to remain on the battlefield where God had placed him. Windhorst returned to Hanover and told Emperor Francis that he could not accept his proposal.
Windhorst refused riches and preferred to live in poverty in his homeland rather than desert the field of honor where he could defend the Church. In this way he valued the eternal reward he obtained more highly than the passing riches of this world. He had the gift of wisdom.
Notker, a pious and learned monk of St. Gallen (+ 912), was often consulted by Charles the Great. When the emperor went to see him, a lord of his retinue wanted to publicly humiliate the holy man, whom he envied. While Notker was praying in church, this courtier asked him the following question: «Tell me, holy man, what is the good Lord doing in Heaven?» Notker answered him sternly, «I will tell you: He lifts up the humble and lowers the proud.» The courtiers laughed and the lord went out in shame. The same day he fell off his horse and broke his leg.
It can be seen that the Holy Spirit knows how to inspire the righteous to respond according to the circumstances. Notker had the gift of good counsel.
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the Mother of God. Amen.
O Jesus! We are going to walk with You on the road to Calvary which was so painful for You. Make us understand the greatness of Your sufferings, touch our hearts with tender compassion at the sight of Your torments, in order to increase in us the regret of our faults and the love we wish to have for You.
Deign to apply to all of us the infinite merits of Your Passion, and in memory of Your sorrows, show mercy to the souls in Purgatory, especially to those who are most abandoned.
O Divine Mary, who first taught us to make the Way of the Cross, obtain for us the grace to follow Jesus with the sentiments Your Heart was filled with as You accompanied Him on the road to Calvary. Grant that we may weep with You, and that we may love Your divine Son as You do. We ask this in the name of His adorable Heart. Amen.
My Jesus, forgiveness and mercy!
By the merits of Thy holy Wounds and the sorrows of Thy Mother.