Today is the feast of St. Nicholas. Among other accomplishments, he helped defeat the heresy of Arianism in the Church. This heresy claims that Jesus Christ is not divine in nature. There was a council conducted, with both Nicholas and Arius in attendance. As the story goes, Arius was spouting his heresies. Nicholas became so incensed that he went over and slapped Arius. The others in attendance stripped Nicholas of the signs of his office and imprisoned him. He repented. In the cell he was visited by Jesus and Mary and they restored to him his office.
As I read the story, I see no signs of Jesus and Mary vindicating his loss of temper and act of violence. I think it's safe to say that had not Nicolas repented, Jesus and Mary would not have come to him.
Those of us who write our blogs and otherwise engage in apostolates to counteract the heresies that bombard us will recognize in ourselves the temptations to act as did Nicholas. While we must speak and act, we must continually keep our own emotions in check lest they undermine our tasks and perhaps our eternal salvation. Let us not dare to snicker at Nicholas's fall into temptation for that might indicate a willingness to engage in impropriety and sin ourselves. Nicholas repented; with that he was able to continue his mission. Let's not celebrate his lapse into sin, but his repentance and great service to the Church.
Traditional Holy Week once again in Denmark
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