(Prudently, Fr. Stitt advised that if I posted this strip without further comment it might be taken by some as a covert cry for help! But there are days...)
And then, when I sat down with my breviary to pray, I came across the passage below in the Office of Readings (long an annual favorite) for today's memorial of St. Martin of Tours (316-397), the Hungarian-born soldier turned French monk and then bishop who was one of the very first (outside of Biblical figures and the early martyrs) to be widely recognized as a Christian saint:
Martin knew long in advance the time of his death and he told his brethren that it was near.…In their sorrow they cried to him with one voice: “Father, why are you deserting us? Who will care for us when you are gone?”…Turning to our Lord, he made this reply to their pleading: “Lord, if your people need me, I am ready for the task; your will be done.”
Here was a man words cannot describe. Death could not defeat him, nor toil dismay him. He was quite without a preference of his own; he neither feared to die nor refused to live. With eyes and hands always raised to heaven he never withdrew his unconquered spirit from prayer.
--Sulpicius Severus, from a letter on the death of Saint Martin of Tours
An interesting juxtaposition, no? (And not just because it's Peanuts next to the Divine Office!)
There's something to be said for serenity in the face of life's many challenges--when it's one that penetrates beneath the surface, of course. Oh, to have such an "unconquered spirit"! To live with such detachment, and willingness to serve!
St. Martin, the "Unflappable," pray for us!