Saturday, August 18, 2012

Helena: “I’ll Tell The World”

Today the western Church commemorates Saint Helena (circa AD 230-330), wife of Emperor Constantinus and mother of Emperor Constantine the Great. She is credited with leading the discovery of the remains of the True Cross circa AD 327. The Orthodox, Anglican, and some Lutheran churches commemorate her on May 21.

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“Nothing ‘stands to reason’ with God. If he had wanted us to have it, no doubt he would have given it to us. But he hasn’t chosen to. He gives us enough.”

“But how do you know he doesn’t want us to have it -- the cross, I mean? I bet he’s just waiting for one of us to and find it -- just at this moment when it’s most needed. Just at this moment when everyone is forgetting it and chattering about the hypostatic union, there’s a solid chunk of wood waiting for them to have their silly heads knocked against. I’m going off to find it,” said Helena.

The empress dowager was an old woman, almost of an age with Pope Sylvester, but he regarded her fondly, as though she were a child, an impetuous young princess who went well to hounds, and he said with the gentlest irony: “You’ll tell me, won’t you? -- if you are successful.”

“I’ll tell the world,” said Helena.

(From the novel, "Helena", by Evelyn Waugh. H/T to the National Catholic Register and Jay Anderson.)

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