A VERY SIMPLE SAINT
YVONNE said : "I never cared much for that Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. For one thing, she-told lles
" Yes. she did. There she was going oft to give bread to the poor, all dressed up in her favourite rags, when suddenly her sweetheart Ludwig rode round the corner with a lot of the chaps • -and when he asked her what she had in the basket under her disreputable cloak she was afraid he would feet disgraced because she looked such a sight anyway : so she said, 'Roses ' out of sheer funk. And God 'backed her up!"
1 said: " Actually what happened was that .she opened her .look to show Ludwig what she had there. Seeing only roses, Vie WaS astonished; but seeing only roses, she answered only—' Roses!' "
"Furthermore," I said, " it is recorded that the morning sun transferred her rags to glistening silks and golds, so that Ludwig rode On more entranced than ever by her beauty and her grace,"
Sanctity and Hygiene
IT turned out that what Yvonne really had I against Ludwig's lady was the story of the leper. Once Elizabeth (I cannot clearly remember why, perhaps because Ludwig had forbidden her some, as he thought, excess of charity) brought a leper and placed him in her husband's bed.
And the legend runs that Ludwig, looking on the leper, saw lying there the bruised and bleeding body of Jesus, his Lord.
Yvonne, like most English women, is pretty impressed by hygiene and all that; a preoccupation not incompatible svith Christhwhyr, I tell her, but calculated to make the whole business rather too complex,
I said an occasional leper in one's bed might he easy to put up with it one were married to somebody as delightful as Elizabeth.
THE story of Elizabeth and Ludwig is indeed something of a fairy-tale; a true one such as children cry for.
Once upon a time—aeld such a time, at the bleak of the thirteenth centuryl—there was a handsome prince who ruled over the land of Thuringia: and his lady Elizabeth was unmatched in all Christendom for her beauty and especially for her goodness. •
Many-people are revolted by what seems to them the utterly inhuman detachment of the saints front all that is dearest and
sweetest in tire. So much does our own natural disposition to put ourselves in the same situation and consider how we wonld have reacted, colour our judgments!
is God Jealous?
THERE is a whole chapter on the Z problem of Fr. Martin D'Arey's far too little-known work, The Spirit of Charity. I should like to print: it would save me (and you?) much trouble and the job would be far better done. For, as Fr. D'Arcy says, there is mystery here. Although God is not to be compared with, nor does He compete with Ilis creatures, nevertheless, such is man that if he would live for God's sake he must walk warily among the wonders God has made. And the foundation of the fairy-tale of Elizabeth of Hungary and the Landgrave of Thuringia is the constant prayer of both that their love might never keep either from God's love. They conspired lovingly each with His Creator for the other's side. And God was jealous, not for His own sake that needs nought; but for theirs, who needed Hint.
Love Not Lod
THE chroniclers tell stories which show how
little this abated their affection : how when Ludwig returned from a military expedition Elizabeth ran to meet him, and in the presence of the astonished court, kissed him " a full thousand times on the mouth "!
I seem to have rambled too much t I set out to show that in a saint like Elizabeth affection and detachment sprang quite simply from the sante love of God; and I don't think I have done so at all. Perhaps it is just as well: sanctity yields its secrets not to analysis, but to sympathy.
EdizatPeth's story is the story of love, for that is all she stealtra to do. There can be nobody who cannot understand it, for there is nobody who cannot love,
She is a simple hook, a picture-book almost, in which anybody may read to the glory of God.
Thomas More: His Realism
Since they that in this world without any tribulation enjoy their long continual course of never interrupted prosperity have a great cause of fear and of discomfort lest they he far fallen out of God's favour and stand deep in his indignation and displeasure while He never sendeth them tribulation which,he is ever wont to send them whom he loveth—they, therefore. I say that are in tribulation have on the other side a great cause to take in their grief great inward comfort and spiritual consolation.—Chapter xii: First' Book of Comfort Against Tribulation.