Monday, September 12, 2005

The Magic Amulet Around My Neck

When I was attending Aldersgate College, our Church History class took a field trip to St. Peter's Abbey in Muenster, Saskatchewan. This little abbey has about 30 monks who live by the Rule of St. Benedict, and there is a beautiful old wooden church nearby that has paintings that rival the cathedrals in old Europe (in all things but scale). Of course, as a Free Methodist, I didn't really get a sense of what was happening there, but it was a memorable experience.

After my conversion years later, when I lived in Ottawa, I discovered that my roommate was also from Saskatchewan, and his uncle happened to be the abbot of that very abbey. You know how life has these moments where something happens and suddenly you can see the circle of God's plan that brought you to that point?

This was one of those moments that solidified my conviction that God really wanted me to be a Catholic, and that he had been dropping hints all my life.

My roommate obtained for me a St. Benedict medal that he got his uncle to bless. It's a good solid one, larger than a quarter, and it doesn't feel like pressed tinfoil like some of the cheap medals out there.

I wear this medal around my neck and always keep it outside my clothing, unlike my crucifix and Miraculous Medal. Among the many uses of the St. Benedict medal are exorcism and resistance to temptation - so I figure if the "evil spirits that wander now throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls" are scared of this thing, I might as well show it to them. Usually it keeps them at bay.

But if one of the fallen ones gets brave enough to toss a bad idea my way, I find it's a great help to grasp the medal and whisper the translation of the Latin prayer abbreviated on it: "Begone, Satan! Suggest not to me thy vain things! The cup thou profferest me is evil. Drink thou thy poison!" [Vade retro Satana! Nunquam suade mihi vana! Sunt mala quae libas. Ipse venena bibas!]

Check out this site for more info on the medal.

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