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Saturday 18 May |
Saint of the Day: St. John I
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Evil appeals to the desire to escape; the saints embrace here and now


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Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 11/01/22

Satan wants us to believe that to be happy we would have to get rid of who we are at this moment, of our history, of our concrete existence in this world

Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

All Saints Day reminds us that holiness is not a state of bliss that exists entirely outside our experience of life, but rather is a bliss hidden deep within our life. And even where there is weeping, want, injustice, and things that are wrong, there’s a hidden joy that can be encountered only on the condition that we stop wishing to have a different life, and begin to go deeper into our own. 

Evil appeals precisely to the desire to escape, to the belief that to be happy we would have to get rid of who we are at this moment, of our history, of our concrete existence in this world. It deludes us into thinking that happiness exists, but is only found elsewhere. Instead, the saints have discovered that happiness is here and now, and that we only need to find the way to realize this fact. 

Jesus essentially came into the world to teach us this way. When he asks us to follow him, he does so to teach us a path. Embracing our cross and following him is not endorsing masochism, but is rather the secret to emerging from many dead ends.

But to do this we must first trust even without seeing. For example, when we experience something difficult the thing that we might notice most is how tired we feel, but if we trust Christ we eventually discover a mysterious joy hidden there where we thought there was only misfortune. The saints are witnesses to this secret.


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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