Saint Charbel Makhlouf (1828-1898)
for July 24
In 1828, Charbel Makhluf was born Joseph Zaroun Makluf in the village of Bekaa Kafra in northern Lebanon. His father died when Saint Sharbel was three years old, and he was raised by his uncle. Charbel was very devout, even as a child, but his uncle did not approve of his pious behavior. At the age of 23, Charbel ran away from home to become a member of the Baladite Monastery of Saint Maron, taking his final vows in 1853 and becoming ordained in 1859. For 23 years, from 1875 until his death in 1898, Saint Charbel fulfilled out his dream of living as a prayerful hermit. He gained a reputation for profound holiness, and pilgrims regularly visited the loving and friendly Charbel. One of his favorite sayings was "pray without ceasing." He had an extreme personal dedication to the Blessed Sacrament, and was known to levitate during prayer. At the request of his superiors, Saint Sharbel regularly and gladly traveled to nearby villages to administer the Sacraments. He died on Christmas Eve, and many miracles have been directly attributed to his intercession. He was canonized in 1977 by Pope Paul VI.
Read more about Saint Charbel Makhlouf (1828-1898)
Image via Wikipedia
As Americans and as Christians, we are often focused on our actions and how our actions will or can produce results. We tend to assess the quality of our time by the degree to which it was effective, successful, and productive. But Saint Charbel Makhluf reminds us of the importance of prayer and solitude for the development of holiness. Prayer and solitude can, as they did for Saint Charbel, deepen our relationship with God and help us to become better people. Can you regularly set aside some time in your day as a respite from your busy schedule, a time for prayer and solitude with God?
Christ, my redeemer, I want to follow you. Enable me to be disciplined in my prayer life and my Scripture reflection so that I may be a faithful follower. (Taken from “Take Ten: Daily Bible Reflections for Teens.”)