OPTIONAL MEMORIAL OF SAINT NICHOLAS, BISHOP
My favorite legend about Saint Nicholas purports that the saintly bishop punched the heretic Arius in the face at the Council of Nicaea. Now, given that St. Nicholas’ name does not appear on any of the lists of the bishops who attended the council, nor is the incident mentioned by any ancient historian, it seems unlikely to have actually happened. But I still love the idea of it. That Nicholas would have been so angry at Arius’ distortion of the divinity of Jesus that he slapped Arius contrasts so violently with the jolly elf depictions we typically see of the saint. But even if the legend didn’t happen, it conveys something true: Nicholas was singularly dedicated to Christ. There’s no way he would have compromised or tolerated someone to speak ill of the Lord. May the same total dedication to Jesus fill our hearts this Advent.
Dear Jesus, grant me the grace to seek you ardently. Help me to find you in new ways in my life this Advent season. And then, once I have found you, give me the grace to be ever faithful to you. Amen.
In imitation of Saint Nicholas, give a gift to someone in need. Perhaps drop off a few items at a local food pantry or homeless shelter.