St. Thais of
The Elder went to her home, but Thais’s servant refused to let him into the house.
said, “Tell your mistress that I have brought her something very precious.” Knowing that the monks sometimes found pearls at the seashore, Thais told her servant to admit the visitor. St. John sat down and looked her in the face, and then began to weep. Thais asked him why he was crying. “How can I not weep,” he asked, “when you have forsaken your Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ, and are pleasing Satan by your deeds?” St. John
The Elder’s words pierced the soul of Thais like a fiery arrow, and at once she realized how sinful her present life had become. In fear, she asked him if God would accept the repentance of a sinner like her.
replied that the Savior awaited her repentance, and that was why He came, to seek and to save the perishing. “He will welcome you with love,” he said, “and the angels will rejoice over you. As the Savior said Himself, one repentant sinner causes the powers of Heaven to rejoice.” (Luke 15:7). St. John
A feeling of repentance enveloped her, and regarding the Elder’s words as a call from the Lord Himself to return to Him, Thais trembled and thought only of finding the path of salvation. She stood up and left her house without speaking to her servants, and without making any plans for the disposal of her property, so that even
was amazed. St. John
into the wilderness, she returned to God through penitence and prayer. Night fell, and the Elder prepared a place for Thais to lay down and sleep. He made a pillow for her from the sand, and he went off somewhat farther, going to sleep after his evening prayers. St. John
In the middle of the night, he was awakened by a light coming down from the heavens to the place where Thais was sleeping. In the radiant light, he saw holy angels bearing her soul to
Paradise. When he went over to Thais, he found her dead.
After burying the body of the saint,
returned to Sketis and told the monks what had happened. All offered thanks to God for His mercy toward Thais who, like the wise thief, repented in a single moment. St. John
by Father John Bartunek, LC | Source: Catholic.net
Uncle Eddy's E-mails -- October 8
Saint Thais of
(entered heaven this day around the year 348) Egypt
I detected a trace of comfort-seeking in your last note. Could it be that you have become a bit self-satisfied now that you’re a senior? True, you have accomplished a lot in three years working with Compass and Campus Ministry. No one can fairly doubt it. But if God hasn’t yet taken you home to heaven, there’s a reason: you’ve still got more work to do. Is everyone on campus in love with Christ? Are all the campus leaders committed to the Kingdom? Until they are, you have no cause to relax your efforts. Perhaps today’s saint can inspire you to expand your horizons.
She was a beautiful Egyptian noblewoman who grew up as a Christian. Unfortunately, however, the pleasures of court life flattered her vanity and drew her into their sticky web. She frolicked and indulged, stifling her conscience and scandalizing her fellow citizens with her wholehearted embrace of the most sensual of sins. Her reputation for ill behavior spread throughout the region, and, with the help of God’s grace, moved a holy hermit by the name of Paphnutius to begin interceding for her conversion. He wept continually for her sins, did penance for them, and eventually concocted a pious plan to retrieve her soul from the road to perdition. He left his cave in the desert, donned courtly garb, and approached her residence for an interview. She invited him into her parlor, but he asked to be shown an even more isolated room. At that request, she countered, “If you wish to avoid the eyes of men, this is sufficient; if you wish to avoid the eyes of God, no room is beyond his all-piercing gaze.” Paphnutius was shocked to find that she still remembered the truth of God’s presence. When he expressed his surprise, she explained that she also knew about heaven and hell and the punishments of sin. Flabbergasted, he queried: “Is it possible you should know these great truths and yet dare to sin in the eyes of him who knows and will judge all things?” At that moment, her heart was touched by grace, given deep contrition for her sins and a bottomless desire to make amends for them.
She begged the holy hermit to give her three hours to put her affairs in order, then she would meet him wherever he wished in order to receive her penance and begin her return to intimacy with God. She used the three hours to gather all her jewels and clothes and even her luxurious furniture – all the trappings of her sinful past – and burn them in the city street, expressing both her intention to repent and her hope to undo the scandal caused by her bad example. Then Paphnutius brought her to a convent, where she was closed up in a cell and given only bread and water to eat while she prayed for mercy: “You who have created me, have pity on me.” She persevered in her penance for a long time, and after St Anthony and
the simple were both consulted, she was eventually extracted from her cell in order to join the community of religious. Fifteen days later she went to her reward, having burned the perishable wealth of this world in order to inherit the everlasting wealth of the next. St Paul
I can’t help thinking that you have one or two (or many more) such souls there on campus. In the back of their minds they still here the gentle voice of God, but they need someone to help them break with the evil habits they have formed. Perhaps that’s where God would like you work this semester: praying and doing penance for the big sinners, and winning them back to the cause of Christ.Your devoted uncle, Eddy