"Justin is known as an apologist, one who defends in writing the Christian religion against the attacks and misunderstandings of the pagans."
"He was an earnest seeker after truth, and studied"
Something I wrote for this blog quite a few years back but still seems to fit:
Today is the feast of Justin Martyr. By some odd coincidence it is also my birthday. It wasn't until I reverted back to my Catholic Faith and started to get interested in such things that I discovered that I was born on the feast of a saint that I felt such an immediate kinship too. Of course it wasn't until I reverted back to my Catholic Faith that I felt the need to defend it, study it, and seek the truth from it. Isn't it funny sometimes how God gives us the role models that we need, and puts them in special places in our lives for us to benefit from, even when we aren't aware of it? How he designed this special date as a connection between this holy saint and me, born centuries later, is just awesome. It makes me even more aware that God really has a plan and is working it, every day, of every year, through the centuries and that I am indeed a part of it!
A few months ago, my former Jazzercise teacher died from leukemia. She was just a few months younger than me and I have fond memories of her jumping up on the stage and encouraging us through our workouts. She was so vivacious and full of a love of life. When she passed away her family shared pictures of her through the years and there was one in particular that stood out for me. She was sitting at the table, grabbing a big chocolate cake that someone had obviously made for her. She had the prettiest smile on her face and it was clear that she was going to love this birthday and she was going to eat some of that cake - carbs be damned! Because what is a birthday without a piece of birthday cake? I learned so much from that little picture - that hard work (like keeping fit) pays off with a little indulgence now and then, and that turning another year older is a good thing! and something to be celebrated. And I intend to do just that.
The thing about being your 50s is that while there some sadness and loss of loved ones, and many memories, there is still much to look forward to ahead. Last year on my birthday I kept remembering my mother on her deathbed wishing me a Happy Birthday! It was as if she just had to tell me that despite anything else. This year I think I am kind of taking that to mean that no matter what, she wanted me to be happy.
So I'm trying not to think too much about that birthday, and think back to some of the happier ones, like riding my bike with my kids, or being alone with Mr. Pete, or even my 10th birthday that my mom worked so hard to make fun for me. I think of those, and decide I'm going to add to them - for myself and for the people I love.