St. Lawrence

My body is well done. Turn it over; it is roasted enough on that side.”

st. lawrence

I’d like to introduce you to St. Lawrence, a deacon who lived in 2nd century Rome, who by order of the Roman Emperor Valerian, was to be executed along with Pope Sixtus. As the pope was being dragged away, St. Lawrence had the fortitude to request that he also be allowed to serve the same sentence for being a follower of Christ. Pope Sixtus told St. Lawrence that he should slow his roll because he would be following that same path to martyrdom – in 3 days. 

When Valerian told him to bring the riches of the church, St. Lawrence, feeling gutsy, told him to give him 3 days, and then he’d come back with the ‘treasures’ of the church. THIS GUY! He took all of the church’s valuables and either shipped them off for safekeeping or sold them and gave the money to the poor. THEN, he gathered up the poor of Rome – the cripples, the derelict, the widows, orphans, prostitutes, the homeless – as many as he could gather. On the third day, having all these people congregated before the emperor, he presented THEM as the church’s ‘true treasure’. 

“​Behold in these poor persons the treasures which I promised to show you, to which I will add pearls and precious stones, those widows and consecrated virgins, which are the church’s crown. The church is truly rich, far richer than the Emperor.” 

WHOA! Mic drop! Take that, bad guys. 

This so enraged the emperor that he wanted Lawrence’s execution to be ‘long and painful.’ Lawrence DIDN’T EVEN CARE…because he was following the Pope to martyrdom, just like he had wanted. It didn’t matter to him if it was a quick death or long and drawn out. He was going to his death for being a follower of Christ. 

But wait, there’s more…and it gets worse. Remember how the emperor wanted Lawrence’s death to be long and painful? He sentenced him to be burned alive…on a spit. And while the guards were standing around nearby, St. Lawrence called out: Hey! I’m cooked on this side. Flip me over! Bunch of SLACKERS. Even as he sizzled on an open flame, he prayed for the conversion of Rome and for the men in charge of cooking him. And then he was done. 

So, I present to you, St. Lawrence. Patron saint of stand-up comics, bbq pit masters (like me), dad jokes, wineries, chocolatiers, libraries, stained-glass artists, the poor, leather workers, and so many others…even the French. I mean, I can’t even with this guy! With all of these patronages, you must fit in there somewhere, so welcome him into your prayer life. 

All joking aside, the Catholic life is hard. As dads, we want to prepare our kids to do well in the world. To be tough, smart, kind, good citizens, productive citizens – able to thrive as confident Catholics. A tall order for a dad especially when he’s still trying to figure out how to do all that for his family, go to work, pay the bills, keep the wife happy, and continue to grow his own faith life in a world that would seem to prefer to ‘cancel’ Christ altogether! As Catholics, we’re called to live joyfully and ‘all in colors,’ but that’s hard to do in ‘normal’ times, let alone during this pandemic/quarantine and tension and turmoil in America. But laughter is the best medicine. And while it may not solve all of the world’s problems, all that is required to create a little haven of peace and joy and color is a good bbq (sorry, St. Lawrence) making someone laugh with some really awful, terrible DAD JOKES. Like this one: 

What do you call it when a fisherman uses snow peas as bait? A PODCAST. 

He’s been called the “Ragin’ Cajun I.T Guru from down on the Bayou.” Ben Boudreaux has been married to his sweetheart Joy (who you heard talking about St. Veronica earlier) for almost 26 years. His varied 27-year career in computers has taken him from banks to business computer agencies to travel agencies, insurance companies, construction companies, and even a few Fortune 500 companies, but his primary and favorite vocation is that of husband and “daddy-man”, as his kids call him. He enjoys video games, wood-burning crafts, and being outdoors working on small construction projects. He also gets a kick out of the shocked look on most people’s faces when they learn that he and his wife are parents to fifteen kids! He’s quick with a dad-joke and on most weekends, can be found working his magic on a bbq pit or on a giant pot of chicken and pork jambalaya. Without any more ado, here is Red Bird Ministries’very own… Ben Boudreaux.

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