Wednesday, January 20, 2010

St. Fabian: Touched By God

When I was giving a lot of retreats 40 years ago, particularly for young people, I often used the lyrics to a song made very popular at the time by Barbra Streisand,
He Touched Me, written by Milton Schafer and Ira Levin, and published by Edwin H. Morris & Co.:
He touched me
He put his hand near mine
And then, he touched me...

He knew it,
It wasn't accidental, no, he knew it...

I know
He's real,
and the world is alive and shining
I feel such a wonderful drive t'wards valentining...

He touched me
And suddenly nothing is the same...

In 236 Fabian the Farmer just happened to come to Rome to join in as one of the crowd in seeing how a new Pope was elected. Only, God put the "touch" on Fabian, in the form of a dove who lit on his shoulder. And before he knew it he was chosen as Pope! Woodeene Koenig-Bricker remarks in her 365 Saints: "One can't help but wonder what Fabian told his family. 'You'll never guess what happened to me! I was just minding my own business when a bird sat on my head, and now I'm pope!' While such spectacular (and unusual) events are unlikely to happen to any of us, God does touch each of us every day..." Unfortunately for Fabian, the Emperor Decius also put the touch on him 14 years later and had him beheaded: the first truly authenticated martyrdom of a Roman bishop.

God's touch brought me into this world.
God's touch gave me new life in Baptism.
For all the years of my life, day in, day out, God continues to touch me in wondrous, suprising ways.
Who knows where God's future touch will direct or affect me?

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