Have you ever been to a desert?
I’ve been living in the desert country of the United Arab Emirates for almost a decade now.
One thing I could never get used to were the summers here reaching up to 50 degrees Celsius.
We Filipinos don’t know much about deserts (desserts, most likely!).
A desert is a place of a dearth of resources.
Aside from being scorching hot, there’s a lack of food, water, shelter, and comfort.
I’m not sure how at home St. Chaeremon felt in the desert.
Priest and bishop of Nilopolis in Egypt, he was persecuted during the reign of Emperor Trajanus Decius, at a time when many persecuted Christians were driven out into the desert.
Most of them died, exposed to the extreme conditions in the desert.
The old bishop and a companion went to the mountains of Arabia to find shelter but they were never seen again after 250 A.D.
It’s safe to say Chaeremon was killed either by wild beasts, from starvation or exposure to the elements.
Today’s saint was one of the many martyrs who gave up their lives for their faith.
Isn’t this our experience today?
Many of us feel that we’ve been driven out into the deserts of our lives, especially during this ongoing crisis.
We’ve experienced a lot of “lack” this year.
Perhaps you’ve lost your job, are buried in debt, or even rejected by someone you trusted, or even lost a loved one.
Today’s saint reminds us that the deserts we face in life prepare us for the purpose of God.
St. Chaeremon remained steadfast in his faith even if the last years of his life were probably spent in deprivation.
He showed us that it is through crises that our spiritual life shines brighter.
So bright that it can even lead and inspire desert wanderers like you and me.
1. What “desert” am I going through right now? Where do I think it is leading me?
2. How can I help others also going through a “desert” of their own?
1. Reach out to someone who’s having a difficult time today. Help them and pray with them.
References for further reading:
Have you ever wondered why Catholics pray with saints? Let’s unbox: