December 07

St. Ambrose, born in AD 339, had no aspirations for the holy life. In fact, he didn't even learn any Scripture until he was thirty-five years old! Ambrose had a successful career as a lawyer, and was in fact the Governor of Milan when a riot broke out in his hometown. Since the Bishop of Milan had recently died, the task fell to Ambrose to keep the peace. In an attempt to quell the riot, Ambrose made an impassioned speech, begging both sides to use peaceful methods instead of violence. The Catholics and the Arians, who by this time were bitter enemies, were calmed by Ambrose's words of reason and logic. Suddenly someone shouted, "Ambrose for Bishop!" The chant was taken up by the crowd, and sure enough, Ambrose was made Bishop of Milan in 374.

As soon as he was elected Bishop, Ambrose gave away his large estate to the poor. When Milan was invaded by the Goths, a barbarian tribe, Ambrose gave all of the money he had for the ransom of captives. He even melted down some of the church's gold art to pay for the release of captives. When criticized for his action, Ambrose replied: "It is a better thing to save souls for the Lord than to save treasures." Ambrose was instrumental in the conversion of St. Augustine, and even made the emperor Theodosius do public penance when the emperor ordered the massacre of seven thousand Thessalonians. In AD 397, Ambrose died at the age of 57.

If St. Ambrose had taken the Spiritual Types Test, he probably would have been a Prophet. Ambrose is remembered on December 7.

Today's Reflection