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  • Writer's pictureSt Michael's Church

When one door closes...

Around this time of year there are a number of saints to choose from. We have St George, of course, on 23rd April, then there is St Mark on 25th April, both very well known. Less known though is St Opportuna on 22nd April.

Very little is known about this saint, except that she was Abbess of Montreuil in Normandy during the eighth century. Her brother, a bishop, was murdered in 769 as he was returning home from a pilgrimage from Rome. She died a year later, after a life of humility, obedience, mortification, and prayer.

While her life isn’t terribly interesting, her name is – Opportuna, or Opportunity.

The word opportunity is defined as ‘a time or set of circumstances that are suitable for a particular purpose.’ Although the popular saying that opportunity knocks but once indicated that we get only a few chances in life, the saints teach us otherwise. Throughout our lives we are presented times and circumstances suitable for choosing between good and bad, light and darkness, hope and despair.

Every day we are given chances to make choices that bring us a little bit closer to heaven or draw us a little bit farther away. Even now in these strange times those chances are presented to us, the phone call, the wave, the email, the letter (remember those!) the card, the smile.

These opportunities do not always present themselves with trumpets and fanfare. Often, they appear small and insignificant, but do not be deceived. What appears to be miniscule may be monumental in God’s eyes.

As another saint once said, ‘Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest thing right and doing it all for love…..Remember that nothing is small in the eyes of God.’

Paul Smith


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