Today is the Feast of St. Norbert, bishop. Norbert was raised in a noble family and accepted ordination into the subdeaconate so that he could live a life of ease off a stipend in the court of the Holy Roman Emperor. One day, he was thrown from his horse when a bolt of lightning shot from the sky and nearly hit him. The experience shook him greatly and he underwent a profound conversion and practiced intense penance and a deep devotion to the Eucharist grew in his soul. Norbert founded the Premonstratensians – which not even Wikipedia tries to pronounce, but a good phonetic attempt will do fine – in Prémontré, France. He was later appointed bishop of Magdeburg, Germany, where his attempts to reform the local church brought about several attempts on his life.
Like all the saints of sudden and profound conversion, he is an excellent example of metanoia, the change of heart and turning toward Christ that lights the flame of many vocations. With the help of his intercession, may we, like he did, weed out our lukewarmness and devote ourselves totally out of love to God.