TO ST. MATTHEW THE APOSTLE / by Joseph Castorino

You collected terribly tall taxes,

And that’s why many called you a beast,

But then you met the loving Lord Jesus,

And quickly your financial career ceased;

Some felt you were a bloodsucker,

With a black-hearted desire to be rich,

But when you followed the mild Messiah,

Immediately you found your niche.

Perhaps like Scrooge you were selfish,

And you knew not how to love,

But then the Savior softened your heart,

And it became like that of a dove;

Maybe you counted clusters of coins,

And had lofty luxurious goals,

But after the Good Master inspired you,

You wrote a gospel to save sinners’ souls.

St. Matthew, please please pray for us,

Because the devil tempts us to obsess,

We must evade the evil of worldly idols,

And not dream of what to possess;

Thirsting for things can thicken anxiety,

Which can seem to never cease,

We struggle and tuggle with all our might,

And banished is all our peace.

The diabolical dragon swoops down,

Determined all good to destroy,

With the flaming fire of enslaving greed,

He seeks to kill all devotion and joy;

But as a brave bishop of Jesus’ Church,

With gratitude you sing a sweet hymn,

You piously practice the contrary virtue,

And your spiritual cup fills to the brim.

Your shining shield of thanksgiving

Protects you from the devil’s snare,

You deflect the dragon’s temptation,

And it evaporates into the air;

Gratitude is like a stream of living water,

Delightfully refreshing us during the day,

It brings joy to the heart and revives us,

While washing temptation away.

But when the evil one’s persuasive poison

Threatens to seep into our heart,

We must think of the Lord Jesus crucified,

So that it pierces our soul like a dart;

When we dance with delight with temptation,

Help us the crucifix recall,

For the cross crushes the devil’s teeth,

And into hellish Styx he will fall.

Meditating on the gore of Golgotha,

Our hearts like tearful candles melt,

Knife-like nails puncture his palms,

And blood trickles to where Our Lady knelt;

Then our foolish obsessions are obliterated,

By the power of His holy love,

And we are magnificently made new,

By His grace flowing from above.

Trying to lure you into obsession,

The devil deceptively dangled his bait,

But seeing you serve the Good Savior

Only fueled his fury and hate;

You escaped the avalanche of avarice,

That crushes the soul like snow,

You chose a path overflowing with Light,

And your life in the Spirit did grow.