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compassThis morning I read about St. Martin of Tours, the saint of the day, who lived in the fourth century and was a conscientious objector as well as one of the first declared saints not to be a martyr. Desiring to be a monk, he was thrust into many other roles, including that of soldier and bishop. His story is interesting but I was most taken by the comment at the end of the biography (www.americancatholic.org) that seems a worthy thought for the day.

Martin’s worry about cooperation with evil reminds us that almost nothing is either all black or all white. The saints are not creatures of another world; they face the same perplexing decisions that we do. Any decision of conscience always involves some risk. If we choose to go north, we may never know what would have happened had we gone east, west or south. A hyperconscious withdrawal from all perplexing situations is not the virtue of prudence; it is, in fact, a bad decision, for “not to decide is to decide.”