Saturday, August 04, 2007

Now you see 'em, now you don't. A reflection on the Saints, both obscure and well known...

I typed in "obscure saints" in a Google search and voila, this was first on the page of findings. This is a 1992 article, so keep that in mind. Also I've not read the entire piece, so it could be questionable. At any rate, I started to read and found some very interesting points, made by this author on the first couple of pages. I'd personally prefer more devotion and mention of the Saints, but in both parishes where I attend daily mass, they are mentioned. Fr. Shane at SRB is very knowledgeable and I enjoy feast days when he's celebrating Mass.

Maybe there's been a 'new renewal' of their significance in the lives of us bumbling sinners, bedraggled and dazed from the 60's and 70's craziness. Converts I know, seem to be pretty enthused to learn about them. All I know, is that while in Rome and Assisi, my love for the Saints just sky-rocketed. Mind you, I'd been brought up as a Methodist, so they [the saints] had only been names of churches to me, nothing more. I can't imagine my life now without a devotion to St. Therese, St. Clare, St. Francis, and the more recent, Father Kevin Fete (not canonized of course, but who's very dear to me, and who I know is praying for not only me, but our apostolate, RECON.)

Praying to these Saints gives me such a deeper appreciation and a growing hunger for my Lord! After all, any friend of His should be our friend, too, right? The lives of the Saints are worth our attention, worth our time. You learn a lot about Christ from their love for many loved him enough to die for him, it seems tragic if they've been 'blotted off' the calendar, any of them. But no matter, thank God for the internet, and the information of Christ's bride, the Saints, who've gone on before us and are now cheering us on to endure and persevere to the very end of our lives, with our crosses and our peccadilloes. Knowing they are there, just so close...why would anyone WANT or CHOOSE to ignore so great a communion? So great a "prayer chain!"

St. Susanna is one who's been 'removed' from the calendar, but she's not removed from my heart. I don't know much about her, nor does anyone else. She's one of the very obscure, but I know this, she's praying for every 'Susan' and derivative of her name living right now. Life is very short, we've got prayers rising like incense before the Lord from earth, but where are the prayers even more fragrant and pleasing to Our Lord than from those who are most righteous and holy! The "great cloud of witnesses" in heaven...NOW! What one has to be to be in Heaven is pure and holy. Seems their prayers are much more powerful than ours any day!

Pray for us, our precious brothers and sisters in Christ, who now behold the face of Our Lord and King. We need your intercession! We love you and thank you for your many martyrdoms that have sustained the faith of our fathers through the centuries and our mothers many trials and tears shed for loved ones. St. Monica, pray for us! May your witness sustain us, even now, until the time of our passing when we leave this earth, we pray, heaven bound. Amen

PAX, susie

This is an excerpt from page 2.

"Christianity must be nothing but Christ-centered, argue many sincere Catholics. If anything, the old devotion to the saints trespassed beyond reason and all bounds. If the faith is now unambiguously Christ-centered, it is argued, and if, in the process, the saints have been moved to the periphery, this is all for the good.

But, I would maintain, it is an error to limit the saints to serving as mere role models. The tradition has always upheld that in our communion with the saints, Christians, in fact, encounter Christ. Lumen Gentium explains the tradition thus: "It is not only by the title of example that we cherish the memory of those in heaven. In the lives of those who shared in our humanity and yet were transformed into especially successful images of Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 3: 18), God vividly manifests to [us] his presence and his face."

While a Christianity that finds its inspiration in the Jesus of the gospels might be nourished by preaching on Christ's passage through locked doors, or on the appearance of Christ to the disciples fishing in Peter's boat, such a narrow homiletic forecloses the encounter with Christ as he is also known in the life of the community and in the lives of the saints. Under various titles, most notably, the Mystical Body of Christ and the Communion of Saints, the church has upheld this broader intuition and conviction."

For the rest of the article, click here.

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