Saints in our midst

by | Nov 7, 2021 | Across the Ages

 

I was reading a letter by St. Ignatius to Manuel Miona in which the saint was imploring upon him to take the Spiritual Exercises (he did and then joined the Society). What struck me though was just a sentence: “Favre will be able to give you any news about me…you can see it in my letter to him.”

Favre is Pierre Favre, rather SAINT Pierre Favre, in English St. Peter Faber. I once read that, because of Favre’s scruples, St. Ignatius personally directed him for four years before the saint would allow him to take the Exercises. Thereafter, the men said Favre was the best spiritual director of them all. It amazes me how the saints were just normal people busy doing what God put in front of them, just like we are. Whatever busywork lay before them, in performing it they were busy saving souls as they saw their tasks as just that. Whether we are managing a home, working in an office or cooking at McDonalds, our work too can be that of saving souls if we bring God into it. The work of salvation is merely a disposition of heart.

I also thought about this fellow receiving this letter. Here we have two saints not yet canonized, but certainly what initiates any saint’s cause for canonization was the holiness within which their life was led. So, God has two saints interceding in this guy’s life. I wondered: did he see their holiness, and how did he react to them? Of course, that immediately led to me wondering how God puts saints in my life every day. Do I see their holiness? How do I react to them?

This month of November we are to truly put our mind and heart to the reality of living in the communion of saints. We must first recognize saintliness to be one. Then we must practice true virtues, so that love flows through us.

 Who is a prophet? Not someone who sees the future, so much as someone who sees how things could be, according to God’s plan, and asks “why not?” (Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini)

Mercy lives on in each of us, and Christians have the opportunity to be a true force for change in the world.  Disposing ourselves to God in prayer, emptying our hearts to be filled with Him, each individual becomes His vessel of Grace and through Him, become a collective force. The Gifts of the Spirit grow with our willingness to live their virtues. From this, evangelization can range from the quiet planting of ‘seeds’ to the radical and bold. With the Holy Spirit Gifts of knowledge of God and self, understanding the Creator and His creation, we will have the wisdom to proceed with great fortitude.

“For we are like olives, only when we are crushed do we yield what is best in us.” (from the Talmud)

Perhaps the best step to moving forward is to first reflect upon the past. In these times of tribulation, political division, and a societal culture that hates God, how have I grown? In love or hate? Peace or anger? Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that winning elections brings peace. We still have risk of being a society at great odds with one another, ready to exploit and explode again at any moment.

Peace will only come when we bring people to Jesus; when we bring Love Himself to people. We are created in our nature to take care of one another; this promotes our survival. We each have the ability to do ‘good’. It is the doing of good things as God’s wills it, however, that makes it Charity.

As we go forward in this new evangelization, we must look to see how we can build a brethren who, through love and support of one another, are perfected. “that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one”. (John 17:21-23) No one is perfected in isolation of the other; we are perfected together.

Let’s continue to pray for all priests, especially Pope Francis, all clergy and religious, and the worldwide church.

O Christ Jesus

When all is darkness

And we feel our weakness and helplessness,

Give us the sense of Your Presence,

Your Love and Your Strength.

Help us to have perfect trust

In Your protecting love

And strengthening power,

So that nothing may frighten or worry us,

For, living close to You,

We shall see Your Hand, Your Purpose,

Your Will through all things. Amen (St. Ignatius of Loyola)

 

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam 😊

 

 

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