A look ahead at the saints this coming week….
A couple of reminders:
- These are only some of the saints and blesseds remembered this week. Every day has at least ten names associated with it.
- But then, you wonder…if you look at the liturgical calendar..why aren’t all of these actually there?
- Simple answer: that would be crazy.
- More complete answer: It has to do with the priority of liturgical celebrations, which is a complicated thing. You can read more about it in many places, including here. Here also. This is a good handout, especially for RCIA and catechists.
Why am I focusing on this these days? Because I think that allowing our spiritual formation to be guided by the Church in this way leads us to a well-grounded, holistic understanding of what faith in Christ is all about. It isn’t about tagging on extras for the sake of “Catholic identity is awesome, you guys!” or shopping for a cool saint who works on my Spiritual Style Look Book or Pinterest Board.
So who can we encounter this week, if we choose?
- A man who used his inherited wealth to establish monasteries, was engaged in diplomacy, wrote about pastoral care, and (unwillingly) became Pope.
- A gifted young woman who studied music in New York City
- A man who witnessed to Christ for decades — sitting atop a pole
- A convert to Catholicism from Ethiopian Orthodoxy, caught between two worlds
- Martyrs to revolution
- An Albanian woman who served Christ in the dying and forgotten in India
- A man, intended for service in the Spanish court, who instead dedicated his life to ransoming slaves.
- A young woman who spoke truth to power – the Holy Roman Emperor – in the 13th century.
When you engage with the Church’s Scripture-soaked liturgy and the Saints on a daily basis, you really can’t hide. It becomes more difficult, if not impossible to work that do-it-yourself spirituality that all of us would prefer, led only by our favorite voices and Catholic Flavors-of-the-Month sympathetic to our prejudices and ideologies. It leads us out of simplistic, present-centered either/ors but paradoxically, to more clarity in the midst of deeper mystery.