I wonder if a particular saint inspires you? Perhaps you were named after a certain saint, following the day you were born, or perhaps you took a saint’s name as a second one at your baptism and/or confirmation. We might ask, why are the saints important? In the lives of saints, we see certain people marked by a particular grace from God that has shined through them in a way that points to the hope and new life we have in Christ. In short, saints are witnesses to God’s grace on earth. They can be sources of inspiration and even guidance to us on our spiritual path. We might also pray to a particular saint, asking for their special intercession as we grapple here on earth with life’s many challenges. I’ve always seen the praying to saints as a recognition of our covenant of baptism and human belonging, for we are always only one people – the departed and the living. We seek the prayers of our Christian brothers and sisters here, so why not the saints too!
If I was asked whether a particular saint inspired me, I would immediately think of St Francis of Assisi. Not because he is the patron saint of children or animals, or because he (pretty much) invented the ‘nativity crib scene’, but for two other reasons. Firstly, because his life was marked with a particular grace – a knowledge of his dependency on God, and secondly, because of his sense of our complete connection with all creatures, which we can read in his Canticle of the Creatures. Even the moon and sun are sisters and brothers, and even death. This sense of our belonging and connectedness to every living thing has an important message for us today, and we do well to ponder it more, especially as we come, increasingly – it is hoped, to consider the health of our life in relation to the rest of the planet. So, St Francis, as an example of one saint’s life, has much to say to us still today. There are many more.
As we move towards All Saint’s Day at the beginning of November, I wonder if you can discern a particular message, for today’s world, from the life of a saint that inspires you.
With every blessing,