Saints Meme

I’ve been thinking about this meme, and since Esther left an open tag I thought I’d go ahead and do it for fun. (I know there have been other open tags, too, but I needed to think it over a little bit first.)

Here are the rules: You have to list your four favorite saints, one favorite blessed and someone who think should have been a saint. (For your entertainment, I added links to each saint’s page at the Patron Saints Index.)

First is Saint Peter. Gosh, I love him so very much! Think of this past Sunday’s Gospel. First, he jumps off the boat (which is headed the short 100 yards to shore already) so he can be the first one to get to Jesus! I love to close my eyes and imagine him running out of the water, half tripping and stumbling through the surf, and hugging Jesus with all his might! His enthusiasm is just fantastic! I love that he is quick to speak in the Gospels, though he often also seems slow to think about what he is saying. (“I’ll follow you anywhere!” “Simon, you can’t do that now. I’m going to die.” “Oh, God forbid, Jesus!”) I love that he has unbridled passion and love for Christ, even though he had to admit at the end of the Gospel reading on Sunday that he could not agape Christ, but could only philia him. I love how he jumped out of a boat and walked on the water until he realized, “Holy mackeral! I’m walking on the WATER, dude!!” and started to sink. If I were a boy, I might have taken Peter as my Confirmation name. (That is, if I’d been thinking about the saint instead of how the name sounded with the rest of my name.)

The rest of the saints in my list are not in any particular order.
Next is Saint Therese, the Little Flower. I love that she felt she was just too little to do big things, but that she could do small things with all of her heart and offer that to God. The idea that I can offer my small sacrifices and actions to God and that He can make something great of it…well, who wouldn’t like that idea? I tell my girls all the time that they need only do small things with great love to be able to do God’s will. When you are a little child, it’s hard to imagine that anything you do can be helpful or good to God. Really, when you are “just” a stay-at-home wife and mother, it can feel the same way. Other people are doing great things. They write important articles that help change how people look at things. They deliver great lectures that inform consciences. They teach classes and educate students and fill their minds with the Great Truth. They travel overseas and meet Important People and exchange ideas. Maybe they even get to meet the pope or a cardinal while they travel through Rome. But here, at home, what Great Things am I doing? I am not doing any Great Thing. But my Small Things, when offered to Christ with Great Love, can afford me graces which I will not know the extent of until I reach my judgement day.
Saint Joseph, foster father of our Lord. Little is said about him in the Gospels, but imagine the faith he had! And his disposition was so gentle! Think of this: he wanted to divorce Mary quietly because he didn’t want to cause her scandal. Then he was so open to God’s will that he was able to follow the instructions of angels three times (that we are told of) in order to secure the safety of the Holy Family. First, in marrying Mary. Next, to flee to Egypt. Finally, to return to Israel to raise Jesus in Galilee. And to live a life consecrated to chastity such as his and the Blessed Mother’s! Who in this time can imagine such dedication to the will of God? Saint Joseph is the patron of the Church, of a happy death, of fathers, of families, and on and on. He protected our Savior and raised Him to be a good and godly Man. He helped to educate Jesus! Can you imagine the responsibility? I can’t.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Blessed Mother. Her life is mostly a mystery (if you only have the Bible, that is – sacred Tradition tells us a bit more, though it’s still not a full biography). She lived a hidden life. Wife, mother, teacher to her Son. She was to protect Jesus as a child, to raise Him up. She helped Saint Joseph to teach the Child Jesus the faith. The fact that the Mother of God led a life similar to my own (wife, mother, teacher of my children) gives me comfort when I am feeling frustrated with my own life. I remember that Mary was able to do it all with grace and faith. Her complete dedication to God and His will is something that every person, male or female, ought to aspire towards.

My favorite blessed is probably Mother Teresa. I have always been very drawn to her. When I was a girl, I was fascinated by her missionary work, especially when I learned of the caste system that she blatantly ignored. I have a book of quotations by her called The Joy in Loving that absolutely puts me to shame every time I open it. I have two quotes that are from that book to share here.

I always say I am a little pencil in God’s hands. He does the thinking. He does the writing. He does everything and sometimes it is really hard because it is a broken pencil and He has to sharpen it a little more. Be a little instrument in His hands so that He can use you any time, anywhere. We have only to say ‘yes’ to God.

And, boy, is it hard when it’s time to be sharpened! That is, if we are even letting Him use us at all. Maybe we are the pencil that is hiding behind the couch in the living room, dropped there during last week’s math lesson that was taken off to be worked on elsewhere. But, really, can we hide from God? Here’s a hint: It didn’t work very well for Adam and Eve, did it?

Dear God, when it comes to helping those in need, help me to see more than myself. I don’t think there is anyone who needs God’s grace and help more than I do. I feel so forsaken and confused at times. And I think that is exactly why God uses me, because I cannot claim any credit for what gets done. On the contrary I need His help twenty-four hours a day.

We know this is exactly what Saint Paul (another favorite!) was talking about. In our weaknesses, we can show the strength of God. When we are weak, but we still accomplish things, it only serves to show that it is really God behind it. I can attest to that. If this Mother’s Day tea comes off at our parish, it will certainly be God’s doing, not my own. I’m not a natural leader, and running a Respect Life meeting is nerve-wracking. But God gives me enough grace to do it.

Another thing about Blessed Teresa of Calcutta that I found amazing is that she went through a Dark Night of the Soul. Many people lose their faith when they face a time when they cannot feel God at all. Prayers seem to go into nothingness. You listen but aren’t sure there is an answer at all. You feel completely abandonned – forsaken. I’ve been there, and, if you ask me, I failed the test miserably. But Blessed Teresa’s writings to her spiritual mentor revealed that she went through a spiritual desert for the last forty years of her life. That was bascially the entire time she worked in Calcutta. But she continued to trust God and do what He had called her to do. When I first read about this, it brought me to tears.
Someone who should be made a saint, in my opinion, is Father Michael McGivney. And it’s not just my opinion, either. The founder of the Knights of Columbus created an organization that started out providing death benefits so that families were not split up if the father died. His own family was very nearly broken up when his own father died, and he nearly had to leave seminary. He’d seen it happen too many times, and he wanted to make a difference. After a number of years, the K of C developed into a charitable organization. They raise money only to give it away again to worthy causes. The Knights at our parish help fund the bus taken to the March for Life each year. They raise money to help fund other organizations that help retarded citizens (the annual Tootsie Roll drive). The Knights provide fellowship for Catholic men around the world, and they remain steadfastly faithful to the Magisterium. I hope to see Father McGivney canonized someday.

Tags:
This meme has been all over the place, and I’m not sure who has and has not been tagged. If you feel compelled (the power of Christ compells you!), go right ahead and do it. Just leave a link, if you please, in the com boxes.

3 thoughts on “Saints Meme

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