Happy All Saints’ Day!!!!!!! The one Catholic “Holy Day of Obligation” I actually remember. 🙂 Today’s blog talks about saints and how we can be inspired by their lives.
Saints and Superheros
As I have mentioned in this blog time and time again….I was a WEIRD kid. (Ok, and a WEIRD adult!). I liked going to mass. I loved wearing a uniform to school. (nearly 12 years of Catholic schools). And some of my favorite books to check out from the library? You got it….books on saints! As a young girl growing up Catholic, I found the saints to be a terrific source of inspiration, comfort and in some cases, protection (ie: Michael the Archangel….oh yea, because in the Catholic Church, angels are also saints!) Saints were cool! Saints rocked! To me, saints, were the Superheros of the Catholic pantheon. In fact, saints probably ranked right up there with Batman (POW….SMASH….KAPOW), Superman and WonderWoman (the GREATEST Superhero of them all!!!! What girl doesn’t want those red go-go boots and a truth-telling lasso!?) and as a child anyway, I’m not sure I really knew the difference between a saint and a superhero, because that was kind of how they were presented to us. Saints could to anything…..especially since now they were up in heaven where their only job was to help little old us!
Taking Saints off their Pedestal
While I still believe in Superheros and think Saints are really cool, I do have a more realistic and adult view on the saints of the Catholic Church. Ok, some of them are just plain made-up. Many are co-opted pagan gods and goddesses. And most are real human beings who tried to live a godly life….some successfully, some not so much. And many of them would be labeled not just mystical, but maybe even a bit insane in our modern world (check out St. Francis….the dude was a little nutty!). But at the end of the day, the saints are still really cool in my mind…made up or not and there are lessons we can learn from the saints and inspirations we can gain. Not only that, but many of the saints can provide a source of validation for our own insane love of God and relentless search for contentment and peace.
Litany of the Saints
So, here is my tongue-in-cheek litany to some of my favorite saints, giving honor to the inspiration they provide for me on a daily basis:
St. Francis – For being crazy enough in love with God to believe in talking crucifixes and for rebuilding God’s church in a time when the church was greatly in need of reform!
Joan of Arc – For weighing the same as a duck and for being willing to burn for it. (If you get that reference, let me know! :))
Teresa of Avila – For being living proof that tantra is permitted in the Catholic Church. 😉
John of the Cross – For allowing his words to transcend his grumpy-ass demeanor!
Hildegard of Bingen – Mystic, composer, artist, visionary, preacher, confessor, physician, herbalist, founder of monestaries, witch. She did it all…..in a time when other women were getting burned for these things.
Maria Goretti – Ok, this one is serious. She was raped and forgave the man who caused her injury and eventual death. To a 12 year old girl, she showed me that forgiveness was possible even under the most heinous circumstances.
Clare of Assisi – For recognizing that a monstrance is really a terrific superhero weapon that apparently has the power to stop wars. Maybe if we had more women waving monstrances, our world would be a more peaceful place!
Mary Magdalene – DUH! If you don’t know why she rocks to me by now, you haven’t been reading this blog! 😉
Mother Mary – She said yes!
Ignatius of Loyola – Another serious one….sort of…..it is because of St. Ignatius that I even have a job! It is through his tools that I learned to pray and how to be a source of support for others in their spiritual journey. Most importantly, he taught me that I DO NOT need to stop daydreaming and that Sr. Mary-John-Thomas was wrong….God is in my daydreams!
And just for fun, here is my favorite Litany of the Saints for your listening pleasure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoydfOKaGBM&feature=related
Who are your favorite saints and why?
Authentic Freedom Ministries