Trust in Him

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friendship of the Saints

If our angels are near us always, and Christ lives in us through the Eucharist, then it is not surprising for me to wonder how we might obtain the companionship of the saints. Heaven, as I have said before, is not a distant place… it is a place that is here, now, but is hidden by a veil of materialism and time. If this is where the saints are, if they look upon the Beatific Vision outside of time, while still awaiting the final Resurrection, then they must hear our prayers just as Jesus does.

The saints are special to mankind for several reasons. For one thing, they long to bring as many of us as possible to Christ in heaven, so they pray for us constantly. They also empathize with us, with our lives, for they too are human… and often guide us tenderly through our trials, without us ever seeing them. Some of the saints, like St. Therese who promised to spend her heaven doing good upon earth, died with the intention of serving people even after their deaths. Finally, because they are so deeply loved by God for their goodness, by honoring them we are honoring God, who we adore above all else.

We imitate the saints and learn from them… because if they have made it to heaven, then living our lives as they lived theirs is certainly a good place to start our journey. They are examples of peace and love and wisdom in this world, and we should find great joy in their lives because it brings us hope for ours. Their experience, and now their opened eyes in heaven, has so much wisdom to offer us.

When I have been lonely, in need, or afraid in the past… I have found the friendship of the saints to be very consoling. To read about them and to pray to God through them has made me realize that we are all a family. The Mystical Body of Christ, the Church, which contains the Church militant, suffering, and blessed… is a family. The saints are, therefore, our friends… our sisters and brothers and fathers and mothers. They are kind and helpful and loving. And, like the older brother who gets his kid brother out of a mess at school, they often get us out of trouble.

When they were on earth, many of the saints spent their lives organizing institutions, rules, or books that would help us to follow the ways of Christ and reach heaven. Now that they are with Him in heaven, they continue the work they did on earth by helping people to follow faithfully in their footsteps with the means they left for them. The religious say: our father St. Francis, our mother St. Clare, our father St. Benedict, our father St. Dominic… because they know the fatherly and motherly love and guidance of their founders.

Thus, we must not take for granted our family in heaven, and strive to be closer and closer to them. They will help us if we come to them asking their intercession. They will show us wisdom, guide us, and guard us. It is a great consolation to know that there are saints looking out for us!

St. Mary, virgin and mother, pray for us.
St. Therese, the little flower, pray for us.
St. Francis, giver of peace, pray for us.
St. Benedict, father of monasticism, pray for us.
St. Thomas Aquinas, seeker of wisdom, pray for us.
St. Collette, daughter of faith, pray for us.
St. Philip Neri, persona of joy, pray for us.
St. John of the Cross, lover of Christ, pray for us.
St. John the Apostle, closest friend of Jesus, pray for us.
St. Maria Goretti, flower of purity, pray for us.
St. Catherine Labour, child of Mary, pray for us.
St. Margaret Mary, receiver of the Sacred Heart, pray for us.
St. Isaac Jogues, missionary and martyr, pray for us.
St. Rose of Lima, beautiful and brave, pray for us.

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