Let me tell you the story of a saint. St. John Vianney was interested in me, long before I was interested in him. St. John Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests and he was praying for me long before I ever knew his name. St. John Vianney’s feast day, August 4th, was the birthday of my grandfather, Lowell. Lowell is my middle name. St. John Vianney was praying for me. While I was studying chemistry and asking God what He wanted me to do in my life, I came upon a novena prayer to St. John Vianney. When I went to my first seminary, it was named after St. John Vianney. When I went to my graduate seminary it was named after St. John Vianney. God displayed his rich love for me through his chosen man, St. John Vianney.
“The saints want us to be with them, and we are indifferent. The souls of the just await us and we ignore them.”
Who are the saints that pray for you, care for you, and love you? Do you know them and have you sought them? As Catholics we observe this feast for two reasons, to remember that the friends of Jesus Christ love the same things he does and to remember and renew our own life of sanctity.
The friends of Jesus Christ love the same things he loves. None of us would deny that Jesus Christ loves us but we are ignorant of how his friends, the saints, love us. They love us not to take anything away from Jesus and his salvation but as a part of the grand symphony that is his salvation. Telling the saints to not love us, to not pray for us, to not care for us, is like telling Jesus to leave us alone. Not going to happen.
This feast also reminds us of our own calling. There is one Catholic Church here on earth, and in the purifications of purgatory, and again in the glories of heaven. One Church that is united by Jesus Christ and one calling that we all have. If we are not yet saints it is because we do not want to be. God is providing everything for you to be a saint. What does it mean? Look at this image of our Blessed Mother. See how she receives light from the infant Jesus and illumines the world with him. You are called to that receptivity in order to illuminate the world.
Let us renew our interest in the saints and so renew our interest in our own salvation through Jesus Christ. Find those saints who care for you with the love of Christ, especially the saints you don’t know about. The saints of your name, of your birthday, of your baptism day, of your confirmation, of some other momentous date in your life. Find the saints who have the same interests as you and ask them to pray for you. They will lead you to Christ.
Posted at Newman Center Website.