Friday, May 27, 2005
Sacred Heart Devotion: Being with a Saint  

During this novena to the Sacred Heart, I have decided to post paragraphs from the Directory on Popular Piety about devotion to our Lord's Sacred Heart. The first paragraphs lists a number of saints who helped foster devotion to the Sacred Heart.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart was particularly strong during the middle ages. Many renowned for the learning and holiness developed and encouraged the devotion, among them St. Bernard (+1153), St. Bonaventure (+ 1274), the mystic St. Lutgarda (+1246), St Mathilda of Marburg (+ 1282), the sainted sisters Mathilda (+ 1299) and Gertrude (+ 1302) of the monastery of Helfta, and Ludolf of Saxony (+1380). These perceived in the Sacred Heart a "refuge" in which to recover, the seat of mercy, the encounter with him who is the source of the Lord's infinite love, the fount from which flows the Holy Spirit, the promised land, and true paradise.
Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, 169

As a child, St. Bonaventure was healed from a disease by prayers from St. Francis of Assisi. At age 22, he joined the Franciscans. And at age 35, he became the General of the Franciscans. Later he was made a cardinal. He was a friend of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Louis the King of France who was himself a third order Franciscan. He was known for his learning and eloquence. His writings include a life of St. Francis. He was canonized in 1482. He was also named a Doctor of the Church.

The relationships which St. Bonaventure had with St. Francis, St. Thomas, and St. Louis indicate to me the importance of being in contact with holy people. There are countless examples of the influence that a holy person has on another person which inspires them to be holy. In other words, to some degree, saints beget saints and saints assist saints to become saints.

In theory, I would say that I would like to be around a saint. For instance, I might have said that I would like to have spent time with Blessed Mother Theresa. I certainly hope so. However, what if it had gotten uncomfortable because she suggested that what I was doing or how I was acting needed to change? Would I be willing to accept a saint's criticisms more than someone else who I do not consider to be so holy? What about our Lord? Do I accept what He says because of who He is? It seems that the problem is me and not the ones who the Lord uses to reach me. Remember the tenants of the vineyard did not respect the king's son, but had him killed in order to get the inheritance.

Posted by David at 7:38 AM  |  Comments (0)  | 


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