Monday, February 24, 2014

"My Life with the Saints" by James Martin, SJ, is an Easy Way to Discover Some Saints

Many people turn to Saints in times of trouble, for example, or for intercession. It's like having an older brother or sister who faced the same situation you're going through, one you can  turn to for inspiration or advice. They are our cheerleaders, leading us to Christ through their examples.

There are Patron Saints for various illnesses, professions, and attributes. St. Peregrine, who was cured of cancer, is the Patron Saint of those suffering from the disease. St. Therese of Lisieux, also know as The Little Flower for her little steps to Jesus, is the Patron Saint of depression. I think Blessed Mother Teresa will probably be the Patron Saint of the marginalized.

I would like to learn more about Saint Jerome, because it sounds like he had the same difficulty I have with playing nice. His biting sarcasm made him enemies, even in the Church. Like when he snarked about some Roman clergy,  "All their anxiety is about their clothes.... You would take them for bridegrooms rather than for clerics; all they think about is knowing the names and houses and doings of rich ladies." Ouch.

Have you ever wanted to meet a few Saints but you just didn't have time to delve into their lives detail? Or maybe you weren't sure which Saint might speak to you -- who you might relate to -- and you didn't want to pick through several books.

"My Life with the Saints" is one book that contains stories of many saints.  Written by James Martin, SJ, (that would be Society of Jesus, which makes him a Jesuit) Father Martin introduces several Saints he met during his journey as a priest. Told in an easy-to-read conversational style, the book relates how Father discovered each holy person and what he learned from their example.

Saints he covers include Joan of Arc, Therese of Lisieux, Ignatius of Loyola, Thomas Merton, the Ugandan Martyrs, and Mother Teresa. You can see from the list that not all are canonized Saints and not all are individuals, but  all of these people lived their faith with conviction (and sometimes died for it,) and their example can bring us closer to Jesus.

Winner of the Christopher Award, which salutes media that  "affirm the highest values of the human spirit."

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