June 19, 2007

Four New Saints, Four New Friends

Excerpt of biography of new saint George Preca (1880-1962) found in the Catholic Times:
Around 1910, Father George had a very powerful mystical experience which he always referred to as "the extraordinary vision of the child Jesus." One morning, he was passing in the vicinity of the Marsa Cross when he suddenly saw a 12-year old boy pushing a low cart with a bagful of manure. The boy turned to George and ordered him imperiously: "Lend me a hand!" The moment Father George put his hand on the cart, he felt an extraordinary spiritual sweetness and he never could remember where they went or what happened to the young boy. He later understood that the boy was Jesus and that the Lord was asking him and his followers to help him with nurturing the Lord's field and vineyard with sound doctrine and formation.
More from the same issue of Catholic Times:
In the Creed, we proclaim our faith in the Communion of Saints. In doing so, we acknowledge the gift of an ongoing, two-way relationship with those who have gone before us. Sister Mary Ann Fatula, a professor of theology at Ohio Dominican University, says the introduction to us of four new saints is in reality the introduction of four new friends. "The Liturgy of the Church says, 'You give us their friendship.' We really do have four new friends. And what do friends do for one another? Thomas Aquinas talked about friendship as this mutual self-giving for each other, and those saints are there to help us in a very real way, to pray with us, to inspire us through their example, to be with us when we need them."

So do we already have all the saints we need? "We can never have too many friends," Sister Fatula said. "When they are canonized, we find out more about them. Each of us is different. As we learn about these new saints, we may find something in their lives, their writing, their thoughts that resonates with us in a way that is special. In that moment, a friendship is born, and with that friendship comes mighty power."

No comments: