Category Archives: mysticism
Part of our Catholic faith is our belief in the Communion of the Saints. We profess this at every Sunday mass and ask for their intercession. They pray for us continuously in Heaven and join us at each and every mass to celebrate. Many people are familiar with different devotions attributed to different saints, like asking Saint Anthony to pray for us when we loose something or asking for St. Josephs intercession when we are selling our homes. We may even ask St. Nicholas of Myra for his intercession when we are about to punch a heretic in the face (just kidding).
I think that we sometimes can forget that the saints aren’t there only for us to ask for their intercession. There is so much more to them than that. The saints have life stories. Some were martyred, others were consecrated religious, hermits, priests, mothers, fathers, and children. One thing ties them all together: they devoted their lives to Christ and sought Him out in love and faithfulness and lived lives of heroic virtue.
I think we have all had an experience where we want to get to know someone better, so we ask their closest friends about how they have impacted them. We ask what they do for fun and how the relationship has affected them. In this case, the person we want to get to know is Christ and one way we can get to know Him better is by getting to know the Saints. We can learn from them how to be better followers to Christ by learning from their examples.
The lives of Saints can speak to us in unique ways. Some Saints may speak to us in very particular ways. One of my favourite saints is Saint Joan of Arc. I read many entries from her journal and was even more inspired to hear the words from her heart about her complete trust in God from the battlefield to the prison cell to death. Her example continues to inspire me to always trust in God, even when the world is against me. This kind of example was what I needed when I was being confirmed as I was going through hard periods of depression.
Likewise, some may find consolation and comfort in the lives of other saints. A mother may be drawn to the fervent prayers of Saint Monica for the conversion of her son Augustine. For the contemplative, perhaps St.Teresa of Avila’s writings. For the scholar, St. Dominic or Saint Benedict. For the struggling student, Saint Joseph of Cupertino. And all of them loved Jesus and now reside with him in Heaven.
“The greatest Saints, those richest in grace and virtue will be the most assiduous in praying to the most Blessed Virgin, looking up to her as the perfect model to imitate and as a powerful helper to assist them.”
–Saint Louis Marie de Montfort
I won’t forget to make mention to the greatest saint of all: Mary. We should not be strangers to Our Lady, for she is the Queen of Heaven . She knew Christ first, and knew Him His entire earthly life, right up to the cross. We shouldn’t be shy about getting to know Mary better. It is in loving her that we can come to know and love her Son in the most amazing and beautiful ways.
With All Saints day and All Souls Day approaching, perhaps we should spend some time getting to know some of the saints. Let us become close friends with the King and with those that worship Him perpetually in Heaven. Let us get to know the crowd of saints that were inspired to live for the King despite the difficulties they faced. Remember the saints not only by their deeds, but by their steadfast faith, devotion, and love for God and all that is His.
Here are a few books to check out and enjoy:
As many of our readers may know, on May 31st, Mike (aka anotherepigone) and myself were married. It was a joyful day, filled with laughter, tears of joy, and an overwhelming experience of the grace of God. After years of prayer and a deep love for the sacrament of marriage and everything that comes with it, I was finally able to enter into my vocation. I could feel the presence of Christ in my heart, and I felt the graces giving me strength where there was weakness, and courage where there was fear. All of these things in just one day. What I couldn’t expect was how He would reveal Himself time and time again on our honeymoon in Portugal.
We had already been in Portugal for about a week before we were finally in Fatima for the last few days. It was all coming to a close, and we wanted to end our honeymoon on the perfect note as well as to return to our home with hearts that were in the right place. We got to our hotel and got settled, then set off to finally go to the Chapel and go to an English mass that would be happening shortly.
Up to this point, we had no idea that we had coincidentally arrived in Fatima on Portugal Day. So, when we arrived expecting English mass, there was a rosary being said, followed by a mass. We had no idea why, but we were content to be there and see what the Lord had in store for us. Mass continued on, my heart dancing out of just the excitement alone that I was where Our Lady had appeared. In addition to Mass, they had a full Eucharistic procession from the chapel and then around the courtyard. We had been standing at the back with a small crowd, but during the procession, we were right behind the priest as he carried the Monstrance. The entire crowd was silent. All we could hear were the hymns. The reverence in the silence among all the people was astounding.
They continued up the stairs of the new basilica, and we stopped at the steps, kneeling with several others as there was Benediction. Then the Monstrance was removed, taken into the basilica. Mike and I were overjoyed that we were there, with front row seats, not even expecting such a magnificent celebration in Fatima. Jesus wasn’t finished with us yet, though.
The next day, we had prepared ourselves to pray the Rosary on our knees along the path that lead to and around the Chapel of the Apparition. To me, it was what I looked forward to doing most in Fatima, more than seeing anything else, but just to pray the rosary. I had been looking forward to it the whole honeymoon. We didn’t know what was going on in the chapel, as usually there was always a crowd there for one reason or another, and often a priest would lead the rosary. We focused on our present task.
As we finished reciting the rosary, we found ourselves directly in front of the chapel. My heart skipped as I looked over to behold the Priest raising up the consecrated host. I was frozen. I grasped Mike’s hand tightly. We starred in awe, and bowed as the priest did before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament . How beautiful that Jesus would meet us at the end.
We were so blessed to see Jesus reveal Himself during our Honeymoon as we begin to live out our vocation. Something that has been on my heart is that while Mike and I now have each other, Christ must still remain the prime focus. By loving Him, we will be able to love one another better.
God will provide all that we need in our vocations. He may allow us to struggle, but only to help us become holier. He will provide for us in His own time, and in His own way. The greatest gift that He gives us is the gift of Himself. It is His love that will sustain us and He will be our manna in our good times, but also in the deserts in our life ahead.
May God bless all of you as you seek to know and live out your vocations.
“Could you realize what happiness it is to love the Sacred Heart of Jesus, you would despise all else to love but it alone.” – St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
June was the Month of the Sacred Heart. And so it is fitting that this heroic virtue series would be about St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
Margaret was born in 1647 as the fifth of seven children to Claude and Philiberte Alacoque. Her father was a prosperous notary and her family owned farmland and had a home in the country. They also had aristocratic connections, as St. Margaret’s godmother was the Countess of Corcheval. She visited her godmother often until her death, and Margaret’s father died from pneumonia in 1655, when she was eight years old. This left Margaret’s mother a widow, with sole guardianship of her children, and so she was rarely home. Read the rest of this entry