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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The making of a saint

In today's Office of Readings, this is written of St Ignatius de Loyola:

Ignatius was passionately fond of reading worldly books of fiction and tales of knight-errantry. When he felt he was getting better, he asked for some of these books ... But no book of that sort could be found in the house; instead they gave him a life of Christ and a collection of the lives of saints ...
By constantly reading these books he began to be attracted to what he found narrated there. Sometimes in the midst of his reading he would reflect on what he had read. Yet at other times he would dwell on many of the things which he had been accustomed to dwell on previously. But at this point our Lord came to his assistance, insuring that these thoughts were followed by others which arose from his current reading.
While reading the life of Christ our Lord or the lives of the saints, he would reflect and reason with himself: “What if I should do what Saint Francis or Saint Dominic did?”

I've often lamented that my children are not given so much readings from the lives of the saints and from divine Scripture. Instead, they bring home cute and amoral stories of trivial value. It falls on us, parents, to correct this, I think, for our children will not fail to look for models to emulate, and the heroes and idols of this generation are often wanting, to say the least. The Word was made flesh long ago, and he remains incarnate in his Church, in the deeds of his saints, written in their lives and their writings. This is so he continues the discourse, in whatever age, to tell us that he loves us, and his love saves us no matter what comes. But what happens to our children if we do not give them every opportunity to listen at his feet? Worse yet, as nature abhors a vacuum, what lessons are they listening to instead?
And not to forget (almost did), what of myself?
St. Ignatius de Loyola, pray for us!

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