Last night I was at mass for All Saints Day and they started off the mass with the Litany of the Saints. I've always enjoyed this song. Not only do I like the tune but I just enjoy listening the names of all the saints and thinking about each one, remembering their stories and reflecting on what makes them special. Some of them I was very familiar with. Others, I hadn't heard of at all.
As Catholics we hold saints up in high regard. They are people we can model ourselves after. Some of them seemed to be saintly from the birth. Other's led very sinful lives before turning to God. In 2009, I wrote a blog titled Top 5 Saints. Looking back, I find it interesting that the who I considered my top five saints today aren't the same as I thought of back then. I suppose that's because I'm not in the same place spiritually as I was back then (that can be either a good thing or a bad thing) So, I thought, I would revisit that blog and update it. So, here now are my Top 5 Saints (as of this moment):
1. St. Maximilian Kolbe--a priest who was placed into the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz and gave his life in exchange for another prisoner. I can't say as to why I like St. Maximillian but there is just something about him that I really respect.
2. St. Therese of Lisieux--this may seem a little hokey. I thought her autobiography was very sappy when I read it several years ago. But, I like the story about a fellow nun that she did not like. The nun was always mean to her but St. Therese just put on a smile and went on her way. Finally, one day, the old nun asked Therese, "why do you love me so." Therese didn't even really like the nun but she made the nun feel loved. I want to be like that. You see, people annoy me and I find that it's too easy to be mean back. I don't want to be two-faced, but at the same time, I want to be Christ-like and make people feel loved.
3. St. Faustina--Jesus appeared to her and showed her imaged of heaven and hell and wanted her to pass on the message of His mercy. That's a message I like to hear because I mess up a lot. And I mean A LOT!. It comforts me to know that Jesus loves me know matter what and forgives me. It's a virtue that I try to carry forward and be forgiving to other people.
4. St. Michael--he is a carry over from the 2009 list but, he is the patron saint of police officers. Plus, he is who people think of when they talk about spiritual warfare--the guy who kicked the Devil's butt. And I recognize that we are all in a state of spiritual warfare, whether you want to believe it or not.
5. St Gianna Beretta Molla--she died in the early 1960's in order that her child could live. She had the option of aborting her child and living or carrying her child through birth and possibly dying. I like her because she is saint of the modern days. She is a lay person. And because I'm not sure I could make that decision. Let me clarify---if it was between me or my kids then yeah--no brainer--take me. But, if it was my wife and our unborn child--I'll be honest, I don't know what I'd do. (close your ears Abby!) It would be a huge moral dilemma for me and I respect St. Gianna's decision.
So, there you have it--my five favorite saints for November, 2011. Come back in 2013 and see the next update. Well, come back before then--I may write something good. Probably not, but we'll see.