If you were to go out to coffee with a saint, which saint would you go with? Maybe Our Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, St. Michael the Archangel…maybe St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis of Assisi or St. Peter? Perhaps St. Agnes, St. Mary Magdalene, or St. Lucy?? Let’s say that your favourite saint, or the saint that you have a great devotion to, asked you to go out for coffee, what would you talk about? Would you ask them questions? Would you seek their counsel? Would you just be happy to enjoy each other’s company? Or would you be like one of those people that says, “Oh my goodness…I am your biggest fan!!!”
I have found that the saints are wonderful helpers, and our friends. As we close this month of November, I just want to acknowledge the presence of the saints in our lives, the fact that they are with us…always!
The saints are men and women who have lived every mystery of our Lord…the joyful, the sorrowful and the glorious. The saints discovered that if we are going to find God, we need to make an effort to go within and have a strong interior life. They knew that their prayer time with the Lord was time well spent and totally immersed themselves in their relationship with God. They LOVE THE EUCHARIST!!! THEY LOVE ALL THE SACRAMENTS!!! They also knew that purification is needed: to be pure in heart and intention. Even when the trials came, the saints know: “God has been loving me all along.” Just as the saints were tested, so must we be put to the test too. God calls our love to be purified. We discover during the test that people or things cannot fill us entirely…we are drawn in so many directions…is the Lord the main one I am drawn too? The saints lived lives of joy….even when they were suffering…really suffering…they still had joy, because they kept their eyes on God. They knew the joy that they hoped for was coming to them…the joy and happiness of heaven!
When we look at the lives of the saints, we see that they knew their great poverty. They experienced loss, temptation and trial just like all of us, and so they learned compassion and self-sacrifice. They saw that when God took away things that are not Him, this was a great mercy in order for them to belong completely to God alone. The saints teach us that sometimes we need to say “no” to someone or something in order to say “yes” to God. In order to do this, the saints knew that they needed to be so confident in this truth: someone cares about you…someone thinks you are special…and what needs to be most central in our thoughts is that God is that someone who loves us.
Many times we think that in order to show someone we love them, we need to talk and talk and talk. I am learning that the deeper love grows for someone, the less that needs to be communicated. I believe, just from reading St. John of the Cross and other authors that as we grow in relationship with the Lord, there will be times when just being with Him in His presence will be enough in that moment. “Lord, I just want to be with you.” However, the Lord does want us to bring our needs and intentions before Him in simplicity and confidence of a child: “Father in heaven…please, please, please, please???”
Our love needs to become REAL LOVE…not a love that is based on “what can you give me” rather a love that says, “I love you so much that I want to see you in heaven with God for all eternity…I want you to be so on fire with love for God…I want Mary, our Mother to always take care of you…and I am willing to pray, and sacrifice so that God will be your everything…”
The saints knew the power of prayer and penance. The saints knew the test of FAITH, HOPE, and CHARITY. When someone says, “please pray for me,” take this request seriously, just like the saints did. Make room in your prayer life for that person. They are counting on your prayers! Understand that we count on the faith of others when our faith is weak. A saint never gives up on anyone! If there is someone in your life who you are very worried about or you see them going down a dark path I say this to you…NEVER STOP PRAYING FOR THEM!!! NEVER STOP SACRIFICING FOR THEM! God sees your tears and fears. He knows the love that you have for them…and HE will work miracles!
So the question is: “What am I desiring apart from God?” “Am I content with God alone?”
So the next time you have a coffee in the morning…invite your favourite saint. Talk to them as you would talk to any one of your friends…ask them to pray for you and the people you love…ask them to give you guidance and help…ask them to help you love Jesus as they love Him…make sure you ask them to have coffee with you again!!