Sunday, May 29, 2011

Reading the Saints

[In his homily, “Saints: A Sinners Guide or Ten Most Important Facts about Repentance,” Fr. John J. Lombardi notes the importance of reading about the conversion stories of saints.]

...9. Read about the saints: remember--they were sinners who became saints by God's grace and their human cooperation with Him. The greatest of these conversion stories include St Paul (overcoming his anger, religious triumphalism) St Augustine (paganism, restlessness), Mary Magdalene (transforming her sensuality), St Francis of Assisi (overturning his machismo and materialism); St Margaret of Cortona (against parental disobedience); Ven. Matt Talbot (a drunk who became divinized); St Phillip Neri ("Joyful saint", juggler and joke-teller) once said: "Lord, keep your hand on Phillipo, for today he may betray you." So: study how God worked in the saints and become one yourself.

Source: The entire homily can be found at

[The following is an except from an article on the influence of saints on the author's spiritual journey.]

"For This is the Will of God: Your Sanctification"

by Rebecca Po

...Many saints are not the most talented or intelligent; some are not even likeable by others. However they made use of whatever God has given and whichever situation they find themselves in – a vehicle to grow in holiness. St Francis de Sales said “Bloom where you are planted.” They felt with the same keenness, the weakness, temptations and weariness as anyone does. St. Bernard of Clairvaux had a quick temper which he moderated later in his life. St. Augustine in his Confessions said “Lord make me chaste but not yet.” He later struggled violently and victoriously against the cruel yoke of the flesh. Besides imperfections and weaknesses, some saints went through down right serious problems such as family and marital problems, addictions, among other things. St. Elizabeth of Hungry endured for forty one years her unfaithful husband and her prayers obtained his conversion on his deathbed. St. Gianna Molla chose life of the baby in her womb over her own life. Venerable Matt Talbot was converted from 16-year addiction of alcohol.