Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saint Celebrity - My June Column for Fraternity Newsletter

“Look at the Good Shepherd, my brothers. To save his sheep he endured the agony of the cross. They followed him in trials and persecutions, in ignominy, hunger, and theist, in humiliations and temptations, and so on. And for this God, rewarded them with eternal life. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves; the saints endured all that, but we who are servants of God try to win honor and glory by recounting and making known what they have done.” (Admonition VI, St. Francis of Assisi)

It could be said that our society is addicted to celebrities; we are fascinated with actors and actresses who are stars, with “beautiful” people who constantly get their pictures in magazines, or have their own reality TV programs. Still for all the gossip and press we read about them, we really do not know that much about them.

I sometimes think we Catholics are too enamored with “spiritual celebrity.” We are so fascinated with the miracles saints performed; the wondrous events of their lives, which we can sometimes fail to see what they can teach us about living the Gospel. This is true with St. Anthony of Padua. We can focus so much on Anthony as the miracle worker; we ignore other aspects of his life. He was a man who trusted the Father’s plan for him, even though it took him down unknown paths. He was a man of deep prayer, who contemplated God’s creation. He was a theologian and a preacher, who knew how to speak to the common man and woman about the love of God.

St. Anthony has a lot to teach us about loving God and others, if we but get beyond the spiritual hype, and listen to what he has to say.

No comments:

Post a Comment