When you look at the image above, do you see a young woman or an old woman? When you look at yourself, what do you see? Better yet, when others look at you, what do you think they see?
What Made David So Special
When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for [b]God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Next Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all the children?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. -1 Samuel 16: 6-13
- What do you think God saw in David? What made David so special?
- This is the difference between what we find of value and what God finds of value.
Now look through the list of men and women below along with their sins/imperfections. Is this what people saw in them? Where they defined by their sin/imperfection? God obviously saw something different:
Elijah was suicidal.
Joseph was abused.
Job was bankrupt.
Samson was a womanizer.
Moses had a speech impairment.
Rahab was a prostitute.
Esther was an orphan.
David was a murderer and adulterer.
Jonah was a coward.
Noah was a drunk.
Peter was a liar.
Paul was a mass murderer.
Our faith is built with men and women who are seriously flawed. But that’s not what God saw in each one of them. Like David in the reading, God sees the good (sometimes even if it’s potential) in all our hearts. We should not only do that with each other, but within ourselves as well.
What does it take to become a Saint? In very generic terms, there are basically 5 stages on the road to Sainthood. Pay special attention to #3, living a life of heroic virtue.
- Nomination: After a 5-year waiting period (usually) a person is submitted for recognition by a priest/pastor/etc…
- Servant of God: As soon as the person is accepted for consideration, they are called a Servant of God.
- Venerable: After the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints determines that the servant of God lived a life of heroic virtue, they are granted the title of venerable. Heroic virtue doesn’t mean a person was perfect or sinless, but that they worked aggressively to improve herself spiritually and never gave up trying to be better and grow in holiness.
- Blessed: After the Church establishes one miracle, the venerable person’s cause is presented to the pope to see whether he deems her worthy of being called blessed. This step is called beatification.
- Saint: Another miracle and the blessed person’s cause is presented to the pope again for his judgment. If he determines that the evidence is clear and that contrary reports aren’t credible, he may initiate the canonization procedure. If all goes well, the candidate is publicly recognized as a saint.
- Do you live a life of heroic virtue? When do you find that pursuit to be the most difficult?
- Do you have a particular Saint you look up to, and if so, why?
- Do you pray for help from a Saint at particular times in your life, if so, who and why?
PATRON SAINT OF….
Take a look at the following list of some of the common and uncommon saints.
For the universal Church and fathers – St. Joseph
For those suffering nervous and mental afflictions – St. Dymphna
For abuse victims – St. Monica
For earaches – St. Polycarp
For headaches – St. Teresa of Ávila (also a doctor of the Church)
For toothaches – St. Apollonia
For sore eyes – St. Clare of Assisi
For those too sick to care for themselves – St. Roch
For the poor – St. Lawrence
For protection from fire – St. Agatha of Sicily
For those who struggle with doubt – St. Thomas the Doubter
For “hopeless causes” – St. Jude Thaddeus
For athletes – St. Sebastian
For musicians – St. Cecilia
For artists – St. Catherine of Bologna
For students – St. John Bosco and St. Benedict
For speakers and philosophers – St. Justin Martyr
For travelers – St. Christopher
For friendships – St. John the Evangelist
For Christian mothers – St. Anne
For adopted children – St. Thomas More
For farmers and rural communities – St. Isidore the Farmer
For bakers – St. Nicholas
For fisherman – St. Andrew
For hunters – St. Hubert
For physicians – St. Luke
For altar servers – St. John Berchmans
For undertakers, morticians, and pallbearers – St. Joseph of Arimathea
For people ridiculed for their piety – St. Teresa of Avila
For abnormal fear of snakes – St. Patrick
- IF YOU ARE IN A GROUP:
- Take a piece of paper and write down what you would be the Patron Saint of. So write, St. Dan Patron Saint of _________. Do not show it to anyone.
- Now, go around the room and for each person have everyone discuss what each person should be a Patron Saint of (without telling them what you wrote down).
- Compare what everyone said about you, versus what you wrote down. How do others see you versus how you see yourself.
- IF YOU ARE SOLO:
- If you were to be named a Patron Saint of something, what would it be.
- Reflect on that name for awhile. Consider this:
- Did you name something about who you ARE or who you WANT to be in the future?
- How active are you in becoming that Patron Saint?