The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Monday, April 30, 2007

On the Cult of the Saints - Pt. II

I have never been tagged for a "meme" before, but Serge has given me the opportunity to talk about some of my favorite saints. Now I do not completely understand what is going on, but I will try to answer the inquiry to the best of my ability:

1 . Four favorite saints:

1. St. Abraham of Quidun - My mother wanted to name me after him since I was born on his day in the Roman calendar, but my father objected.

2. St. Barbara - In the Byzantine Church, she is known as the "Great Martyr". Just so I can stick it to those rationalists who think she never really existed!

3. St Lawrence - My sister's patron saint (she was born on his feast), for this reason:

The Roman emperor, Valerian, had ordered the death of all Rome's bishops, priests and deacons. The prefect (Roman magistrate) who carried out the order, however, knew that, as deacon, Lawrence had charge of the church's money. "I'll let you go free," he promised, "if you will turn the money over to me."

According to the oldest traditions we have, Lawrence agreed to bring the church's treasures to the prefect. "But it will take me a few days," he said. "The church is very rich."

Released to carry out his promise, Lawrence distributed the church's goods among the poor. He then gathered the city's lame, its blind, and its beggars. On the third day he appeared before the prefect. "Come out and see the wondrous riches of God," he said.

"What is the meaning of this?" raged the prefect.

Lawrence explained that these poor people would some day have new bodies and live forever in Heaven. The treasure of the Holy Spirit was hidden in them as if in jars of clay. (Source)

I just love that story so much....

4. St. Therese of Lisieux - I already posted something here on this, but here is something else from an old journal:

The genius of St. Therese lies in her realization that the problem is never with God, the problem is with us. While the way of confidence and love may seem deceivingly easy, almost a spiritual "cop-out", lived in a profound way it is much more difficult than the way of calculation and fear. The certainty that one of your actions is too small to affect how God feels about you is a profoundly humbling experience. God loves us for who we are, not for what we can do for Him. It is the acceptance of our own failures, our own littleness, and that God loves is because we are little that presents the greatest challenge to modern man. This is not the same as Luther's dunghill covered in snow. This is real righteousness, the righteousness of extreme humility, the knowledge that we carry our treasures in vessels of clay.... Love does not measure, it does not calculate. It madly rushes to give all, not carrying about tommorrow or even about one's own self....

2. Favorite "blessed"
Huh? Well, I guess that would be Blessed Miguel Pro. Viva Cristo Rey!

3. Person you think you should be a saint -
Gabriela Mistral. One of the greatest poets of the 20th century, she was in reality a Church Father (Mother?) born fifteen hundred years too late. I have gotten more solid theology out of this poem than I have gotten out of most thick Christian tomes:


El mar sus millares de olas

mece divino

Oyendo a los mares amantes

mezo a mi niño.

El viento errabundo en la noche

mece los trigos

Oyendo a los vientos amantes

mezo a mi niño.

Dios Padre sus miles de mundos mece sin ruido.

Sintiendo su mano en la sombra

mezo a mi niño.


The sea her thousands of waves

rocks divine and mild.

Hearing the loving seas

I rock my child.

The wheat in the night is rocked

By the wind, lost and exiled.

Hearing the loving winds,

I rock my child.

Our Father God rocks thousands of worlds

Without sound, its pains or trials.

Feeling His hand in the shadows,

I rock my child.

(My translation)

St. Maximos Confessor could not have written it better....

4. Tag....
I tag, if they are up to it, AG, Daniel Mitsui, and Archistrategos .


At 10:09 PM, Blogger Arturo Vasquez said...


I didn't mention the Most Holy Virgin because devotion to her just goes without saying.... I mean, if you don't believe and love the Virgin, you don't really believe in and love God. You're just faking it.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Archistrategos said...

I love St. Lawrence too, Arturo. He was the one who taught me to like steaks. Manduca, iam coctus est.

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