Reflecting on the Saints

Yesterday, the day on which the Catholic Church celebrated All Saints Day, I gave a mid-day reflection on the Saints. The focus of my talk was on what it means to call someone a saint and what the saints mean in our lives.

My talk addressed both “capital S” and “small S” saints – i.e., those who have been canonized by the Catholic Church and those holy men and women who have gone before us who, although not recognized as Saints, give allow us a “catch a glimpse of what God is like – and of what we are called to be” (in the words of Kenneth Woodward). I talked about saints as models of sin transcended, as helping us to understand how God works in the lives of individuals and as companions on our jouney, who have experienced many of the struggles we face.

I also talked about some of those who stand front and center in my visualization of the communion of the saints, sharing a little of my relationship with Francis of Assisi and Vincent de Paul.

After my talk, I invited the participants to take some time in silent reflection, calling to mind particular saints who have meaning to them, after which they shared with the group what those individuals meant to them.

You can stream the podcast of the talk I gave today from the icon below or can download it here. (The podcast runs for 20:42). You can find a copy of the prayer material I distributed for participants to pray with here.