Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A saint is a person the light shines through

You've probably heard the story -- the one about the little girl in the cathedral entranced by the beautiful windows and pointing and asking her aunt "Who's that?" at one after the other after the other ...

Saint John.
Saint Peter.
Saint Martha.
Saint Mary.

... until she finally said with triumph "Now I know what a saint is! A saint is a person the light shines through!"

This window is one of the ones in the chapel at All Saints Church in Pasadena -- and when we gathered there on Monday for noonday Eucharist and reflected on the texts for the Sunday-coming ... All Saints Day ... I found myself telling that story and then inviting the "two or three gathered" to join in a time of silence together as we called to mind -- and gave thanks for -- all those people in our lives who have been saints to us. All those who have let the light of God's love, justice and compassion shine through -- and changed our lives as a result. Saints alive in this realm and in the next. All Saints.

It was a great way to start the week. And I've found myself adding to my list ever since. And then it occurred to me to invite you to "go and do likewise" by way of this blog post. Who are YOUR saints?
Almighty God, you have knit us together in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

1 comment:

Ann Erdman said...

Thank you for this, Susan. The windows are so inspirational.

I'll try to make a long story short: I was confirmed by Bishop Robert Burton Gooden in 1961 at St. Paul's in San Diego, back when San Diego was part of the Diocese of Los Angeles. I have always considered my first rite of passage. He signed my Bible and to this day I can feel his powerful hand on my forehead and another on my shoulder.

When I learned last month that The Gooden School in Sierra Madre was having a chapel service at the Church of the Ascension in honor of their namesake's birthday, I decided to attend. It was a lovely and educational service that was absolutely perfect for children, and the portrait of the kindly Bishop Gooden loomed large (in a good way).

The recessional hymn was "I Sing a Song of the Saints of God." I found myself singing it from memory, then becoming emotional because I hadn't sung it -- or heard it -- in decades and it brought back so many memories.

So my answer to your question is the doctor, the queen, the shepherdess on the green, the soldier, the priest and the one who was slain by a fierce wild beast. And in modern times, the ones in school, in lanes or at sea, in church or in trains or in shops or at tea.

And I mean to be one, too.