“To the saints
who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus…” is how St. Paul began his Letter to the Ephesians. He referred to the faithful as saints in many of his letters. As we turn to the canonized saints of our Church for their prayers and support, we must keep in mind that we too are called to be living saints.
In Elizabeth Johnson’s book Friends of God and Prophets
, she offers two models for relating to the saints. Using the patronage model, we request favors from the saints. Though it's always God to whom we pray, we ask the saint to “intercede” for us. Following the companionship model, we approach the saints as our friends, those who have gone ahead of us and are now cheering us on.
We may follow both models in our own lives, preferring one or the other at certain times or with certain saints. Sometimes we may relate to the saints as companions, models and cheerleaders. At other times, we may turn to a saint for help in approaching God.
The audiobook of Jesuit Father James Martin’s award-winning book My Life With the Saints
offers listeners insightful and entertaining glimpses into Father Jim’s growth in knowledge of and love for the saints. He ties certain saints to his life story and then offers additional information about each saint’s life. I’ve selected a clip (Windows Media
) from the audiobook My Life With the Saints
to share with you. It’s from the Introduction which is titled “The Saint of the Sock Drawer.” Want to venture a guess of who that saint is?
Use My Life With the Saints
for your own reflection and share it with others in part or as a whole. It would make for great small-group discussion.