Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Knight and the Lady

On a whim, at the age of eight, I chose Saint Martin of Tours as my patron the day I first read about him in a childrens' lives of the saints. I went on to spend the proceeding decade figuring out why; I always knew it must have been a for a God-given reason.  Various explanations have come to me over the years, why St. Martin is applicable to my life and struggles, but my most recent revelation about St. Martin was about knighthood, or more generally, heroism.

Heroism has always been a human aspiration, a theme in art, literature, and now, media. It is sometimes distorted...we think false heroism is true. I won't veer into that topic now. But overall, humanity upholds heroes.

And heroes, for a substantial epoch of humanity (sadly past), were embodied in the Knight.  St. Martin is patron of knighthood, patron of heroism.

What makes a hero? Courageous action. Few would argue with that. The courage to do what is right. St. Martin had the courage of a true knight. It was this courage through which he attained the ultimate of virtues.

He could love.

We often see paintings  of St. Martin tearing his fine cape and giving half to a beggar.  It seems a small thing, a little arbitrary as the most common depiction of a great saint. Yet in his day and situation, this humbling action was one of courage before his fellow high-ranking soldiers.   

Love takes more courage than anything else.  Consider Christ's cry in his Agony, so often heard in Lent, "Your will be done!"
It was a profession of courageous love for humanity, acceptance of the utmost suffering for our sake.

Well, what does this have to do with the Knight and the Lady? It struck me one day as I meditated on St. Marin, how in any story worth hearing, the hero's prize is the hand of his True Love. This is so right! A hero has acquired courage. It takes courageous action to truly love. Thus the fair and lovely maiden deserves him, and he has rightly won her.

St. Martin's bride was the Church. All men are called to be heroes, and they all have a fair bride to win. I pray for them, I appeal to them. Take courage. Deserve her.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Try, try again

After seven months of blog-neglect, I will.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Vocation Now

      What earnest young Christian hasn't wished they could know their vocation now?  It might be easy enough to be open to God's calling, but it's hard to be open to an indefinite span of years before the call comes.

      I for one am quite prepared to prepare for whatever my calling, I only wish I knew so could start preparing.

       (I say this smugly now; just wait until God calls me a direction I never considered and I am completely thrown for a loop and have to face the claim that I am prepared to accept my calling).

      But I'm forgetting a few things. 

      God does have a plan for me, even if it's not revealed for another five, ten, or twenty years. (Deep breath.  I can wait that long, can't I?)

      AND He's fair, more that fair, so He'll be sure and present me, even now, with opportunities to prepare for that calling.  Even if I don't clue in that such and such a circumstance is a chance for preparation.

      SO my best bet is to assume every circumstance is an opportunity to prepare, and accept everything that comes my way, and perform my every task with devotion.

      Hmm.  This is sounding a lot like a game plan for holiness.  But that's what vocation is all about, right?  The way of life set up to give each person their fullest opportunity for holiness.

      Umm.  If my though processes as expressed above make sense, and preparing for my vocation coincides with working towards holiness, if I want to discern my vocation sooner than later...I have my work carved out for me.

            God bless,


Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Value of Mentorship and Friendship

I have had the blessing of spending all weekend with mentors and friends.  Fortunately my main mentors are my parents, and my main friends are my siblings, but some how these roles are illuminated by spending time with other mentors and friends.  
Sometimes mentors are distincly mentors - oh, you spend time with them and have fun, but there's obvious enough disparity of age, maturity or experience that it's a mentorship more than a friendship.  
Then there's more clear friendship, usually with something like a peer (I wish I had a better word than peer, which bugs me, but I'm working on it.)  That said, I believe the best, truest and most lasting friendships are something like mutual mentorships, where both friends have something to offer and something to learn, and in turn call one another to a higher level of holiness.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Great Day

And I mean truly Great, not just great in the overused-and-therefore-weakened sense of the word.

We went to Mass.
We had friends over, the young, the old and everything in between.  We cooked, we made messes, we cleaned, we played, we sang, we prayed, we feasted and we talked.  We talked theology, family, friendship, past, present, future, serious, silly.  We goofed off and laughed.  We shared stories and ideas.  We stayed up far too late.

This is real, human, Christian, community, family life. This is Great. 

Friday, April 29, 2011


       I realised that my last post was still Good Friday and decided, after almost a week of Easter, it's high time to add something new, an Easter post, even though I have nothing very exciting to report.  

       On second thought that isn't true, I do have something exciting, I just remembered.  So exciting, life-changing exciting, I can hardly believe I forgot.  On Easter Sunday I found out that I am a direct descendant of King Saint Louis IX of France, father of eleven, patron of Versailles and Quebec City, 13th-century crusader and sole canonized French monarch.  He is my great-great-great (well, 26 greats anyway) grandfather.  Who was descended from Eleanor of Aquitaine, so her blood runs in my veins as well.  This discovery was almost surreal.  And as it turned out, Saint Louis' birthday was Easter Monday.  I'm so pumped about it!

Saint Louis IX, pray for us!

Friday, April 22, 2011

An Epic Good Friday

              My parents were considering watching The Passion today but decided on a more family-friendly alternative dealing with the Passion, the 1959 version of Ben Hur.  I have always found epics valuable and enjoyable but a slightly hard to take seriously (our family hasn't watched The Ten Commandments for years but still crack jokes about the corny line, "Moses, your hair!").  I find them often overdone and pretentious, and yes, a little corny on occasion. 
            But today I realised that in epic lines any scriptwriter of today would be mortified to publish, there is often a very sincere truth.  The type of truth that I suspect we all  have expressed in a very profound way in our own minds but tend to be too embarrassed to say aloud, even to those whom we know share the same convictions.  We're queer creatures, aren't we? I don't think the human race was any less queer in 1959, but at least they didn't mind saying saying a few corny things for the sake of expressing a profound truth.

Well it's 2:30 on Good Friday, which means I should be getting ready to go to Church, not blogging.  

Wishing all a blessed Triduum and joyous Easter.