Encouragement for the Journey 1/11/2015

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

Encouragement for the Journey 1/11/2015

Encouragement for the journey

St Aidan

Greetings fellow travellers!

Today is All Saints Day, and usually we Protestants are a bit cautious about saints and their meaning and significance to our present time and our faith journey. But at the same time, I’m sure you have heard of patron saints, and here are a few for you to consider:

Accountants – St. Matthew

Bee keepers – St. Ambrose

Clergy – St. Gabriel of our lady of sorrows

Computers – St. Isidore of Seville

Dairy workers – St. Brigid of Kildare

Difficult marriages – St. Rita of Cascia

Earaches – St. Polycarp

Grandparents – St. Agnes

Headaches – St. Teresa of Avila

Juvenile delinquents – St. Dominic Savio

Librarians – St. Jerome

Lost items – St. Anthony of Padua

Lost causes – St. Jude

Lost dogs – St. Felix

Musicians – St. Cecilia

New Zealand – St. Dymphna

Perfumers – St. Mary of Magdalene

Pilots – St Joseph of Cupertino

Poets – St. Columba

Rheumatism – St. James

Scientists – St. Albert the Great

Teachers – St. Gregory the Great

Theatrical performers – St. Clare of Assisi

Toothache – St. Apollonia

Veterinarians- St. Eligius

Vintners – St. Amand

This is just a selection, you understand, and many of the saints have multiple special interests. To begin with, many of these seem humorous – how can there be a patron saint of rheumatism? Or of computers? But if we approach this tradition with respect and seek to understand, might we then perceive the intention and the longing beneath the connecting of a person of great faith and devotion to God with an immediate and pressing need?

Personally I have felt deep connections with saint Julian of Norwich and the Dominican Meister Eckhart. They are wise friends and mentors, and just because they are dead does not mean I cannot still hear their voices in their writing, or catch a sense of their abiding presence. The saints who go before us are alive in God, hidden from view but held within the Life that is eternally pouring forth. Love is stronger than death and the saints are cheering us on – I think that’s worth celebrating.