July 22nd is the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, according to the Canon of Saints.  She is an example for all of us of one whom Christ touched in her heart and she was never the same. Saints are those whom the Church Universal deems worthy of our attention and merit our emulation due to their having in them the mind of Christ Jesus. All Saints are sinners. All Saints rose above their personal challenges to love others as Christ has loved us. That is why we honor them and ask them to pray to God for us, with us, and stand beside us as we seek God.


The Church names certain ones of us as Saints so that the rest of us (saints) can use them as examples of those who have tried to have in them the mind of Christ Jesus (Phil 2:5). A recent sports program was reporting on the tirade that Terrell Owen (football player) was making by not attending the Football Hall of Fame ceremony to protest his not being elected on the first ballot. Besides this being an ego trip, Terrell Owen is indeed worthy of being in the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame members are those whom people have judged to be so skilled at their craft that they rank among the top players of all time. We look up to these men and women as worthy of our praise because they have achieved this recognition because of their dedication to their craft and their skill at perfoming.

The Saints of the Church Universal are indeed those whom the Church deems worthy to be in the Hall of Fame. Unlike sports, they are not there because of their skill or expertise in how they lived their lives, but because they allowed Christ to come into their hearts and take them where they did not want to go, deeper into the “capacitas dei”, making room for Christ while they decreased. It takes humility and obedience to God’s will to make a Saint, plus a willingness to empty oneself and live as an adopted son or daughter of the Father. They are in Heaven, says the Church Universal, only because Christ says so by their actions. (Matthew 22:31-46) Being in Heaven before the Throne of the Lamb, they sing the praises of the Father through the Son. As such, because they have not died but live Forever in Christ Jesus, we ask them to join our prayers of glory and praise to the Father through the Son in union with the Holy Spirit.

St. Mary Magdalene is one such saint. Read about her in Butler’s Lives of the Saints.

We are fortunate to have Saints for nearly every day of the year, so that we can keep before our minds the great love Christ had for each of us, as exemplified by the lives of the Saints. We, the living, who hope to live Forever, salute you!

Praise to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is, who was, and who is to come at the end of the ages. Amen and Amen.  -Cistercian doxology

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