Remembering the Saints


Remembering the Saints

We are continuing our way through An Introduction to the Devout Life with Part V, Chapter 12. Here Saint Francis encourages us to look to the saints for examples of perseverance in the faith.

The Example of the Saints

Consider the example of the Saints on all sides, what have they not done in order to love God and lead a devout life? Call to mind the Martyrs in their invincible firmness, and the tortures they endured in order to maintain their resolutions; remember the matrons and maidens, whiter than lilies in their purity, ruddier than the rose in their love, who at every age, from childhood upward, bore all manner of martyrdom sooner than forsake their resolutions, not only such as concerned their profession of faith, but that of devotion; some dying rather than lose their virginity, others rather than cease their works of mercy to the sick and sorrowful. Truly the frail gender has set forth no small courage in such ways.

Consider all the Saintly Confessors, how heartily they despised the world, and how they stood by their resolutions, taken unreservedly and kept inviolably. Remember what Saint Augustine says of his mother Monica, of her determination to serve God in her married life and in her widowhood; and Saint Jerome and his beloved daughter Saint Paula amid so many changes and chances. What may we not achieve with such patterns before our eyes? They were but what we are, they wrought for the same God, seeking the same graces; why may not we do as much in our own state of life, and according to our several vocations, on behalf of our most cherished resolutions and holy profession of faith?

Questions to ponder:

  1. The saints are a testimony to Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” How can we surrender in trust that God is only ever calling us through things He has given us sufficient grace to endure?
  2. For most of us, the challenges in life are small in comparison to the martyrs. What kind of life do you think they led so that they were prepared to give up their lives on the day of sacrifice?
  3. Who is your “favorite” or most inspirational saint?
  4. What’s one trait common among all the saints that we should keep in mind as we make our way through this world?

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