This time of social distancing has reminded me of how much I thrive when I am able to spend intentional time with others. Although it has certainly taken some creativity, I’ve been surprised at how I’ve been able to maintain relationships with friends and family and spend quality time at a distance. Game nights over Zoom and phone calls over walks have proved to be two essential foundations.
My faith life has needed that intentionality as well. While celebrating Mass through a screen cannot replace attending in person, I’ve appreciated the efforts of so many people to make it easier to create the time and space to pursue holiness in these odd circumstances.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about the holy men and women in the communion of saints who creatively modeled ways to pursue holiness. Even though their circumstances differ from those we face today, they are witnesses to the truth that while pursuing holiness takes effort, it is the only place where we can find true joy and meaning in our lives.
Although I am no expert on the communion of saints, I know that they—like us—faced struggles and obstacles in their pursuit of holiness. I have often taken comfort in the Church’s proclamation that these saints continue to intercede for us and offer their friendship to us. I am particularly grateful for that friendship in times like these. But, I have to remind myself to be intentional about seeking that relationship with them.
This intentionality guided our development of a resource—a free workbook on the saints—to help people nourish their friendship with and knowledge of the saints, whether in the classroom, in the home, or in the parish. This workbook features biographies and worksheets about some of the Church’s holy men and women.
Each worksheet contains important highlights and prompts, not only providing knowledge about the saint’s life but also inspiring reflection which can lead to action. They can be especially helpful as foundations for group learning activities or as prompts for deeper prayer and reflection on the saints. Classes, faith formation groups, or families could read the biography together and work through the questions together. For an even more prayerful dimension, you could compose an opening and closing prayer based on the saint’s life, asking in a special way for that saint’s intercession as you frame the biography and activities.
We would also welcome additional ideas or creative inspiration from you! Let us know in the comments how you are using these worksheets or share your ideas with us on social by tagging @mcgrathnd. Either way, we hope that these worksheets might provide additional tools to weather these circumstances and live into our call to be disciples.
To learn more and download your own free "Teaching the Saints" workbook, visit our website.