Usually, the experiences that linger prominently in our memories have a special significance. Often, they are associated with an emotionally-charged encounter or an event that profoundly influenced us at the time. But many of these experiences, when revisited through contemplation across the years, continue to affect us and contribute to the person we are becoming.
“The dazzling genius of Augustine, the luminous wisdom of Thomas Aquinas, have shed forth upon souls the rays of an imperishable splendor; through them, Christ and his doctrine have become better known. The divine poem lived out by Francis of Assisi has given to the world an imitation, as yet unequaled, of the life of God made man. Through him legions of men and women have learned to love God more perfectly. But a little Carmelite who had hardly reached adult age has conquered in less than half a century innumerable hosts of disciples. Doctors of the law have become children at her school; the Supreme Shepherd has exalted her and prays to her with humble and assiduous supplications; and even at this moment from one end of the earth to the other, there are millions of souls whose interior life has received the beneficent influence of [her] little book [The Story of a Soul].”
I heard a story once about a young boy who is visiting Europe with his family. In their visits to iconic places throughout Europe, this little boy becomes particularly enamored with the majesty of the cathedrals and churches that soon become familiar stopping places along their route.
One day, the boy’s father comes across his son looking up at the sun’s reflection in some stained glass windows, his face illuminated by the kaleidoscope of colors that shine through the marvelous glass. Struck by the beauty of the sight, the son asks his father, “Who are those people in the windows?” And the father, following the boy’s curious gaze, catches a glimpse of the holy men and women from throughout the Church’s history. Turning to his son, he remarks, “Oh! Those are the Saints!”
This past Saturday, tens of thousands of people crowded into St. Peter's Square in Rome to celebrate as Pope Francis canonized five new saints. Read on to learn about their remarkable lives.
Honoring the sabbath is a challenge for us all, but it is particularly acute for our busy teens. By introducing them to small practices like these, we can help them lead Christ-centered lives.