Over at Matthew’s Random Ramblings, I had a tendency to post a poem each week (they can be seen here), something I took up again yesterday. I decided that over here at the pocket scroll, we could have a saint each week.
Part of the thrust of classic Christianity as described in the pages on the sidebar is to draw us back into the Great Tradition that has carried forth the Word of Life through the ages and to us. I want us to draw back to those who have gone before and tap into their devotional practices, their ways of reading Scripture, their teachings, their poems, their examples of life. Classic Christianity is more than just a bunch of books; it is men and women, flesh and blood, body and spirit. Lives have been lived in the service of Christ, deaths have been died in the same. By turning to this Great Cloud of Witnesses, to this Communion of Saints, we are tying ourselves into something much bigger than the concerns of today and this year.
Questions inevitably arise when a Prot does something of this sort, most notably: who counts as a saint? (Usually said meaning, “I’m a saint too, aren’t I?”) A saint is, literally/etymologically, a “holy one.” I take all Christians no longer with us as fair game as saints. Since I’m Anglican, any who appear outside of the Early or Mediaeval/Byzantine Church are probably going to be from that tradition, but I’m also unafraid of post-Reformation Catholic or Orthodox saints. I may post about St. Seraphim of Sarov and St. John of the Cross someday, their lives here on this blog alongside Richard Hooker and Thomas Cranmer.
My hope is that we will be drawn nearer to God by their examples, that we will be inspired by the works He has wrought in those who have gone before us, that our faith in His ability to pierce the veil between Earth and Heaven will be bolstered.
I hope also to herein explore ways of honouring the saints suitable to a Protestant Anglican who believes that it was with good reason the Reformers gave us this Article of Religion:
XXII. Of Purgatory.
The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.
Nonetheless, if you are Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox and seek the intercession of the saints and venerate their icons and holy days, I hope that these musings here will be of some help and possibly draw us to seek out new and creative ways to engage with those who precede us.
I have written about one saint here already, St. Columba.
At Matthew’s Random Ramblings, I have already written about these saints:
St. Francis of Assisi here and here