Have you looked at the calendar lately? Did you notice that Monday was a day to recognize St Matthias, or yesterday to recognize St Isidor the Farmer, or that tomorrow is Ascension Day? The Christian calendar points us to the seasons of the Christian year and points our attention to those various churches recognize as “Saints” (or maybe “saints”). I have to admit that often I don’t know why I am suppose to appreciate some the various Saints.
But that’s different for “my” saints’ calendar. A couple of years ago, I started my own saints’ calendar. Some of the same names that appear on “official” Christian calendars are included (such as St Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross, and St Ignatius Loyola), but these persons are included not because they are listed on a church’s calendar. They are on my saints’ calendar because their writings (and spirit) have meant something personal to me and in many cases have challenged me.
My saints’ calendar doesn’t stop there. Thomas Merton, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Paul Tillich (among others) are on my calendar. My spiritual journey has benefited from having encountered these and it seemed important that I remember them.
My saints’ calendar also includes a college teacher, a professor/minster of music and pastors that are very important to me. None of these are as well known as the three mentioned above but in many ways their influence is more profound.
What about you? Would it serve a purpose for you to think of the Saints and saints that have had an influence on you and put those names on a calendar (or put them if some form) where your attention is called to them from time to time?
And maybe it is always a good idea to ask, who has a hand (and spirit) in making me who I am?