Life is mysterious, and some people do seem to have obvious material wealth or interior gifts. God does not force anyone to use the gifts He gives in a particular way, but as Jesus said, “To the one to whom much is given, much is expected.” (Slight paraphrase of Luke 12:48) There are many people in the world, in our country, in our neighborhoods, and especially in our church families who have position, material means, and/or inner giftedness that they can use for the good of the community as compassionate and holy leaders. But while some are called to a higher responsibility, the Catechism tells us that all Christians are called at Baptism to be priest, prophet, and king. We are all meant to give witness as prophets by living the values which we have been taught: kindness, generosity, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, love, peace, justice and so forth. We can certainly lead by our actions, no matter how small they might seem.
©Michele L. Catanese
This was written a week before it was posted. I say this because those of us on the Gulf Coast of Texas and those in the greater Houston area are in the midst of a disaster of biblical proportions. Please pray for us, as it is far from over, and please be generous with help if you can. But as I have indicated many times in this blog, there is great power in prayer. Please pray for us both for the duration of this crisis and long afterward as the cleanup will take years. Thank you.
Next entry will be on September 11.
If you want more on St. Stephen of Hungary, click here: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/saint.php?n=565
For more on St. Louis IX, click here: http://archstl.org/becomingcatholic/page/saint-louis-king-france
1. This is a photo I took while in Fort Davis, Texas. These birds were not actually caged, but were in a sanctuary which provided food and places for them to nest. I chose to use this particular photo because it seemed to be an invitation to hope: the bird is able to be free even though he appears to be caged. So, too, are we free to respond to the gifts God provides, and to never cease to hope.
2. This is a painting of St. Stephen of Hungary that often appears on 'holy cards,' traditionally used to provide prayers on the back that would ask the intercession of the saint depicted on the front. I chose this image because he is holding a church, or rather, it shows him as in his role of upholding the Church.
3. This is the icon, Saint Louis IX With His Son Philip III by Fr. William Hart McNichols. I chose this because it shows Louis' attitude of wanting to be a blessing to his people: if you look at the top of the scepter there is a hand in the posture of blessing. I also like that he is portrayed in his fatherly role here, passing on his desire that Philip behave in the same way, the way of the gospel, when he became king. You can find this icon at https://fineartamerica.com/featured/st-louis-ix-with-his-son-philip-iil-046-william-hart-mcnichols.html.
4. This is a tiny stained glass rendition of St. King Louis washing the feet of the poor. I chose this because he was known to serve the poor with his own hands, so the symbolism here is that the master washed the feet of the servant, just as Jesus washed the feet of His apostles at the Last Supper. King St. Louis certainly lived this gospel passage.
5. Here is a painting by Arthur Lismer, one of the famous Canadian artists in the "Group of Seven." It is called Quebec Village, painted around 1925. I chose it because of the vibrant colors, but also because it depicts the sacramental life. That is, the church is the center of the village and so the sacraments should be the point from which our lives flow, giving us the vibrancy that a life in Christ offers.
6. I took this photo at the baptism of the daughter of one of my friends. I chose this because it captured the priest at the point in the baptism in which he was anointing the baby.
7. This last image is also one of my photos. It was taken atop the Sandia Mountains outside Albuquerque, New Mexico. I chose it here because it called to mind the richness of life, a scene which implies the invitation to live in the spirit of hope rather than to give in to all the noise and circumstances which conspire to ruin our trust in God.