“We answer to God because we fight for the grace of God.” This is one of the opening lines of the History Channel’s “Knightfall,” a series about the Knights Templar. I really liked this line for many reasons; most of all, the reality of the Spiritual Battle that we are all a part of. In previous blogs, I have addressed the spiritual weapons that we Catholics have at our side. The foremost weapon being that of prayer.
It is a Catholic tradition to choose a patron saint for your family. The family will pray for the intercession of the chosen saint and will usually have a statue of that saint in a prominent place in their home throughout the year. 2017 closed out our year with the Guardian Angels. In 2018, we welcome St. Paul as my families patron saint.
One of my favorite radio hosts, Jennifer Fulwiler, created a random saints name generator if you get stuck on choosing a patron saint for your family. http://saintsnamegenerator.com/ I have my own random saint generator at home; my 7 year old son, Alexander. This is his big year. He will be receiving the sacrament of First Reconciliation in February and his First Holy Communion in May. Because he will be receiving this sacraments in 2018, we let him pick our families patron saint for the year. His usual favorite saints are St. Alexander of Jerusalem and St. Michael. I was pleasantly surprised when he chose St. Paul as our families patron saint- and he did so with certainty and without hesitation. In fact, my child looked at me with an expression and a tone of voice that suggested the thoughts going through his mind were, “Duh, Mom! St. Paul, of course!” Now, this particular child of mine, would never actually say, “Duh, Mom.” His little sister, however, I’m not so sure....
Saints come into our lives for many different reasons. So many of those reasons we may never understand. St. Paul wrote most of the New Testament and travelled to many countries spreading the Good News about Jesus Christ. St. Paul is the patron saint of writers, theologians, missionaries, evangelists and authors. I have many reasons why St. Paul would be a good patron saint for me and for my husband. For my children, however, the reasons are less obvious. It may be that St. Paul is good patron saint for my children because they lack any fear when telling people about how they love Jesus more than anything. Just as St. Paul did.
Another tradition for the new year is to choose a word for the year. I used Jennifer Fulwiler’s Word for the Year Generator and got “Jump” as my word for the year. http://www.wordoftheyear.me/ This word resonates with me. I have a great, big project on the back burner that has been lost in the business of life. A book that is waiting to be written about God’s grace through suffering and the power and beauty of suffering. Perhaps, I can find the time and prioritize this endeavor and “jump” in with the same certainty that my son displayed when choosing our patron saint for 2018.
It is with the same conviction, certainty and fortitude that we step forward onto the spiritual battlefield. We fight for the grace of God as we work to maintain holiness in our simple works, in our prayers and in following God’s holy will at every turn.
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” -Col. 3:23 (NASB)
Who is your patron saint for this new year? What is your word for 2018?
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