Saturday, December 19, 2015

Have you ever considered the words of Good King Wenceslas?

"How many archbishops of Paris have been saints? St. Bruno was a subdeacon who realized he was failing in his piety and took to seclusion. Was St. Anthony of Egypt even a priest or was he just a man overcome by the need for penance? My favorite post-Apostolic saint, Philip Neri of Rome, only became a priest after seventeen years praying at San Girolamo in Rome. The pope did not ordain him to be archpriest of St. Peter's; an auxiliary bishop ordained him to serve a small following of twenty of so people—the primitive Oratory—and hear their Confessions. As Christmas approaches we will be hearing about how "Good King Wenceslas looked down on the feast of Stephen." Wenceslas was a duke who had a simple piety and a strong sense of charity towards his subjects, which is epitomized in the song. The saint used to fashion the bread and wine for Mass himself and present them at the offertory, as was the custom. The saints were different yet still accessible to us who follow and simply "embrace the Cross."

"Where are these saints today? Philip Neri and several other Roman saints of repute would not even get a look from a modern bishop or religious order. If obedience is a virtue unto itself then there is no need for Catherine of Sienna or Teresa of Avila. These men and women still exist in our midst, invisible for bishops looking to cultivate profitable pilgrimages to pay homage at the tomb of "St. John Paul the Great." Canonizations now do what they have never done: they confirm the establishment.

"The saints are still among us, but we must pray that they be raised above us."
[Hat tip to L.S.; source; Disclaimer: Rules 7-9]


Anonymous said...

St.John Vianney would be censored today if he belonged to a Vatican 2 order of priest's.

Boniface said...

Francis of Assisi was only ever made a deacon, and that only after he had long established his order. In the beginning he was just a wacky lay person who went about begging.