AN INTRODUCTION TO A WEEKLY STUDY OF
“THE SAINTS THROUGH THE CENTURIES”
By Richard Thornton
During my seminary years I found myself reading and studying the great Catholic saints on a regular basis. I fell in love with these saints and began to see them as models of holiness relevant to our lives in todays’ world. They helped me to understand the remarkable ways that God works in the lives of individuals. Each saint was holy in his or her unique way, revealing how God celebrates individuality.
I found companions among the saints – friends to turn to when I needed a helping hand. Jesus lets his followers – the saints, teach us, offering advice and counsel. Because through trials and errors, we can easily learn how we too can rely on God’s mercy and grace in order to improve our lives.
I also discovered through the saints that I could recognize myself, or at least parts of myself, in their stories. They struggled with the same human issues that all of us do. Understanding this encourages us to seek their help during times of particular needs. As the saints struggled with the issues of life, their example of perseverance and trust may inspire us to remain faithful to our own efforts to answer the Lords’ call.
It is human to love, honor, and imitate the men and women who lived a heroic life for God. In the early church and throughout the centuries saints were honored for their virtuous life and heroic deaths. Because saints were normal human beings who like us were prone to temptation. Yet, in their desire to live for God, they would fight temptation through prayer and acts of charity.
I am writing these words as an introduction to a weekly study of the saints that will be available in our church bulletins each week. We will look at one saint per century. I hope that this series of study will not only be informative but may perhaps draw us all closer toward looking at our own lives, our development of personal holiness, and how we can become more actively involved in our personal life and in the ministry of our church.