Get to know the modern day saints
39 NEW SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW (Servant Books, 2010, supplied by Pleroma Christian Supplies); New Zealand$27.99. Reviewed by Bishop JOHN MACKEY.
In The Creed, we profess belief in the communion of saints. This belief has many corollaries, the most important one being that here we have no lasting city. As children of God, our own destiny is to play out our part as loving children of God in the cosmic drama that the Creator initiated, and in which human beings are made in the image of God.
We thus, although physical in stature, are called to transcend our physical nature and to rise to the realms of spirit and eternity. As sacred Scripture warns us, “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come. Through him let us offer God an unending sacrifice of praise” (Hebrews 13:14-15).
The praise of God embraces his wonderful works, especially those that are exemplified in the lives of the saints. Hebrews 12 reminds us that this great company of witnesses spurs us to victory to share their prize of everlasting glory.
This anthology of modern saints (and beatified) assures us that our own modern times are as present to the loving God as were the times past, in which veneration of the saints was a special Catholic devotion. It is recorded that Pope John Paul II canonised 482 saints and beatified 1339 individuals. All of this is indicative that the Holy Spirit is active in holy Mother Church, so is active also in us as we respond to the invitation to holiness.
An acquaintance with these modern saints can be a spur to our own devotion. This book is also an interesting read with its variety of personalities, and inevitably leads us to the wonder of the love for us that is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
Bishop John Mackey is Bishop Emeritus of Auckland.