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2 November 2014
posted by Canon Dakin on 05-11-2014

In the New Testament a saint is simply one in whom Christ dwells - you and me. We are saints in that sense because we are made holy by the presence of God.  We owe each other a mutual reverence not because of our natural gifts but because we are the temples of the Holy Spirit. There is no place among Christians for a lack of self esteem.                                                                                                      

  As Christianity began to challenge the gods of Rome there were persecutions. Men and women chose death rather than to deny their faith.  They were the champions whose memories were cherished, whose tombs were venerated, who were invoked in prayer as our intercessors in heaven.  It was in the 10th cent. that the Church began to declare people worthy of veneration by the process of canonisation. They were presented as role models. Canon means rule, standard, pattern. I’m a canon. When I was a member of the cathedral chapter - chapter is the group name for canons - the minimum rule that we observed was to meet once a month to recite the Office and celebrate Mass but in Catholic countries the canons follow a daily routine like monks in monasteries.  The routine, the regular pattern of life is the canon - so those who are canonised as saints are men and women who offer a consistent standard, a rule, a pattern of Christian virtue and so are offered as our role models on earth and as our patrons in heaven.  Role models! Gregory Thaumatourgos, the wonder worker, Boniface, who re-organised the Church in Western Europe, Padre Pio who bi-located, Theresa of Avila the great mystic. Not all saints did exceptional things.  St Theresa of Lisieux lived a quiet life in an obscure convent. She did washing in the laundry, she weeded the garden. The little things that she did she did well not for self-satisfaction but as a token of love for God.  We are all capable of that. The basic fact is that Jesus has become a bridge linking us through a personal relationship to the Father and the Holy Spirit. We are to respond to the love that God has shown us in creating that relationship by keeping it in mind, by making that response through the ordinary simple routine of daily life       


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