When the saints come marching into our lives is WHEN WE INVITE THEM to help us show our divine spark within.
Catchy title* for lofty cause: Today I want to talk about working with saints.
There are many saints to work with. Actually, the tally of just how many saints there are, varies.
The book by Rev. Butler called ‘Lives of the Saints’ counts over 2500 saints, however, the exact number of saints in unknown, and must far exceed this. This is, as the Catholic Church once explained, because the church doesn’t make anyone a saint, but rather recognizes a saint. And so it is in other religions as well. There must be many more saints than we know of.
What Makes a Saint a Saint
In many religions, Saints are considered a step closer to the Divine Power than we are. Religions being man-made organizations rather than Divine-made organizations, the details of what it means to be a Saint varies from one to the other as well.
The Process of Recognition of a Saint
For example, the Catholic path to sainthood is as follows:
In the Catholic church, canonization follows beatification. Canonization is a formal many-year process of investigation whether an individual is a saint. The first step is an in-depth investigation of the virtues displayed during the person’s life by the local bishop. When sufficient information is gathered, the saint-candidate becomes titled a "Servant of God".
Upon further investigation and approval, the person’s then elevated to ‘Venerable or Heroic in Virtue’. At this stage, believers are encouraged to ask for miracles by the saint-candidate. A minimum of two important post-humus miracles are needed for the saint-candidate to receives the title ‘Blessed’. This step is called ‘beatification’. ;
The final step is the recognition as ‘Saint’ by the pope himself. Once a person has been declared a saint by the Catholic Church, his/her soul is believed to be surely in Heaven while the body & personal belongings of the saint have become holy relics.
Some of the saints have one or more symbols that represent their life. For example, Saint Teresa of Avila if often shown with a white dove flying towards her and a notebook and feather pen in hand. She’s been an avid journal, book and letter writer on theology in daily practice. (Her most famous books: ‘The Interior Castle‘, The Way of Perfection and The Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila.)
Saints are meant to be honored & respected. One can pray to saints to ask for help, just as one can ask another person to pray for them.
However, the power of saints is granted by God. Therefore, worship however, should be reserved for the pure Divine, or God.
In some ways, the question still remains:
What Makes a Saint a Saint?
we catch a glimpse of what God is like"
~ Kenneth Woodward,
Perfect quote on sainthood.
The Universal Saint
Embracing all kinds of religions and paths of spirituality (beyond the Catholic church), the attributes of what they consider a Saint seem to always:
1. Be an exemplary model
2. Be an extra-ordinary teacher
3. Be a source of benevolent power, or perform miracles
4. Be selfless, ascetic in our behavior
5. Have an especially close relationship with the Divine Power.
How Can We Work with Saints?
In several ways:
- 1. We can pray to them and ask for a miracle or otherwise support. When we pray to saints, we can not help but be inspired by them also….. Which brings me to the second and third ways:
- 2. We can choose them as our role models: the typical characteristics of saints offer lofty guiding principles to support our every day action.
- 3. We can choose them as our teachers. Beyond these general characteristics, every saint has his/her own personality and character traits, which may inspire awe.
I think that over time as we work with a saint on our spiritual path, we gradually move from 1. ‘a source of support’ to 2. ‘an inspiration’ to 3. ‘teacher.
Which Saint Inspires You?
For me, there are several who really inspire me, each in their own way. For example, the words of St. Teresa of Avila seem to so befit the ‘We Are One World Healing’ initiative, and that’s why they are posted here. Mother Teresa symbolizes compassion in action to me, and that’s why I wrote about her here. Other sources of inspiration have been Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi. Mother Mary to me is one to turn to for family/mother-kind of affairs. I have been in several holy places dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, and found his energy touchable there. And my journey goes on.
I think it does not really matter who you choose as your friend, role model & teacher in heaven. The point is that you do work with saints.
Archangels are sometimes referred to as saints. Work directly with them:
May you find solace in;
their encounter with you.
* Footnote 1
‘Oh When the Saints Go Marching In’ is a spiritual expression, an American Gospel hymn, and a slow funeral song sourced from New Orleans. The traditional verses of the song are apocalyptic, with imagery from the Book of Revelations, e.g. solar and lunar eclipses; and the trumpet of Archangel Gabriel, announcing the Last Judgment. The hymn expresses the wish to go to Heaven, which is appropriate for funerals. …. I thought to remind you of this, just before altered jazz versions of this song pop into your head.
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Why I write about Saints on a blog about Reiki? Most importantly, the ultimately Reiki goal is for us all to develop enlightenment, to become more Divine, to live in and give in unconditional love. Reiki heals at four levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. The last one is at least as important as the first one.
Why not instead talk about Reiki hand positions or the Reiki clients I had yesterday directly? Because there is a time and place for everything, and I find that the spiritual aspects on many Reiki blogs is not that strongly represented. It is also the most difficult.
Basic public information about Reiki is already written about on this healing blog and on my own distance Reiki website. Reiki 1 or 2 training materials are provided in my Reiki manual.You are welcome to obtain a copy of it for your personal Reiki training.