Saturday, November 07, 2009

Living Deliberately: Imitating the Saints

Ever since my patron saint, St. Juliana of Lazarevo adopted me, I've had strange urges to imitate her life in certain ways. In baby step sort of ways. There's no way I'm as godly as she is (she knew the psalter by heart and I spend time on facebook), for sure, but it seems like a good idea to start being intentional about how I live and to intentionally incorporate some copy-cat-ishness into my life. A good reason to do this is that I'm not automatically holy, you know, being the worst of sinners.

And the little pitch-fork toting guy that sits on my shoulder wants to discourage me from such a plan with thoughts such as "Oh, but that doesn't count...if you are PLANNING it...your good works need to be spontaneous." Thoughts such as these.

But is that true? Of course not. Liturgy is planned out prayers that teach us and guide us and help mature the prayers of our own hearts. Holy Tradition is planned out Scriptural interpretation that keeps us faithful to the Faith once given to the Apostles. And so on. Nothing wrong with planning and execution.

So it seems to reason that we can imitate the Saints on purpose. Plan and do. Did St. Herman do something that particularly inspired you? Copy him. Does your patron saints life make your heart yearn to be like that? Imitate her. Do what they did. Pray their prayers.

And so often it's simple, unglamorous stuff. St. Juliana spent some of her extra time sewing clothes for the needy in her community. St. Herman baked cookies for the orphans in his care.

Who are the naked? Where are the hungry? What small and caring acts can we do, right here and right now, deliberately on purpose, to manifest the Kingdom of God in our midst?

Give alms just a little bit more.

Pray just a little longer and harder.

Embrace one more teeny tiny act of renunciation of something that might be a barrier in your heart between you and God.

Spend just a bit more time seeking God.

And soon that will become a new "normal" and then we can build on that, and go from there.

Doesn't that seem reasonable?

4 comments:

Marigold said...

A great post, Alana, and aptly timed. This thing of 'the small way' has been on my mind a lot recently, especially what with the upcoming fast. Have you listened to this podcast?

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/holyfathers/defeating_the_slavery_of_bad_habits

It gave a me food for thought - and the motivation to get up off my butt!

(I'd never heard of your patron saint, either, but I looked her up - so interesting!)

x M.

Marigold said...

Not sure that URL came out right :S
Let's try again:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/holyfathers/
defeating_the_slavery_of_bad_habits

Make sure to close the gap between 'holyfathers/' and 'defeating'.

M.

Amber said...

Excellent. We really do have to be deliberate about imitating the saints. It doesn't come naturally to me at all - I figure if it did, I'd *be* a saint, and I know I'm so far from that as to be laughable.

Hezra said...

Live intentionally. Live holy. Strive to imitate good. very good. These are things I have been feeling too. ((hugs)) to you.