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In The Eye of the Storm – The Making of a Saint

1November2012

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Today is All Saint’s Day – a day the Church has set aside to remember and honor those who have gone before us into the church triumphant as faithful followers of Jesus Christ. The word saint literally means holy. and in the New Testament a saint was one who believed in Jesus and followed his teachings. St. Paul often addresses his letters to “the saints” (of Ephesus and Corinth), and the Acts of the Apostles talks about Peter going to visit the saints in Lydda (9:2). The assumption was that those who followed Christ had been so transformed that they were now different from other men and women and thus, should be considered holy – saints.

Some time early on, however, the meaning of the word began to change. As Christianity began to spread it became clear that some Christians were living lives of extraordinary or heroic virtue. The word saint became more narrowly applied to these people who were venerated after their deaths as saints, usually by their church or the Christians in the region where they lived because they were most familiar with their good deeds.

As a great part of the East is besieged by a storm system that packed a hell of a punch, saints are making their presence known. Not in big flashy ways, because that is not the nature of a saint, but in the day to day-ness of getting through, of helping others do the same, of finding ways to make it easier for others, and in the process, if heroic things happen, it’s all part of the job. Not a big deal. Just quietly doing what needs done. 

So what if a storm is raging all around – first responders still need to go patiently, door to door and clear people from harms way. So what if it is pitch black and there are no elevators working and babies lives are at stake, nurses carry them down nine flights of stairs while manually forcing air into their tiny lungs with breathing bags. So what if 25 foot waves and 80mph winds and blinding rain make impossible conditions for a rescue at sea, Coast Guard helicopters pluck 14 ship-wrecked survivors from the Atlantic anyway, because it’s what they have been called to do. 

Saints, you say? Yes, saints. Quietly, patiently, bringing calm into the eye of the storm. Are saints perfect people – by no means. Saints are human beings, like you and like me, who, when the storms rage about us, cling to the rock of Jesus Christ to see us through. He is the calm at our very core. He is the one who, when the winds howl and the waves threaten to overtake, commands the storms within to be still.

In the days and weeks and even months ahead, there will be much to do in the aftermath of the storm. There will be many storm weary survivors. Be holy for them. Be a saint. In Jesus name. 

PAM@CCD

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