I am so delighted that I took up reading the book: "My Life with the Saints" from James Martin SJ. The whole last week that I was off from work I was and still mesmeric by the story and life of the saints that were introduced to me by James.
The book is entertaining, engaging and humorous. I don't have any western religious background, normally I have no desire reading Catholic Saints. Somehow, I was drawn to the book that afternoon while casually browsing on " new book " section on Rowland Height library.
Some of the Saints were not ancient, there were fellows from contemporary nineteenth and twentieth century. Therese of Lisieux and Bernadette Soubirous were from nineteen's century, Thomas Merton early twenties century, Pedro Arrupe and Mother Teresa from mid to late twenties century. I never knew that Catholic church sponsored many programs to help the poor and the underprivileged all over the world.
"Preach the Gospel, use words if necessary" ! It demonstrates that Catholic missionary teaching is action oriented, using thought, speech and action to do good for humanity all around the globe. The Jesuits will travel to Africa, Asia or any troubled spots of the world as part of their spiritual training. I found out surprisingly they are much more open, loving and actively engaging in the world community than the Buddhist monks.
I used to have a very rigid view about Catholic church. Consider the scandals happened in the past of catholic priests, I have stereotyped the catholic churches or similar organization as a powerful political organization that using God as a shield for their worldly gain. By reading this book, I have somewhat broaden my view about catholic church.
All these Saints are alive and well in author's prayer. It is amazing that sometimes the author's prayer was instantaneously answered. I wish I had half of the response rate from my long drawn meditation. I will guess in some way God is discriminative in answering prayer.
I found some of the sayings are very true:
- For those with faith no explanation is necessary; for those without faith no explanation is sufficient.
- God write straight with crooked line.