Writing of the past couple of days has taken a bit of a downturn, and the splurge of typing of the past several weeks might partially be the culprit. One on occasion does run out of things to say. Then again though, the languishing of written words might also be contributed to time constraints.
The last feast day, the Epiphany, is one that causes one to think a bit. It also kicks off carnival season and one is unsure if they should continue with the festive and holy Christmas season, or dive into that carnival season as a last fling preparation for Lent. The one theme that lingers from the feast of Epiphany is the bringing of gifts to the Christ Child. One slowly drifts out of that Christmas season with a very vivid image of bearing gifts. Of what type of gifts do I refer? They are not those of the merchant. Instead these gifts I begin to ponder at this season are those carried by the saints. Had I been more diligent in my writing these past several days, I would have been able to comment on two saints whose feast days had just occurred; they are John Newman and Brother Andre. Both I daresay brought gifts to the Lord even more valuable than those carried by those kings. For Saint John Newman, there was the gift of an executive and manager, bought to a Church in a new country that is the largely protestant North America. Here the saint established much of the Catholic school system, worked as a parish priest, and helped establish a religious order for women. A spiritual person with a knack for the business aspects of an organization, his gifts would be valued greatly by corporate America and he could have profited handsomely had he decided to use them for his own personal gain. Instead though he brought them the body of Christ that is his Church. Saint Andre Bessette brought another type of gift to the Church. His was not the background of an executive, but whose gifts focused largely on the spiritual. He was someone with little education, and worked as a porter at Notre Dame College in Quebec. His faith though was the focus of his life, and that faith is what he gifted to many that knew him. He brought their souls to the Christ. He was know especially for his gift of miraculous healing, and through his prayers for those sick he became known as the miracle man of Montreal. The walls of Saint Joseph’s oratory where he was assigned is lined with the crutches and canes of those who benefited by his humble prayers. It seems then that two thousand plus years later, people that can be counted as kings and wise men, still bearing gifts for that Christ Child. It is these Saints that continually offer suggestions of suitable gifts to bring to that Child, gifts that we have received freely and in abundance. These two saints in particular display the range of gifts that can be presented. They remind one first to search for those gifts that have been given to us, and how to present them to that Child of the Epiphany.