Wednesday, December 16, 2009
My friend Karinann at Daughter of the King participates in a very special annual event in her prayer group. Each year, the participants draw a saint’s name from an envelope and that saint will be their personal patron saint for the upcoming year. The idea is not that the individual chooses the saint, but rather, it is the saint who chooses the individual. Karinann tells me that her group began this event after learning that St. Faustina’s convent did this same procedure each year.
What a lovely idea! And lovelier still, at the end of the annual drawing, there were still a few saint’s names left in the envelope so Karinann generously offered to share her saints with the blogging community. If she could see through cyberspace, Karinann would have seen me wildly waving my arms crying “me too, me too! I want a personal saint!” Since I know she couldn’t see me behaving so badly (thank the good Lord for that!), I sent her a message via her blog politely asking her if she would please share one of her saints with me. Karinann, being the sweet and wonderful person that she is, kindly obliged.
St. Luke chose me.
Now at first, I must admit, I felt a little twinge of regret at that news. I don’t know anything about St. Luke. I’ve never prayed to him before. He’s not one of my “favorite saints”. Why couldn’t I get St. Mary Magdalene or St. Jane de Chantal or maybe St. Gianna Molla? I was hoping for someone that I knew I would share some type of commonality with. How was I going to spend a whole year with St. Luke? What a complainer I am!
But then, I reread the email that Karinann had sent me. She said “The saint that has chosen to companion you during this upcoming year is St Luke. The first thing I thought of when I saw who it was was that St Luke was probably very close to Our Lady. His Gospel tells more about her than any of the other three. Given your recent consecration, I thought this was fitting. I pray you and this great saint enjoy getting to know each other in the New Year.” Maybe she really did see me jumping and waving my arms in cyberspace, because her message really addressed the concerns that I was having. It was as if she knew that I would be disappointed in the saint who had chosen me and she knew I would need some type of justification. I love her justification.
So, I decided that the first thing I needed to do was to learn more about St. Luke. It didn’t take me long to learn that there are many wonderful things about St. Luke that are very fitting to my life. A quick visit to Catholic Online and I was better informed about this holy man.
It is well known that St. Luke was a physician. Considering that I have recently been suffering through a bout of depression with all of the physical ailments that entails such as headaches, stomach aches, body aches, insomnia and fatigue, a physician is just what I need to assist with my healing. How wise St. Luke must be to choose to come to me at this particular time in my life.
Luke is a writer of one of the four Gospels. The key word for me here is writer. I love to write but I often struggle because I wonder if my writing is for God or for myself. I question my motives and my ability to spread the word of God. Who better than a Gospel writer to guide me and keep my writing focused on the only One who matters, God Himself?
Now in Luke’s Gospel he tells of six miracles and 18 parables that are not found in the other three Gospels. He focuses on the poor and social justice issues. His is the only Gospel to tell the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man, and his beatitudes state, “blessed are the poor”, not “blessed are the poor in spirit”. As a WIC Nutritionist who spends her days with the poor, I find it very comforting that I will spend 2010 under the guidance of a saint who has a deep love and understanding of the poor.
Luke’s Gospel includes all five of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. The other Gospels only share the Mystery of the Nativity. St. Luke's Gospel also shares the story of the Incarnation of Christ at the Nativity, but he tells so much more about the life of Jesus and Mary than the other three Gospel narratives. It is only Luke who tells the story of the Annunciation and Mary's Fiat, the Visitation with Mary's charity toward others, the Presentation in which we see Mary's obedience to God and the Finding in the Temple which shows Mary's motherly humanity in her worry for her Son. Mary’s beautiful Magnificat Prayer is in Luke, as well as the splendid words of the first half of the Hail Mary Prayer. Karinann was so right! Luke has a special relationship with the Holy Mother and he will be a great role model for me as I continue to deepen my relationship with Mary.
Finally, Luke’s is the only Gospel that tells the story of the Prodigal Son and my personal favorite, the story of the repentant woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears at a dinner party. In my never-ending difficulty with a delicate conscience and my struggles to accept the forgiveness of God and His love for me, Luke may just be the saint who can show me the path to God’s unconditional love.
St. Luke is a healer who uses his wonderful words to share The Word with the world, and heal us all. He has a love for the poor and for women, especially the most wonderful woman of all, the Blessed Mother. He shows us the forgiveness and eternal love of the Father. What wonderful qualities!
Now here is the thing about St. Luke that really amazes me. I had to research this man to find out who he was, but he already knew me. He chose me. Did God, in His great and eternal wisdom, whisper into St. Luke's heart and tell him to look after me? Did that one word from God flood St. Luke's heart with immediate love for me? I look forward to 2010 with great anticipation, as the year when I will not only develop a relationship with St. Luke, but also will seal it with deep love and respect for him that will last long beyond 2010.