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Healing Saints

(As published in the St Luke’s October Newsletter)

October brings us quite a few opportunities to honor and commemorate some of the Saints that have made their mark throughout the ages of the church.  We celebrate the feasts of the Apostles, James (of Jerusalem), Simon and Jude.  We commemorate Saints Teresa of Avila and Ignatius of Antioch, as well as William Tyndale, Miles Coverdale, and King Alfred the Great.  But the two that may have the most precedence in our church community are Saint Luke, the Evangelist and Physician, and Saint Francis of Assisi, founder of the Friars Minor and patron saint of animals and the environment.  This could well qualify Francis as one of the world’s first “tree huggers” of which I greatly – and often failingly – try to emulate.

It seems natural that we should give so much attention to these latter two saints.  They form a parallel vision of hope for not just humankind, but the entire realm of creation.  Luke the physician who sought to heal the body with medicine, yet continues to nurture our souls through his writings; and Francis the mystic who sought to heal the fracture between us and our world, searching for ways to invigorate our desire to once again be good stewards of not just creatures, but all of earth, our island home.  We will have two opportunities to celebrate the lives of these men, but at the same time, we may also want to consider meditating on their actions and words.  We frequently hear the words of Luke whether in the Gospel or The Acts of The Apostles and may less frequently say the Prayer Attributed to St. Francis, but knowing about something and taking it to heart are two different entities.  In this manner, I ask that if you have the time, go a little deeper, work and meditate on the lives of these Saints and perhaps find a connection that can make a change in something you do.  I hear Francis hinting about how to do this already with his words; “He who works with his hands is a laborer.  He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.  He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”  May we all be artists who help heal.

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