St. Anselm Feast Day - April 21
My dear parishioners,
Today is the feast of St. Anselm, the patron saint of our parish. His name is pronounced An-selm, not An-slem. I am sure, like all of us, he prefers the correct pronunciation of his name. A patron saint is one we acknowledge, as being in God's presence, constantly rejoicing and praying for us. A patron saint is one whose virtues we try to imitate. I stress virtues, as versus life accomplishments. No one is expecting us to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury and no one is expecting us to be the next great philosopher. Anselm's life is a fascinating study. As Archbishop of Canterbury, he defended the rights of the Church over the rights of the King. As a philosopher, his writings have had a great influence on Christian thought and we acknowledge him as a Doctor of the Church. Anselm was known as a gentle man, who did not look for conflict; at the same time, he was not afraid to stand on principle. In my explorations of this saint, one thought keeps repeating itself over and over— faith seeking understanding.
Today, we seek understanding in light of our new reality. Faith leads us to recognize that we can do something while we do nothing. While we cannot see each other, we can regularly check up on each other. Your phone call can be such an occasion of joy for someone who is struggling and feels lonely. While we are physically distanced from each other, we can draw closer to each other as we reach out to family, friends, and those who are in need. With the increased level of anxiety people are experiencing, especially when it comes to financial issues, listening becomes an occasion of grace. Knowing that other people are experiencing and feeling the same things reminds us that we share a great deal in common. How would Jesus of Nazareth react if he were living with us now? What would he teach us? Jesus shows us and Easter reminds us that he emptied himself completely for our sake, that he endured great suffering and was raised to a life that we can only imagine. This must be understood and this is what we are called to live.
There are people who will want to get back to life as it was before, we all do. They may be reckless and charge out too early. Let's have a big party. We will be ok. Who cares what those people say? To think that we know better than those responsible for our safety is dangerous. There are stories out there of people who thought that the early talk of Covid-19 was just fear mongering and hysteria. Some of those people are now dead. Enough said.
Our faithfulness to God is reflected in how we are faithful to each other. So while we do nothing, we have the ability to do great things. These days, though dark, are days of grace. There is a grace in reevaluating what is truly important in our lives. The virtues that St. Anselm lived in his life point the way to be people of prayer, to trust in God's goodness and to be patient.
If we are faithful and if we try to be wise, I am sure that St. Anselm's prayers for us are being answered. Our faithfulness to the Gospel message is our saving hope. So today, honour Anselm in any celebratory way that you can and ask him to continue to pray with us and to pray for us.
Be assured of my prayers for you and your needs as we continue this journey. I look forward to the day that we can gather and celebrate the goodness of God together.
(Father) Tom Moore
No one will have any other desire in heaven than what God wills; and the desire of one will be the desire of all; and the desire of all and of each one will also be the desire of God.