Dear Friends in Christ,
22This Monday is the Feast of Saint Matthew. Saint Matthew was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus and is the patron saint of accountants, bankers, bookkeepers and tax collectors. Of course, very importantly, he is the inspired author of one of the Gospels. Along with these important duties of this great saint, he is the saint whom I took as my saint for Confirmation. We all have patron saints from our baptism and while not mandated, we can take a new name for Confirmation. Some people are Confirmed with their baptismal name. I had read that a priest, when he is ordained, can take another name as well. I did take a priest patron saint. Fortunately, I do not have to sign my full name when I write my signature on a check. My full name is Joseph Thomas Matthew John of the Cross! My devotion to Saint Joseph is very fervent as I love anything to do with the Nativity of Our Lord. Saint Thomas was chosen for a reason that I will not go into detail and Saint Matthew was chosen for Confirmation because when called, he dropped his work and followed the Lord. Saint John of the Cross was picked because I admired his desire to reach the heights of the spiritual life. You each have your saints and I hope that if you do not know much about your special saints, you will look into their lives to see how they can inspire your spiritual life. One may say, “My name is not a saint.” Do not be so sure as many saints are derivatives of classic names. The Gaelic names are particularly interesting to investigate. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 956, quoted Lumen Gentium in speaking of the saints “‘Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness. . . . They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus . . . . So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped.’” We have some powerful friends in Heaven. They will speak to the Lord for us if we only ask.
God bless you,