Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year, New Saint, New Me?

Last year around this time, Jennifer Fulwiler posted her Random Saint Name Generator. I am that person who takes the magazine quizzes and the facebook quizzes so this was made for me! I pushed the button and received the name of St. Robert Bellarmine.  I spun a few more times just out of curiosity but stuck with the first name "Jen-erated" for me.

I quickly discovered I had a lot of connections to St. Bellarmine who was born in one of my favorite little Tuscan towns. He was the confessor of St. Gonzaga, the first saint I had a connection to as a protestant. A Jesuit with sympathies like those of our Holy Father, St. Francis, he lived an austere life and even clothed the poor with the draperies of his Rome apartment. He opposed the action against Gallileo at a time when doing so was to risk one's life and reputation.

My strongest connection to St. Robert Bellarmine was impossible for me to see on December 31. His most famous work is "The Art of Dying Well," a title I admit I did not connect to on New Years. After a couple of close calls during March and July, this text moved to the top of my "must read" list.

 I am not superstitious and I don't think for a second that God's hand was on the wheel of chance that landed St. Bellarmine's name in my lap. After all, I know it is a computer program. Yet, God's hand is always on the wheel in  my life and the biggest lesson for me is that saints are Saints for a reason: They were humans -- trying, failing, then doing their best -- and they had an extraordinary impact on the world. Any saint can inspire us and will, if we give them the chance. I like the "chance" aspect of this program -- the fun of it -- and the chance to learn about a saint who might not normally appeal to me.

Jen has published her generator again this year. I got the name of St. Louis de Montfort. What I know so far is that he is known for promoting total consecration to Mary, something I've headed for in the past and not gotten to because the timing was not right. Maybe this is my year?

So as we head in to a new year, I will be learning about a new saint. I will be making my six-word resolutions soon and building my spiritual foundation will be one of them.  I can't wait to see what part St. Louis de Montfort will play in my life.

If you try it for yourself, I'd love to hear who is generated for you. Happy last days of 2013.

[Post script: I apologize for my long absence here. During the fall I was blessed to have my parents visiting for several weeks until early December and I simply chose not to devote as much time to blogging ]

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