Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Do you know the extraordinary gifts of St. Blaise?

Today is the feast of St. Blaise. We will be having our throats blessed come the weekend. Odd, I always get a sore throat after having my throat blessed, hmmmm. It doesn't stop me from getting my throat blessed year after year, it is just something I've noticed.
We have recently celebrated the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas and The Presentation of the Lord. Our New Year, liturgically, starts off with a bang. St. Blaise isn't remembered for any incredible writings or teaching as St. Thomas is known for, nor is his feast as remarkable as the Presentation of our Lord at the Temple or not nearly as significant. We recall St. Blaise for a simple throat blessing. We get something tangible on his feast day. Actually we don't get the blessing on the feast day itself, unless it falls on the weekend and we happen to be at Mass. Could it be any easier for us? I wonder, a drive through blessing window maybe... Oh I digress.
Not much is known about St. Blaise. He was a bishop, who was martyred for his faith in Christ. It is believed a woman brought a young boy to him who had a fish bone stuck in his throat and St. Blaise cured him, hence the throat specialty. But did you know, St. Blaise is also known as the patron Saint of wild animals? He lived as a hermit for a while to escape persecution and while living in his cave, he cured the wild animals and communicated with them. Legend has it that when St. Blaise was arrested, he first stopped to 'speak' to a wild wolf who had stolen a poor woman's pig. The wolf released the pig and the pig was returned to the poor woman. I suppose he could be called the St. Francis of his time. So it would seem the wild animals had more respect for the man than the human beings he was most like in creation. Our intellect is an incredible thing.
Humans with their higher intellect are given this gift to discern the truth. It is said in the bible that Simeon and Anna discerned the truth of the Messiah upon seeing him enter the Temple with his parents. They didn't hear him speak or witness a miracle, they just opened their eyes to the truth that was revealed to them. Sounds so simple, doesn't it? We as humans do tend to over analyze a situation, my brother refers to this as analysis paralysis. It is just one more way the devil plagues us with doubt and puts up barriers to our faith. We must be more open to truth in seeking it out through prayer and contemplation. If we are in tune with what God has in mind for us, then the Holy Spirit will lead us. We have to be willing to let God lead us, He will put us where he needs and wants us. St. Blaise might not have seemed to be a shining example hidden away as he was, yet in and through his faith in Christ he is remembered eternally.
Everyday I look for what God has in store for me that day. I can plan til the cows come home, but always there is something better waiting for me, something that will bring me closer to God. Oh it might not always be fun and glorious, it might be sad and tragic. But what awaits me is God to help me through whatever trials and experiences I go up against. It is so much more exciting to watch and wait for the adventure that God has in store. That is our life, our life in Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, all for the glory of God.
St. Blaise, pray for us!

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