Friday, September 29, 2006
We Protestants understand saints quite differently than do our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters. For us, saints are believers not special or distinctive and so we believers are saints. None of us is worthy of adoration (..."only God is good").
I live in a Roman Catholic area so I've become interested in Roman saints and the practices I see here. One of my fascinations is reading about Roman saints. The various names fascinate me: Anne, Expeditus, Perrigrine...
I purchased three saint gizmos at a charity shop on my trip. All three are the same and picture a tonsored robed man holding a cross and a skull. I don't know his identity but he must have significance to someone and I'll find out.
Some of you who know me have seen my collection of religious piety items. I collect broadly so I have Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Buddhist, Jewish and Muslim items. I refer to my collection as "Piety items" because each is a way for seekers to attempt contact with God as they understand this process. For the one who spins a prayer wheel, or touches a mezzuah or wears a scapula to the hospital for comfort, all these things are contact points for piety.
As a Presbyterian, I've determined that we have only two piety items and would NEVER refer to these as items of worship. They are our Bibles and casserole dishes. Bibliolatry is making the Bible more significant than it's contents, false God thinking that we apprehend or capture God for ourselves when we handle and read a Bible. The casserole dish as symbol pokes fun at our constant eating at church. Hence, my name, "St. Casserole".
Having said all this, (I do blather on), I'm thinking this morning of which saints I'd include if I built shrines to hold Protestant saints. Please don't mention this to M. John Calvin. I don't want to find out he's spinning in his grave.
I'd have Calvin, Knox, Bill Cashatt, my Mother, John Leith, Lillian, Margaret Townsend, Wendell Berry. Several are living, most are dead. I'll be adding to this mental list.
What about you? Who would be on your saint list of those whose influence on you is immeasurable?