Library News – July

Greetings to all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints.” says St. Paul, beginning his letter to the Romans. “To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi” begins another. For Paul it was not just the great, grand figures of the church who were saints. It was every follower of Jesus, every church member. We too are saints.

The tradition of the Church, however, has been to single out special people to call saints. People whose lives showed a special devotion to God in how they lived, or in what they did, or what they wrote. People to take as rôle models, to inspire us to live in the same way.

The Roman Catholic church is still creating saints, but we in the Anglican church have no way of doing that. All the people we call saints lived before the Reformation. It doesn’t mean, though, that we don’t remember those others who have lived since then. Every week, the Church of England, in its prayer book “Common Worship” celebrates three or four special people, in “Lesser Festivals” or “Commemorations”. It’s a fascinating collection, old and young, ancient and modern, reformers, mystics, writers, martyrs. Don’t think that we don’t have martyrs these days; Archbishop Janani Luwum was martyred in 1977.

I’ve just put into the Library a book called “Saints on Earth” by John Darch and Stuart Burns, which gives you short, neat biographies of all the people we commemorate in “Common Worship”. Each page a saint (whether they have the title or not). It’s fascinating reading. Saints are so different!

I’ve put it on the shelf labelled “People and their lives”, where there are books about other lives, other saints. Do dip into it. These are people in whom the light of God’s love shone out, as it should in us too, for remember, we too are saints.

Rosemary Smith

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