|Fr. Robert Hugh Benson|
But I also want to know Christ's close friends better, more than as the go-to helpers to find lost objects (St. Anthony) or pray for friends with special needs (e.g., St. Gerard Majella for women in childbirth) or for the survival of our bee colonies (St. Ambrose and St. Valentine). I want to get to know at least a few of the saints more intimately especially Mary.
And, in fact, I have a large library of saint biographies, autobiographies, and writings and devotions of the saints so there's no lack of material available.
But where to start? There are so many!
I think I'll begin with the Fathers of the Church for January and read Pope Benedict XVI's book, The Fathers, which is a collection of his weekly general audience teachings from March 2007 to February 2008. It begins with St. Clement, the third pope after St. Peter (Remember the Roman Canon where we ask the intercession of "Linus, Cletus, Clement, etc.") and ends 26 chapters later with St. Augustine. What a compendium of wise men! Each reading is relatively short so perhaps I will move from there to choose some for more in-depth study. I'm not planning out the whole year. I'll let the Holy Spirit surprise me and see whom He inspires me to choose as companions on the journey. It's kind of exciting to think about it.
Do you have a plan for 2017?