Wednesday, September 25, 2013
What I Learned Wednesday #19: Saints in Love Edition
I finally finished this book (Saints in Love by Carole Hallundbaek) on Monday night (whoo!) and now I can do a sort-of review through my What I Learned Wednesday post. I usually just post 3 short things I learned about the Faith during the week but there's so much to cover that I'm going to make them a little bit longer than usual.
1. I may have a reputation of being a sort of "patron saint encyclopedia", but I really don't know much about the many of the saints' lives. I may know who is the patron saint of specific things but I don't know their life stories. I loved the last chapter of the book, which focused on the relationship between St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantal. I even sent this note to myself that night, before I forgot:
"It is a strong yet peaceful desire to learn about and from them (St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantal) as I think they may be the ones who will be amongst those who will help me in my next chapter in life."
I was reading about all the wonderful things that all the saints featured (St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, St. Catherine of Siena and Pope Gregory XI, and St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantal) had accomplished but I knew little about their actual lives. The book did cover the basics but I did know the basics of about half of them so it wasn't anything new for me. Now I have a desire to learn more, especially on the ones that inspired me this week.
2. I like learning about my saints without having sex come into it. Yes, it's been established that I'm a "prude" (and proud) but I don't actually see sex as a bad thing. In a Theology of the Body way, it's a good thing (from what I've read). In a lustful, bow-chicka-wow-wow way, not so much. There were a couple of times that I felt the author was trying way too hard to bring sex into the relationship between the two saints she was featuring. I'm not saying that the Evil One hadn't tempted them (I don't know that) but it wasn't even that. I actually read some parts to my friend Delaney (when she was visiting a couple of weeks ago) and she agreed that it was all just unnecessary and uncomfortable. As someone who has a lot of guy friends whom I respect and don't look at as more than brothers (and vice versa), I didn't appreciate some of the things that were written. It IS possible to have a friendship with a member of the opposite sex without any funny business.
That being said, there were some things about sex that the author talked about that I liked. There was a quote she added that I really liked; "Celibacy is not about never falling in love, it's about falling in love over and over and over again." (pg. 46) I understood and appreciate that. Like I said, sex is not a bad thing. I'm obviously not talking from experience but I've read enough on the Sacrament of Marriage to not be (entirely) freaked out about it. lol. Just, please keep it away from my saints that were friends and respected each other. Please. No need to bring it up unnecessarily.
3. I might have found the right Third/Lay Order for myself thanks to this book. I've looked into (but only superficially) a plethora of Third/Lay Orders but none have really touch me the way the Salesian spirituality did. I haven't really learned much about it (other than they are called Salesian Cooperators) but what I did read made me think that it may be the right one for me. I still have to look into it but, as I have already said, I was really inspired by St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantal... and it's made me feel more confident and at peace about my decisions regarding my career choice and my vocation. In fact, I think I'm very ready for whenever God feels I should start the next chapter in my life. :)
That's what I learned on my journey of learning more about myself and the Faith this week. Like I said in the beginning of this post, there's so much to cover that it would be impossible to do so in a single blog post. I will say that I both liked and didn't like this book for the reasons I talked about. I learned a lot about myself, about the saints, and about the saints relationships with each other and with God.
I can't say whether I recommend this book or not. I mean, I liked a good portion of it but I really had a hard time getting through parts of it.
And now I'm going to go keep my eye on my cell phone because I'm on Bebe Baldwin watch and I don't want to miss anything. Please keep Julie in your prayers because it looks her baby wants to meet her and her husband soon!
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D