Welcome to Maxim Mondays!
Today we are on week 17 and Fr. Thomas Hopko instructs us to “Cultivate communion with the saints.” He says,
Learn who the holy people were in Christian history. Learn who they were who taught, who suffered, who died, who lived a Christian life. And emulate them. As St. John of the Ladder said: “Anyone who does not emulate the Saints is a fool, but also a fool would be someone who tried to imitate another person in the details of his or her life.” You can’t do that, but we must learn from the holy people.
According to the NKJV via Biblegateway there are 96 references to saints in the bible. As I read through these it was obvious that all people serving God and following Christ are called saints. We are all called to be saints. In my Orthodox faith we recognize the lives the saints in order to learn from them. They taught, suffered and many, many died for their faith in Christ. We can draw strength from them. In Revelations “saints” is mentioned numerous times and mostly combined with these words:
with the prayers of the saints
In Jude it says the Lord will come with ten thousands of His saints. And in Hebrews we are reminded that we are surrounded with a great cloud of witnesses! Who could this be if not the saints?
We read about many of the saints when we sit down and read our bibles and read the stories of old, of the prophets, about Peter and Paul and all the disciples. The bible is full of them. It doesn’t need to stop there. Tradition hands us down amazing stories of more and even modern saints like those who walked here in America bringing the good news of Jesus everywhere.
Read the wonderful stories of the saints from all time and draw on the strength of those gone before us.
Some of my favorite books about the saints:
St. Innocent of Alaska: Apostle and Missionary
North Star: St. Herman of Alaska-a childrens book