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It is the time of year when words like gratitude are front and center. November 1st is All Saints Day, and I am curious what it would be like to consider the “Everyday Saints” of our lives. Who surfaces for you when reading that sentence?

While reading The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage,  I learned about Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy. Thomas Merton, in the telling of his path in this story, helped me see him as a human being rather than a spiritual icon. His writing is well-loved and well-known. The story of his life, though, in this book, got me more interested in him – the normalcy,  the “all of us” of him.  This prayer is one that makes him an everyday saint for me. 

Try these prompts (responding):

I do not see the road ahead of me

I will trust

Desire in all that I am doing

How about unlikely saints? Unexpected saints?

How about Enzo in The Art of Racing in the Rain? How about the person who – unasked – drops off chicken soup when they know you’re nursing a cold? How about the cashier at your local grocery store who asks after you and smiles when they have no idea how much you needed that just then?

Ellen Bass’s Pray for Peace is an opportunity to observe saints in abundance: bus drivers, water, pulling weeds. 

Try these prompts (responding):

With each breath in, take in the faith of those who have believed when belief seemed foolish, who persevered.

Shovel leaves or snow or trash from your sidewalk. Make a path.

Bow down to terriers and shepherds and Siamese cats.

Who are the saints of your life (so far)?

Who might say you have been a saint in theirs? 

Noodle around in your journal and see what happens. Be curious. How does it feel to think about saints in this way? Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you.

“Gestures are all that I have; sometimes they must be grand in nature.”- Enzo, The Art Of Racing In The Rain