Monday, May 28, 2012

A Legacy of Letters

July 21, 1897

To Sister Therese, 
     I have your photograph, and henceforth you live in my mind, after having up to the present only lived in my heart.  I am expressing myself poorly.  Try to understand, however, that your letters, your thoughts, take on a body, a form; they are no longer strictly abstract, they are you now.  I had really tried to build up your features in my imagination, and I must tell you I was not too far from the reality, at least regarding the general outline, so that when seeing you for the first time, I recognized you....
     Maurice Barthelemy-Belliare

I sometimes wonder what it will be like to meet the saints face to face.  Amazing thought, isn't it?  Patrons, intercessors, special friends in Heaven that we've grown fond of over the years - we'll be able to see them!   Will we recognize them?  Oh, I think so.  I do not expect formal introductions; I have a feeling we'll be joyfully embraced.

As you know from this blog, I love letters and writings the saints have left us.  To me, these are markers along the path for those of us still climbing toward Home.  They are also a means of getting to know members of our eternal family.  I often feel that a saint is directly addressing me, offering guidance as I face challenges, encouraging me to persevere.  "Come on, you can make it!"  "I faced obstacles too, you know, and this is what I did."  "I wasn't always saintly... let me show you what and how I overcame..."

We indeed have a rich inheritance.  I thank God for those who passed it on to us.  It is they who have left for us the real Breadbox letters.  I pray we will spend eternity praising (with them) the One True Bread of life.