January 18, 2019

Be Our Guest / Anne-Marie Frisby

Saint’s relic touches the ‘heart’ of the blessings of our faith

Anne-Marie FrisbyOn Jan. 4, our high school went to SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis to see the heart of St. John Vianney.

Visiting first‑class relics is a very powerful way of not only remembering the reality of the saints, but also of recollecting ourselves for prayer. It reminds us that our faith is not merely a faith of the spirit, but also a faith of this world.

Christ became man and died for us, and his saints are also men and women like us who have chosen to live for God in the world. This is part of why we, as Catholics, reverence relics.

When we arrived, we were greeted with a line stretching to the very back of the church. Many, many people, including young adults, were drawn to the relic of this beloved saint.

It is said that St. John Vianney touched the hearts of his parishioners through the sacrament of confession. As we approached, it was clear that even [150] years later, he is still touching the hearts of those who hope in God.

The wait was very long, yet more and more people queued up for even a minute of brief prayer in front of the blessed heart.

Meanwhile, Knights of Columbus members in full regalia oversaw and stood guard over the precious relic. That which they guarded looked simple—a mass of what looked like flesh in a vessel—yet they saw it for what it truly was. It is the flesh of a man who overcame the desires of the flesh. It is the flesh of a man whose flesh will be glorified with Christ’s. It is the flesh of a man who is united to us in the mystical body of Christ.

The saints are not only inspirational figures, but also our brothers and sisters in Christ. They are with us, parts of the body of Christ.

Because of this, we should treasure their relics as we would treasure the parting gift of a loved one.

Much of our faith is unseen, so all the more we must treasure that which we can see, the touchstones we have been given, the blessings that have been showered down upon us.

(Anne-Marie Frisby is in the 12th grade at Lumen Christi Catholic School in Indianapolis.)

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