Started reading The Heavenly Man tonight. After only a few pages I am amazed. It is already incredible to see the ways that the people’s deepest needs were the sites of very tangible mercy from God– healed diseases, Bibles appearing from strangers in the night because of prayer, etc. Jesus is medicine for our sick parts, to paraphrase Thomas on the eucharist. He comes to us where we are wounded, where we lack, where we need. (By the way, if anyone reading this would like to buy me a copy of the Summa for Christmas, he should feel very free to do so….) Already this book is reminding me of the life of Saint Macrina, or any number of the early church mothers and fathers who lived their lives so, I don’t know, so thinly or transparently before God– who put themselves in positions of total and utter need– that his mercy had room to become real in ways that it may not for people who are totally glutted with comforts. There is a certain kind of simplicity present in stories of people like this, people who live in dire conditions or who willingly divest themselves of the comforts and structures that preclude full reliance on God. All Saints Day is coming up, and since I work at a Catholic school I have been thinking about how to celebrate. I still don’t know, but I think it is worthwhile to read the lives of the saints. Maybe worthwhile to see if all our possessions, distractions, entertainments, etc. are worth the price of the complacency and the lack of need for God, the lack of need to pray in desperation, and to, perhaps, see those prayers answered in miraculous ways.