Saints, Praxis, and the Unbeliever

In the Eastern Orthodox practice, and I gather to a lesser (?) extent in the Roman Catholic Church, Saints are revered and remembered, some other cogent (and recent) thoughts on this here (HT: Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost).

At Baptism (or for converts like myself at Chrismation) a Saint is chosen (for children and some adults this is commonly your name). This Saint is remembered, studied, read (if writings are available) and becomes a person to whom you wish to emulate and model yourself on during your daily life and praxis. Having recently (40+ days) begun this practice it seems very salutory.

In fact, I’d recommend it to everyone, faithful and unbeliever alike (Greek and non-Greek, i.e., barbarian?). Pick a hero. A person who in your soteriology is “saved” or the best that a man might aspire to be. Take time to remember this peson daily (before bed or on waking). Read their life history, read their works if extant. Aspire to become more like that person in your daily life.

My saint is Ephraim the Syrian. Who’s yours? or if you don’t have one … who might you consider? … if you were to choose.

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  1. Anne says:

    Francis of Assisi

  2. Any secular recommendations?

  3. Mark says:

    It depends a lot on you and what you value. Many of the US founders were admirable if not heroic. Other political men, Cato, Cicero, Churchill, Simon de Montefort, et al. There are a number ancient philosophers, Plato, Aristotle, Diogenes, Epicurius, (from Mr Schraub) who esteems Du Bois. Depending on what other interests you have there are certainly many others from whom to choose.

    The problem (like that for Christian saints) is not that there are no choices but that there are so many. One of the things I’ve valued about Ephraim is that he does not “plays to my strengths” but that he is such a good example at those things I don’t do well, but however value.