Everyday Saints


By Sister Marianne Burkhard, OSB

As we celebrated All Saints (both the officially known and all the unknown ones) Day on Sunday, I find myself thinking of those everyday saints – with a small “s” – we have known along our way.

These are people who have shared their faith with us, touched us in a special way by being ‘the presence of God’ in a particular moment when that presence of God was needed for support or as stimulus for further spiritual growth.

These are people who might have accompanied us for many years, or taught us some lessons of life, or who only touched us at a particularly important moment, a critical juncture, and who just ‘appeared’ as if sent by God to say the things that we truly needed to hear.marianne-portrait

What is this ‘presence of God’?

My Lectio on Psalm 100 provided some answers:

God’s goodness (which I understand as reliability) will often just ‘appear’ in a small saint, an ordinary person, without fanfare, yet with a word of wisdom, of support, a gesture of kindness.

God’s mercy fully understands our weaknesses, fears, uncertainties, and helps us to put them into perspective.

God’s faithfulness is present to us in so many ways, subtly touching us in otherwise wholly unspectacular situations.

Reflecting on my life I am deeply grateful for these everyday saints who have nurtured me over the years.

And I pray that I may always be open to this presence of God in others, and for the grace to become such a conduit of God’s goodness, mercy and faithfulness for anyone in need whom I encounter in person or by phone or email.

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