Godzdogz

Godzdogz

The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
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Harry, England and St. George

Monday, April 24, 2017

What is the point of having a patron saint of a country? Isn’t it funny, the idea of being a saint in charge of the welfare of a nation, like a minister or an official? So, someone dies after a virtuous life, struggling against the dragons of the human weakness and very often after torture and persecution and as reward God granted to him a rather political career… Well, I suppose that in the twentieth century with the creation of many states and autonomous entities there must have been an increase in the demand for patron saints…

I admit that that was a bad joke but nonetheless true in its satirical critique. The true understanding of the tradition of patron saints is something not explainable through merely ideological-political reasons. The very fact that a soldier was ready to give up his life for the king and for the country invoking the name of a supernatural protector shows us clearly that there is a spiritual dimension in the question that must be emphasised. Whether the mere concept of nation is appropriate or not, or the institution of monarchical power is something regrettable or not, is irrelevant in the act of understanding one’s life as something worthy of being sacrificed for the sake of a trascendental goal. Probably we will reach a moment in which our secular structures of society and political power will change in such a manner that the former order would be considered an unforgettable mistake, but nevertheless there will be always people ready to face the sacrifice of their lives confident in the value that those structures have for the common good and the progress of the human race. 

And it is precisely in that human act of sacrifice in which the spiritual and supernatural world makes its entrance into the scene. It is not a matter of pride for the honour of the nation that we are committed to protect our society, it is a matter of humility for the survival of our way of life. And God has much to do with the business of that survival. We want the help of the heavens because we have the intuition that humanity is a divine project, that the existence of our tradition and history is the proof that God has blessed the common project that we have decided to perform. 

Today is an special opportunity for pray for our nation and for all who have made England a place in which we are able to develop our humanity, but also is an opportunity for ask the assistance of God against the dragons that, as images of the natural disorder and sin, try to destroy the dignity of our fraternal life.

Br Rafael Jimenez O.P.


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