Saint Edward the Confessor

Saint Edward the Confessor: King of England from 1042 until his death in 1066.  King Edward is considered to be a model for Christian monarchs and is the patron saint of kings.  Until 1348 Saint Edward was the patron of England but during the reign of Edward III he was replaced by Saint George.  Edward provided funds for the first Benedictine abbey of Saint Peter to be built at Westminster and his remains are interred in the present church.  King Edward was canonised in 1161 by Pope Alexander III.

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You may have heard the story about the boy who received a fully equipped toolbox for his thirteenth birthday.  After thanking his parents, he put the box aside and turned to open his next gift.  Fast-forward ten years.  That boy, now a young man, has just moved into his first home and discovers several small problems that need fixing, loose doorknobs and a leaky sink.  Although he has lugged the toolbox down to the cellar of his house, he has never opened it.  He has no idea how to use any of the tools.  He never took time to learn by working alongside his father or experimenting with the tools on his own.  As a result, some of those once immaculate tools have become rusty from disuse.

Saint Paul tells us we are God’s adopted sons and daughters.  God has, in effect, given us each a fully equipped tool chest.  We have the Sacraments, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the teachings of the Church.  Whether we need to fix a leak in our hearts because we haven’t been consistent in prayer, or mend a fence in a broken relationship, our spiritual toolbox has all the tools we will ever need.

It’s a good thing God doesn’t hand us a toolbox and then leave us on our own to figure everything out.  He offers to teach us the craft of holiness, as a mentor would teach an apprentice.  He can show us what tool works best in each situation.  We still have a part to play, but as we work alongside him, we can become more comfortable using his tools.  We will make mistakes once in a while, but over time we become more discerning about what to do and how to do it.

This is why we shouldn’t let our spiritual toolbox sit on a shelf and gather dust.  We need to open it and look at what’s inside.  The more we use our spiritual tools, the more we’ll be able to fix not only our own house, but our neighbours’ houses as well.

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