Saints And Feasts Of East And West

 I like to think of today as a day when East meets West in the Catholic Church. In the Eastern church, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus is celebrated; in the Western church, it is the feast of two great saints who, along with St John Chrysostom, in the Eastern church are part of the three Hierarchs.

The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus has been relegated to an optional memorial on the new Liturgical Calendar where it may be celebrated on January 3rd. Since that date is a Sunday, it most likely will not even be mentioned. In this day and age when our Lord's holy name is often thrown around like a wet dish rag, I seem to feel that this feast should be anything but optional! Since I am not holier or even as holy as the Pope, I will stop my rant right there. I will just remind my readers that the month of January is also devoted to the Holy Name of Jesus; you can see my sidebar for more about this feast.

As for our two great saints for today, Sts Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen were doctors of the Church as well as bishops. In celebrating their feasts on the same day, the Church also recognizes God's gift of friendship. These two men despite having very different personalities and temperaments, were good friends. St Basil had great leadership qualities while St Gregory was more the contemplative and poet. Each man worked with his own God~given gifts to build God's Kingdom here on earth. Their opposite personalities complimented each other and allowed them to enjoy a friendship.
God raised up these two saints as examples of hard working servants for His Church and also to extol His earthly gift of friendship. May their lives of both service and friendship be models for us today.
You can read more about these saints here.


christopher said…
It's a good point you make about their differing personalities. It takes all kinds to complete our Church, there is no ONE way for everyone; the Kingdom of Christ is built using many kinds of stones but it's all towards the same edifice.
Karinann said…
That is a great way to put it, "many kinds of stones toward the same edifice." I think some times we tend to think of the saints being "cookie cutter" types. That 's why I love reading the lives of the saints; you get to know something of who they were and what they struggled with before they were saints.
Anne said…
Thanks for the info. on the Eastern and Western churches. Our parish is offering some programs on this topic in the coming year and I look forward to learning so much more more!
Karinann said…
You are welcome, Anne. There is so much we here in the west can and need to learn from our Eastern Rite brethren.