Today is the feast day of St. James the Apostle, a very special feast day. And one that holds great personal meaning because my brother is named after Saint James (guess what his name is?) And my sister Clare walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain two summers ago to the tomb of St. James.
What better place to look for a reflection on this holy saint than In Conversation with God. Francis Fernandez tells his readers.
James, from Bethsaida, was the son of Zebedee and the brother of John. He was one of the three disciples to witness the Transfiguration and the agony in the Garden besides other important events of our Saviour’s public life. He and his brother’s impetuous zeal caused the Lord to name them the Sons of Thunder.
James developed his apostolate in Judaea and Samaria. According to tradition he preached the Gospel in Spain. He became the first Apostle to suffer martyrdom. His mortal remains were later brought to Santiago de Compostela, in Spain which became a popular medieval pilgrimage site and a sanctuary of the Faith for all of Europe.
Fernandez goes on to meditate on the life of Saint James and his countless encounters with Christ and others. He talks about the beauty and mystery of suffering and this particular quote from Saint Josemaria in the reading penetrated the deepest depths of my heart.
In union with Christ even our pain and failure are converted into joy and peace. The great Christian revolution has been to convert pain into fruitful suffering to turn a bad thing into something good. We have deprived the devil of this weapon, and with it we can conquer eternity. In Conversation with God, 29.
A nugget worth pondering wouldn’t you say?