Sunday, May 23, 2010

More Crazy Saints.

My favorite, St. Simeon Salus.
First of all - Simeon lived with his mother until he was about 30 - so you stay-at-home-sons, don't be discouraged.  He then went to the desert to live as a monk - when he was old - he left the monastery to live amongst the genuinely poor: the outcasts, amongst whom were the prostitutes and other low life.  He actually lived along side prostitutes and the wicked people they attract - the indigent homeless, mentally ill, crippled, alcoholics, homosexuals - the dregs of any society.  Some say he simply feigned madness, while others think he may have at times been truly out of his mind.  One must remember that Christ was considered mad by his townsmen as well - these people who supposedly knew him, thought Jesus out of his mind at times.  And yet Jesus, free of all sin - notably original sin and its effects - could not have been crazy...  Though he indeed emptied himself and took the very last place, which even Simeon, for all his humiliating madness, nor the wretches amongst whom he lived, were able to snatch that very last place from Jesus, the Son of God.
The holy fool Simeon brought many people to repentance by his example and his roughened charity amongst the most disenfranchised of the city.  Perhaps his greatest penance was the awareness of his own imperfection, weakness, inconstancy and sin which impelled him to take his place amongst the outcasts, sharing their shame, trusting in the mercy of Christ who suffers with all who are rejected and marginalized. 
Icon:  St. Alexis - One of the saints who couldn't keep his clothes on.
Patron saint of pupeteers.  LOL you liturgical puppet haters!
Simeon the Holy Fool


  1. My kinda saint...the more I live the contemplative life (very poorly, I might add), the more I feel solidarity with the mentally ill, the alcoholics, the prostitutes, the marginalized...
    I realize more and more "there but for the grace of God, go I".
    And I'm in no place to point fingers at anyone; I fail God miserably each and every day.
    I hope this doesn't scandalize anyone; I hope this "confession" might bring some hope to someone.
    Thanks, Terry!

  2. NP-- I know when when I made my promises as aSecular Carmelite it was a definitely "Welcome to the next level" of spirituality....and I'm sure for those of you religious and ordained it is "Welcome to Level 5" so to speak.

    Yeah I find it really hard at times to balance the secular and the spiritual, like juggling plates, and there are times that I feel like I'm dropping them all. But I take a real comfort inknowing that I'm doing God's work, that He is happy with what I am doing, and I'm growing in holiness bit by bit, day by day.

    For sure I'm no saint, but I do have the feeling that what little bit I am doing does make a difference in this world, even if it is just the example I set for others. Maybe sometimes we don't get the warm fuzzies from God that we would like to get, everyone likes to be told that they are doing a good job-- and that is hard.

    The more I think about Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and what she went through in her Dark Night--I get the impression that God told her something like this, " My daughter--I have a job for you..minister to my poorest of the poor..I will give you everything you need--people, money, medicine, food, government support, facilities--just ask and it will be given to you. Oh and by the way--I'll check back in 50 years and see how you are doing."

    That long time of darkness can be an awefully lonely time....
    but we must have faith that what we are doing is right. I really think that we will be informed if what we are doing is not right..

    God Bless... Sara

    P.S. I couldn't keep my clothes on whenI was a little girl--does that count?? :)

  3. I knew of an elderly senile monk who would take his clothes off and walk around the cloister. One time he chased a woman in the guesthouse. He was harmless.

  4. Terry, I hope that wasn't Fr. Pius (!)...when I was at Loras (Dubuque), we made our annual retreat there at N. Melleray and good old Fr. Pius was in the gift shop, blessin', givin' counsel, being the good ole Irish monk he was (God rest his soul!)...
    God bless monks who run around "au naturale" and are harmless (it's the nasty ones who seduce poor little boys we have to worry about!!).

  5. Wasn't Fr. Pius - Fr. Pius never lost his senses. No, it was a very old laybrother - when he chased the woman I should have said he was clothed. I was told he would take his clothes off in the infirmary and walk about, which is technically the cloister area. Now that is not as funny is it.

  6. WHew!
    Fr. Pius fed us carmels, obsessively...I loved him so much!
    Terry, you could have been there when I was a seminarian at Loras...
    Went there every January.

  7. I was gone in '76. I returned for a visit in '78, and once after that in around 1984 - 85.

  8. Thinking more about "crazy" saints...

    When you get sick from tuberculouses, malaria, and other diseases which cause you to run a fever--that can cause hallunications...reading poor St Therese Story of a Soul her writings of her last days when the TB was destroying her poor body, I can't help but wonder if she was hallunicating because of the fever.

    I was sick earlier this past week with an intestinal bug, causing me to run a fever.. and believe me..the dreams and stuff I was experiencing is not repeatable on a G-rated family blog :) But I did have some strange religious-themed dreams, and I'm smart enough to know that they were just due to the fever and not anything else...but folks weren't so smart up until fairly recently....they also thougth many illnesses were possession by demons--I would include mental illness and retardation in that as well..


  9. Mental illness and retardation, Sara, are part and parcel of the contemplative a secular Carmelite, get used to it, dear.

    Jesus is so good, so loving, so merciful.

    We just have to "hang on"...we've got a lot of ground to cover when we make our way back to him.

    Don't sweat it...just be more confirmed that He is everything; He loves you; you are on your way to Him.

    Does that sound "liberal" and "fuzzy"?

    Hope not.

    The liberals and fuzzy-what-nots don't give a you-know-what!:<)!

    They're just into "nirvana"..."ecstactic whatevers"...etc.


    Call on St. John of the Cross.
    He'll set you straight!

  10. But, wait, wait...there's more!
    (Terry, if I'm being "bad", delete me, here, please...I can't help it...really!)
    My word verification began: agger...
    I'm being agggre===sive here, maybe?

  11. NP--I was wondering how the rabbit dinner went...

    One of my coworkers raises rabbits for meat and brings in various dishes to share...actually not too bad...

    Tonight I had grilled boneless pork chop with cajun seasoning,steamed banana squash with a drizzle of butter and brown sugar, slice of sourdough bread, and fat free cheese cake pudding for dessert. Beverage was fat free milk. Nice easy to make dinner for a cold rainy Sunday evening....grilled up the porkchop on the George Foreman grill, takes no time. Good food doesn't have to take a ton of time or be expensive. Although there are indeed times when you want to impress :)


  12. Would Courage also be the "dregs?" ;-)

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  15. Wow. I'm an idiot this morning.

  16. Crazy ? But definitely weird. See


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