If I end up with several sons, it is likely that one of them will be named after Saint Ambrose. Today is his feast day and I've been learning about his life for the first time and it is the sort of story that fills my heart with hope and joy. You can read a little bit about his life here. It's a good one.
It was Saint Ambrose that counseled Saint Monica over the heartache of her wayward son Augustine - famously quoted, "the child of those tears shall never perish". And it was Saint Ambrose who challenged Augustine to change his life and accept Christ as Lord.
He, along with Augustine, are two of the four original doctors of the Church.(Pause for a minute to take in how cool that is.) Saint Ambrose is the sort of saint that feels larger than life, and his devotion to Christ can feel out of reach for a normal person like me.
But one thing pulled me back into a realistic type of perspective: he is, among other things, the patron saint of beekeepers. And Saint Augustine, the patron saint of brewers.
Those are totally normal things! And suddenly they don't feel quite so intimidating anymore.
This morning, despite my best attempt to come up with an excuse not to go, I brought Augustine (my son, not the saint) to our parish daily mass. During the homily, father Dan said something along the lines of this: Whatever it is that we do, do it for the glory of God.
A very welcome lesson from the keeper of the bees & the brewer of beers.
If you keep bees, may you keep them well - for the glory of God.
If you brew beer, may you brew it with love and quality - for the glory of God.
If you change diapers, if you wash dishes, if you fold laundry, if you sweep floors, may you do so with great kindness and dedication - for the glory of God.
This is why we're here, friends. This is what we were made for.
We are free to choose our own paths in life. We are born with likes and dislikes, dreams and aspirations, favorites and passions and ideas of what might bring us joy. Let us pursue these things with fervor and zeal - and let us do it all for the glory of God.
Saints Ambrose and Augustine, pray for us!