Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Feast Day of St. Luke

Today is the feast day of St. Luke.  Many of us might use this feast day to think about our physical health; St. Luke is the patron saint of doctors and surgeons. He's also the patron saint of artists, students, and butchers--there's likely a poem there, a poem about people who deconstruct, who reconstruct, who hack and who stitch.

The feast day of St. Luke offers us a reason to evaluate our own physical health—why wait until the more traditional time of the new year? Using St. Luke as our inspiration, let’s think about the ways we can promote health of all kinds. 

In terms of our physical health, are we overdue for any check-ups?  Do we need to recalibrate so that our unhealthy habits don't overtake us?  Do we need to add some practices to our lives so that we protect our physical and mental health?

Maybe we need to add some creative practices.

 St. Luke was a writer (he gets credit for the Biblical books of Luke and Acts).  He's also given credit as one of the first iconographers.  Today would be a great day to write our own Gospel that tells about the Good news that we're seeing in the world.  Or we could celebrate this patron saint of artists this way with the visual arts.

 We could experiment with a variety visual arts to see how they could enrich our mental and spiritual health. We might choose something historical and traditional, like iconography. Or we might decide that we want to experiment with something that requires less concentration and training. Maybe we want to create a collage of images that remind us of God’s abundance. Maybe we want to meditate on images, like icons, like photographs, that call us to healthy living.

St. Luke is also the patron saint of students.  Maybe it's time to plan for a class we want to take in January.

Or maybe we just want to make a beef stew; St. Luke is also the patron saint of butchers.  This NPR webpage gives a great beef stew recipe, and a link to an interview between Fresh Air's Terry Gross and the America's Test Kitchen chefs which tells how to maximize flavors in your beef stew along with other culinary chemistry wonders.

We are perched just before the beginning of a time of the year that is most hectic for many of us, that corridor between Halloween and New Year's.  Let us take some time to put some practices in place that will keep us safe as we travel that path.

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