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One of the many beautiful gifts I received when I came into the Catholic Church many years ago was an appreciation of the saints. I discovered that there were a plethora of wonderful saints in the Church, some of whom were names completely unknown to me. I began to devour the lives of these saints when I could get hold of them. Saints are given to us for our inspiration and encouragement, they are our heroes but also our friends. I was once talking to a Catholic man confined to his room by sickness and I asked him if he struggled with loneliness. I will never forget his answer: "I've got the saints for company!" The great Religious Orders have of course their special saints - and Carmelites are no exception - as can be seen from the 'saints' section in this website. But I recommend St Bernard's splendid contribution to this morning's Office of Readings on the saints. He writes: 'When we commemorate the saints we are inflamed with another yearning: that Christ our life may also appear to us as he appeared to them and that we may one day share in his glory'.

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