Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, Priest
Today is the feast of one of the great saints of Rome, Philip Neri. In fact, he and St. Ignatius and were canonized together. Popular legend attributes a playful humor and a shrewd wit to St. Philip, and it was is energetic personality and happy character that brought so many people to the confessional and a return to a better life.
Although few would identify Ignatius’ character as “playful” both men placed Christ in the center of their lives and found Jesus not only in prayer but in the actions of their daily lives. St. Philip reportedly was to have said after being interrupted in his prayer to hear the confession of a visitor that he had to “leave Christ for Christ,” meaning that sometimes Christ can and is found in our daily work in addition to prayer.
Certainly saints Ignatius and Philip would want us to spend some time in prayer, but both saints would also want us to imagine all our lives as an opportunity of moving closer to God by the daily actions of our lives.