Friday, April 23

Lessons from Saints - George

Today is the traditional observation of the feast of Saint George.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the saints can inspire us and teach us things. The mythos which has built up about George is vast, varied and vague. Let us examine the most significant of tales associated with George which comes from the Golden Legend, George and the Dragon.

The crux of the story is that there was a horrid dragon who was terrorizing the country. The kingdom has tried for years to appease the dragon with sheep and virgins. The king's daughter was to be the sacrifice for the dragon when George shows up. Praying to God for aid against the evil, he strikes the dragon and, with the help of the virgin princess, subdues it and brings it back to the city, whereupon he slays it. The king (and the city) are grateful and attempt to reward George, who tells them to get right with God and to donate the reward to the poor. He then rides off.

What I derive from the story is that, when the average people were content to suffer under a social ill, a righteous man must stand against the evil. Note that he is not alone, for the would-be victim assists him and is important to the final dispatch of the social evil. When victory is achieved, no reward is desired nor glory accepted. Once the injustice is vanquished, the saint gives praise to God and moves on.

Open your eyes, then, to the social ills which are prevalent around you.
Do not turn from these evils, or attempt to appease them.
Ask for the aid of the Divine and actively engage the evil around you.
Find allies in your fight and work with them for the common good.
Eschew accolades and do not dwell upon your victories.
Always work for the Good of all.

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