Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

January 8 | Faithfulness

Saint Thorfinn of Hamar

Died A.D. 1285

We live in a time when ego is king. Our egos place us at the center of the universe, and everyone and everything else is either in place, or out of place, according to our whims, cravings, fancies, and self-centered desires. Consumed by ego, everything appears to happen in relation to us. Everyone and everything seem to be always out of place. The truth is, it is we who are out of place.

Faithfulness to God is the antidote to ego. The virtue of faithfulness is an invitation to place God at the center of our lives and protect his centrality against the constant temptation to place ourselves at the center of everything.

We do not know much about Saint Thorfinn of Hamar, but we know that he was faithful to God.

Thorfinn was the Bishop of Hamar, Norway during a time of intense conflict between Church and state. The king of Norway, Haakon IV, adamantly resisted the Church’s influence, and tried to get the bishops of his country to cave his influence instead. Some did. Thorfinn did not. 

As a result, he was exiled to Ter Doest Abbey in Belgium, where he lived a hidden life of quiet prayer and faithfulness to his God. His hidden life must have been particularly powerful, because when his body was dug up fifty years later, it smelled like sweet perfume. 

Saint Thorfinn is a testament to a powerful truth: God is always faithful. He wants to be the center of our lives and lead us to the meaning and purpose we cannot find on our own. The only question is: will we put aside our egos and be faithful in return?

How important of a place does God have in my day-to-day decisions? What are some areas of my life that I often leave God out of?

I will not be driven by ego. I will place God at the center of my life.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Arctic Norway

Feast Day: January 8

Feast Day Shared by: St. Severin, St. Severinus

Canonized: October 16, 1690

Canonized by: Pope Alexander VIII

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