Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

February 21 | Renewal

Saint Peter Damian

A.D. 1007–1072

There has never been a time when the Church was the perfect society Jesus calls for us to be. Right now, we are living in a time when the Church is in desperate need of renewal, but we are not the first to live through such times. 

Think of how easy it is for you to turn your back on the-best-version-of-yourself. Consider how difficult it is for you to choose the-best-version-of-yourself in different situations each day. Now multiply that by 1.2 billion and you will have some sense of how difficult it is for the Church to be the-best-version-of-herself for even a single moment.

So, how does renewal happen? Usually not with a blinding flash of light. The renewal the Church and the world so desperately need will happen in this way: you and I will abandon the illusion of control and surrender our hearts to Jesus. We allow Jesus to guide our words, thoughts, and actions one moment at a time. In this way, Jesus is able to gradually bring renewal to our lives, our marriages, our families, our parishes, our nations, our Church, and to all humanity.

Saint Peter Damian placed Jesus at the center of his life and led the renewal of the Church in the 11th century. It was a time of corruption, greed and rampant personal ambition in the Church. Called by Jesus to speak out, Peter Damian preached against the practice of Simony (the buying and selling of religious offices, such as bishop or cardinal). He exposed the moral failings within the clergy and implored them to return to the ideals of poverty, chastity and obedience. He led the way with his own example.

Saint Peter Damian made the Church a-better-version-of-herself by following Jesus and becoming a-better-version-of-himself. You can do the same.

Every time you put aside your own personal preferences and ambitions, and instead follow what you prayerfully believe Jesus is calling you to do, you become a-better-version-of-yourself. And that makes the Church a-better-version-of-herself.


I have a role to play in the renewal of the Catholic Church.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Faenza and Font-Avellano in Italy, Insomniacs, and Freerunners

Symbols: A Knotted Rope and a Papal Bull

Feast Day: February 21

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