In the twitterchat on chapter 3, we had a bit of discussion of what exactly Johnson meant by saying that the remembrance of the saints can “release religious energy,” so I figured I’d pull out the paragraph or so in which she unpacks that phrase:
The local community, meanwhile, honors [the saints] by keeping festival in their memory; it is remembrance that affects the nature of the communion. Once we listen to their story, our response wells up in various ways. We sing in gratitude to God for them, or praise God for the beauty of their lives, or rejoice in their victory, or draw hope from their witness in our despair, or commend ourselves to their prayers, or simply love them. Most important of all, we are inspired to follow in the footsteps of their example.
I could go with “releasing religious energy” for that, sure.