The idea of having a personal relationship with a Saint would make the Evangelical’s head spin. And the idea would probably make the Fundamentalist’s head actually explode.
For so many non-Catholic Christians (mind you that I did not say ALL), community truly only goes so far. When it comes right down to it, salvation is always an individual thing, that relationship with God is a 1 on 1 thing. That kind of thinking truly destroys the idea of the mystical body of Christ, the idea that we are truly brothers and sisters.
But your salvation is just as much a part of my salvation as MY salvation is and that is because there is only one God who loves us with one Love, and that the one Love makes us one in the body of Christ. A personal relationship with Christ means a personal relationship with every single person who has been baptized into his one body! And that includes those on both sides of death, which has lost its sting.
Yes, we should not be afraid to enter into personal relationship with the Saints! We should not be afraid to come close to them. If we are the hands and feet of Christ, they are too! How can one not see Christ in them? If we see Christ in the poor and the needy, in the orphan and the widow, and we serve Him when we serve them, how can we not look at those who have been perfected in Him and not be perfected in Him, through them?
Unfortunately I have no advice on how to start a relationship with a particular Saint. It is a shame that so much of our dulia is formulaic, and that for many Saints, the only invocation we offer to them is a St. N, pray for us. Even with Our Lady we don’t often speak from the heart to her. Now, I’m not bashing formulaic prayer. I think it is necessary, I think it is helpful, I think it is beautiful, and if it expresses the groanings of our hearts and expresses our needs, then it is honest, true, and reverent. But prayer, relationships, must go beyond that. And so if I had to take a guess that to start a personal relationship with a patron Saint or guardian angel, or any other fantastic spiritual creature that God has made, we must begin by asking them to reveal themselves, to reveal Christ, to us, and to then work with them to become more like Jesus.
Hopefully we will all be inspired to grow deeper into the body of Christ.