Monday, April 02, 2007they're not so far away...
One of the most damaging views people can have of saints is that they are dressed up, transcendental legends that are so far removed from our day to day lives. I wonder, how eerily and ironically the evil one works sometimes in the way he can weasel into our thoughts so that we THINK we have the right perceptions. One example is what I always call "pride in reverse", that being people who think they aren't good enough for God's love or aren't worthy enough for His mercy. To think that we could possibly sin bigger than what Christ's sufferings covered!! It's hogwash... or more articulately, it's the devil trying to tell us discouraging things to separate us from His UNDYING and ever attainable Love.
At any rate, it's occured to me that the devil may have even a hand in the way saints are portrayed. Of course they should be seen as notable people, worthy of emulating. But they should never be sugar-coated to the point where we imagine them as too perfect to be relevant to our sinful world. This is one of the reasons, Sia has always encouraged me to use alternative images or icons of the saints in our posts; the traditional images associated with many saints are often so syrupy-romantic that it is important to see different perspectives so we don't get stuck thinking they are so unreachable! Look at the picture at the top of the post compared to this one and consider which image, of the same man, is more relevant to you. The greatest infraction of sugar-coating is committed against Our Blessed Mother Mary. We see how distinct and exalted she is, so it seems impossible that we could ever follow in her footsteps... which lead us closer to Christ than anyone else can.
Robert Louis Stevenson nailed it when he simply said, "Saints are sinners who keep on trying." The men and women we've read about from our youngest years were human like you and me. They had annoying things to deal with and problems and sins to combat of their own. What makes them different? Their undying commitment to conform their lives to the will of God. It's that simple. Yet, this simple path is littered with all kind of confusion and trials that cause us to second guess ourselves. Details are so minor! The goal of this post is to inspire you to sainthood. It's not unreachable. It's what we are called to. So get on it! Go deeper.