February 22, 2008

Over-Idealizing the Saints

I've just decided what common mis-practice among Catholics bugs me most.

Mind you, I think abuse of the Mass is pretty much untoppably bad, with a few other things coming in close second, third... but I don't mean how bad it is objectively, just how much it bugs me.

And it bugs me a lot.

So what is it that I can't stand anymore?

The way we talk about the Saints.

Yup. I'm sick of hearing of them as if they were either perfect or else were terrible until they turned perfect. Half the point of having them is to give us hope that we, sinners like they were, can make it to Heaven by God's grace. If you give the impression that God's grace just wipes everything out of your path, it doesn't relate to our experience anymore. We don't just overcome sin in a snap. We fall back into it and have to be pulled back out... again and again and again and again and again... Why have I never heard of a Saint with that kind of difficulty? Even when some have had huge difficulties, generally they overcome it and that's that and the difficulty is made a big deal of so it seems even harder to relate to.

I'm not saying they shouldn't be held up as role models or anything, I'm just saying we could stand to not have them all seem so... beyond us entirely.

Perhaps I need to read more of their own writings instead of just getting hear-say if I want to find them realistic.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Theocentrica said...

It also bugs me that there are very few "saint of the day" books that really have anything relevant to say about the saints....I mean, hearing when and where they were born, where they went to school, and what their occupation was doesn't necessarily make me admire or want to get to know them better...

February 22, 2008 12:25 PM  
Blogger Immortal Philosopher said...

*r* I love how you post exactly what's on my mind, Scott...

February 24, 2008 9:49 PM  

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