Thursday, July 08, 2010

how to feel like a spiritual schlep...

... read any book on the life of any saint.

If our goal on earth is to be more Christ-like and yet I find imitating the life of a saint a tall order, I got some serious work ahead of me. Does any one else ever feel like the only thing you have in common with a saint is their past?

13 comments:

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

Yep.

Heather said...

Through homeschooling, my kids are reading books of the Saints. (before this, they were in public school where they read books on global warming and....well, I don't really know, since they don't make that kind of information public.) My oldest, 12, says he stands no chance of getting into Heaven. Then I'll let him watch a video of a clown mass or something from one of the more 'liberal' churches. THEN he thinks maybe he stands a chance. haha.

Adrienne said...

Uh huh!

scuppered said...

You can get pointers from saints as to how they handled various situations, and you can certainly ask them for guidance, but I think the idea is that you are supposed to take your own unique personality and make the one-of-a-kind Saint Kat from it.
"Saint Kat" has rather a nice ring to it, by the way.

G said...

First off, I think that the greatest saints considered themselves tremendous sinners, not out of scrupulosity but out of the profound knowledge of God's love for them. They had the grace of understanding the love only God can give.

Secondly, I don't think any saint would say "my path was a breeze!". They all faced challenges. In that St. Therese autobiography you haven't gotten through (zing!), Therese talks about experiencing spiritual dryness for years. Imagine that. To me saints are human examples of that ideal to which we should all strive and such striving is the basis of all sainthood.

Christopher Lake said...

Amen, G! Why do I feel like that comment should have a hip-hop beat behind it?

Christopher Lake said...

My comment, that is, not G's! :-)

Rick said...

That's how I feel and I wonder whether the saints just did a quick about face to the straight and narrow without relapse. It would be a disservice if the hagiographers omitted those. I have a model, Bo Sanchez, who has founded a lot of ministries yet he candidly admitted how he fell into impurities from pornography and how he managed to be freed from the addiction.

Faith said...

As my "cloistered brethren" remind me
"Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future."

3puddytats said...

Every day is an opportunity to grow just a tiny bit more in holiness....

Yes--we should reflect on our daily sins and slipping, and how to make a fresh start the next day...however continually beating ourselves up concerning our daily failures is turning our back on the wonderment of God's Mercy. God NEVER rejects us, and will always love us unconditionally, even in our worst failings...and that is something to be joyful and positive about.

I love the little child's song "The joy of the Lord is my strength"...when I start bogging down in the personal pity party I start singing that song, it is uplifting in mood and spirit. Plus you can't help but smile when you sing it :)

Sara

missjeanevil said...

I always find encouragement in the saints who were weird because they were crazy in love with God. I like St. Francis because he started off his saintly conversion by tearing off his clothes to give back to his father. Then he was preaching to animals and throwing himself into a prickerbush to interrupt impure thoughts. I mean, what kind of impure thoughts was he having that it took so much to distract him from them? I grab hold of a thistle while weeding the garden, and I don't even know my name for a bit. So I think there's a strong indication that St Francis struggled with sin the same as any of us do.

St Catherine of Sienna (patron of my parish) was an odd duck, too. Warning: Do NOT read her biography while eating. However, it is edifying to read because it shows that we can be imperfect weirdos and God will love us into sainthood.

Bossilla said...

That's why I like the Little Flower mixed with Fulton Sheen-isms. If you can find his 8 (Or was it 9?) homilies on the Little Flower when he was in Dublin, Ireland; they are a real treat. There's a part in the homilies when he talks about the Patriarchs of the Old Testament. He called Abraham a liar (when Abraham lied to the king about Sara being his wife), Jacob a knave (who cheated his brother out of an inheritance), Noah a drunkard (after the flood), and David a murderer- yet he also mentions that there is hope because St Paul doesn't talk about their imperfections. So when Fulton Sheen was doing prison ministry, he said that it was a great hope to the prisoners to know that they could reform. He also brought up how St Bernard admitted to a friend that he was constantly distracted during prayer. A Franciscan friar once told me that conversion is something ongoing and that sometimes in our zeal to rip out the bad from our hearts, we also take away things that are good. Even St Francis even apologized to his body (brother ass) for having been so severe with it. I guess what I'm trying to say is: Try not to be impatient with yourself. Distract yourself and renew your courage, as the Good book says.

Sheba said...

Thank you for the post and the last comment was particularly helpful. I came back to the church about a year ago and since I started praying the rosary, I get distracted and I thought something was wrong with me. Thank you for the encouraging remarks.