Thursday, April 21, 2011

the road to sainthood is in the office, the classroom, the factory, the kitchen

Saints are Not Perfect by Bishop Kevin Farrell

...people like Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa were normal human beings with all the strengths and weaknesses that are part of the human condition. They made mistakes, they made errors in judgment, and they became frustrated and lost their temper at times. What is important is that they didn’t give up on God.

Like each of us they were called to discipleship, to follow Jesus, to seek to imitate him so closely that they might say with St. Paul, “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20), for that is the goal of discipleship. However, human nature being what it is saints find themselves also saying, as St. Paul did, “What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate.” (Rom 7:15)

The Church uses the term “heroic virtue,” which could be defined as constantly seeking to imitate Jesus, gladly, even in the face of internal and external opposition, often at a considerable personal sacrifice. That means it is not easy and includes a lot of forgiving and being forgiven.

It also means that there are many out there who demonstrate heroic virtue in their lives but will never be formally recognized as venerable or blessed or as saints. They are the saints of Dallas or Plano or Waxahachie. Their road to sainthood is not on the streets of Calcutta or in the Vatican, but in the office, in the classroom, in the factory or in the kitchen.

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