Each saint is a unique and marvelous image of Christ fulfilled. Therese Martin or Gemma Galgani or Maria Gorretti or Agnes or Lucy or Cecilia--little girls. Thomas Aquinas and Francis of Assissi and Bonaventure and Bruno--scholars and monks and mendicants. Or Francis Xavier and Maximillian Kolbe and Ignatius Loyola and Isaac Joques--missionaries and martyrs and men of steel.
In getting to know the saints it seems to me that they are the perfect antidote to the celebrity culture (or should I say cult) that so many in our world fall prey to.
GREENVILLE, SC (Catholic Online) - I have met some saints. I mean real saints, not just, "Oh, Mildred Horton, she's a real saint." sort of saints. I met Mother Theresa and bumped into Pope John Paul II once in the Vatican, but I've met a couple of other people who I'm convinced were genuine, authentic the real thing saints too. Both of them have died, and I believe they are in heaven fighting battles on earth just like the saints are supposed to.
These were living people who I met who are now saints, but I've met some of the other kind too--the ones who went to heaven long ago, and who you can make friends with here below. I'm thinking of Therese and Benedict and John Bosco and Francis de Sales. I've felt in touch with them. Known their wisdom and their friendship and their encouragement and their help.
In getting to know the saints it seems to me that they are the perfect antidote to the celebrity culture (or should I say cult) that so many in our world fall prey to. See, we want not just role models, but we want individuals who are greater than we are. We want superheroes, if you like. We want people who can do great things. We want people who are perfect who can be our models and our mentors. Sad children that we are, so many of us invest in a pop star or a movie star or a politician or a priest. We want that person to epitomize all our hopes and dreams. We want to live vicariously through them. We want them to be a superhero to us and stand radiantly tall as the model for us all.
But celebrities are shallow and superheroes are not real. Meanwhile, within the economy of salvation the good God gives us exactly what we do need: ordinary people who really have become perfect. Ordinary people who really have assumed otherworldly powers. Ordinary people who have become extraordinary people. They have become super powers in the universe by God's grace. More than mere celebrities, the saints have unlocked heaven and opened the door for us. By becoming all that they were made to be, they show us all that we are made to be.
Each saint is a unique and marvelous image of Christ fulfilled. How different are all the saints. Therese Martin or Gemma Galgani or Maria Gorretti or Agnes or Lucy or Cecilia--little girls. Thomas Aquinas and Francis of Assissi and Bonaventure and Bruno--scholars and monks and mendicants. Or Francis Xavier and Maximillian Kolbe and Ignatius Loyola and Isaac Joques--missionaries and martyrs and men of steel.
These are the ones who are on our side, and next to them what is a celebrity? A pale counterfeit, a fake, a leaf on the wind.
Fr Dwight Longenecker is parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary parish and Chaplain to St Joseph's Catholic School in Greenville, South Carolina. He is also the author of Listen My Son-St Benedict for Fathers. -- a book of daily readings applying St Benedict's rule to family life. Visit his website and blog at www.dwightlongenecker.com
Fr. Dwight Longenecker is Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina. A former Evangelical, he studied at Oxford and was ordained as an Anglican priest in England. He was received into the full communion of the Catholic Church in 1995 and ten years later, ordained a Roman Catholic Priest.He is a prolific writer, sought after speaker and dedicated blogger. Connect to his website and blog at dwightlongenecker.com
By Billy Atwell
In the face of the current "witch-hunts" endured by some of our Bishops, let us remember a hero on October 17, the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch. St. Ignatius of Antioch is a bishop and martyr of the Church who died in the ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
There is so much to write about in this marvelous account of the life of one of my own personal heroes, the saint whose witness led me back to the Church, Francis of Assisi. However, I will focus on one aspect of Bonaventure's tribute to Francis. He was his ... continue reading
By Youngsun Jun
Though I am not strong enough to hold the suffering souls in my arms and carry them home, I can do one thing: I can pray for the deliverance of the souls who are in the darkness. I can request help from the angels for them. I can make a 911 call for them. So again, I ... continue reading
By Deacon F. K. Bartels
The Catechism of the Catholic Church informs us - The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls 'angels' is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition (328). Charged by God to ... continue reading
By Matt Hicks
Miraculous testimony of an elite level gymnast touched by Padre Pio: 'Pio, like all the saints, is like the window-washer that scales tall buildings to clear away the muck and allow us to see His luminous rays aflame. God sends them, as He pushes us forward, ... continue reading
By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
There is confusion over the proper title of Mother Teresa. Her name is appearing in the media as both "Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta" and "Mother Teresa of Kolkata," sometimes written with the word "Mother" and sometimes without. Which is correct? LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading
By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
The saints are real and active in our lives. This is more obvious than ever following the miraculous recovery of a baby in an Irish intensive care unit. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - A relic of Saint Padre Pio has been credited with a dramatic improvement in ... continue reading
By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
In her convent of San Damiano, Clare heroically practiced the virtues that should characterize all Christians: humility, a spirit of piety and penance, and charity. Her fame of sanctity and the prodigies that came about thanks to her intervention led Pope ... continue reading
By Fr. Paul Chaim Benedicta Schenck
August 9 is the Memorial of St. Teresia Benedicta a Cruce, Edith Stein, Catholic feminist, philosopher and martyr of Auschwitz. In this sketch, Fr. Paul Chaim Benedicta Schenck, Jewish born priest and Chair of the National Pro-Life Center (Washington, DC), examines the ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
Over the centuries, the Jesuits have been relied upon by Popes as trustworthy, heroic soldiers for Jesus Christ and His Church. Yes, there have been times when the company seemed to lose its fervor. However, Jesus Christ the King has always sent His Spirit to ... continue reading