Skip to content

Fr Dwight Longenecker on Saints, Celebrities and Superheroes

By Fr Dwight Longenecker
4/13/2011 (5 years ago)
Standing on My Head (gkupsidedown.blogspot.com/)

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. 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.

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.

Highlights

P>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


Comments


More Christian Saints & Heroes

Bet you didn't know these 10 things about St. Patrick and Ireland!

Image of Saint Patrick in blue vestments.

The most kids know of St. Patrick 's Day is that you must wear green or you'll get a pinch from your friends. Adults see the day as an ... continue reading


Here are more interesting facts about St. Patrick's Day few people know Watch

Image of The shamrock is a well-known symbol of Ireland.

Here are some more little-known facts about St. Patrick's Day. 1.    The Irish began celebrating St. Patrick's Day as early ... continue reading


Saint Patrick, the superhero Watch

Image of Saint Patrick is a genuine hero, having changed the world for the better thanks to his devotion to God.

In the middle of the 5th century, the Irish king Niall of the Nine Hostages led raids into Roman Britain. His warlords took captives as ... continue reading


Quotes of the Saints - Five saints have a message for you on this Thanksgiving holiday Watch

Image of Let us remember to give thanks for this day the Lord has made.

If you are an American, today is Thanksgiving. Hopefully today you have made a point to attend Mass and to give thanks to God for all His ... continue reading


St. Ignatius of Antioch: Model of Bravery, Man for our Times Watch

Image of One of many icons of St. Ignatius of Antioch

In the face of the current "witch-hunts" endured by some of our Bishops, let us remember a hero on October ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.