Fr Dwight Longenecker on Saints, Celebrities and Superheroes
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.
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
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Christian Saints & Heroes News
- Thomas Aquinas: An Example for a New Generation of Apologists
- Feast of the Deacon St Vincent Calls the Church and her Deacons to Heroic Virtue
- Hallelujah! Pierre Favre recognized as a saint
- A Letter From St Francis of Assisi to All the Faithful: We Must be Simple, Humble and Pure
- Il Papa! Deal Hudson Reflects on His Encounter with Saint John Paul II
- Jennifer Hartline: Trying to Learn Humility From St. Therese
- St Therese of the Child Jesus: In the Heart of the Church I Will Be Love
- Deal Hudson Recalls: First Meeting Mother Angelica
- St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr: Model for Contemporary Deacons in a New Missionary Age
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
Catholic Online offers the largest searchable database of Catholic Saints on the internet.
|A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z|
|A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z|