Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Are saints holy?

- Nevsky

I don't know how it happened but somehow I became singed up to receive emails from Fr. Robert Barron's sire. He's pretty conservative and I disagree with most of what he says, but still it's hard not to like him. Anyway, one of his latest emails has a video of him in Rome for the pope canonizations (you can watch the rest of his Rome/canonization videos here), and he says some stuff about the Catholic church and saints that sort of perplexed me: that the church exists for one purpose - to produce saints, to make us holy ...

I don't know what to think about this and I doubt there is a real correlation between "holiness" and all the people the church has made saints. Sure, guys like Francis of Assisi appear to be almost there, but what about the military saints like Joan of Arc or Alexander Nevsky who seem the antithesis of non-violence, or the virgin martyr saints like Lucy who were apparently chosen because they believed sex was a fate worse than death, or the convert saints like Edith Stein who often seem to have been chosen for anti-ecumenical reasons, or saints like Robert Bellarmine SJ who ran the inquisition and burning at the stake of Giordano Bruno, or a saint like Gianna Beretta Molla who seems to have been chosen to promote a pro-life agenda? And don't even get me started on past pope-saints :)

I think the whole idea of holiness and how to get there is interesting ... the Wikipedia articls, Universal Call to Holiness, states this ...

Living a holy life, as defined by the Catholic Church, has little to do with perfection (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, Chapter Two.) Rather, it is a lifelong process of seeking God himself, through the person of Jesus Christ ... The universal call to holiness is an important element in the spirituality of Opus Dei, which emphasizes the sanctification of the lay people. It is also fundamental to the Pro-Sanctity Movement.

Hmmm - so being holy is different than being good? Must read more.


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