Sunday, April 27, 2014

On the Making of Saints

I skate now onto thin ice, and I apologize in advance to anyone who takes emotional issue with what I write.  Some preliminaries first.  I was born and raised a Roman Catholic, and it is to this church that I owe whatever religious allegiance that I have.  This, even as I have attended Protestant services almost exclusively over the past twenty years.  I know, I know.  Lots of reasons for this, mostly to do with the women I was courting.  But I've never backed down from my sense of loyalty to Catholicism and a great reverence for the Papacy. Additionally (as a conservative), I really, really like the Catholic Church's adherence to Tradition and its resistance to "changing with the times".  If you think something is Truth--then you stick with it. Man's propensity to sin is insufficient rationale to redefine what sin is. 

That said, I am somewhat unsettled by the canonization today of two former Popes--John (23.0) and John Paul (2.0).  I can't put my finger on exactly why, but I have to cop to it.  Of course, I am no expert in what makes someone worthy of being a Saint.  And I have no way to know whether whatever those qualifications are, these two men were so qualified.  At the end of the day, the Church makes its rules and the Church decides on who should be Saints--not me.  

But it is hard to think that I walked the Earth at the same time as one of these men--in fact, stood not more than ten feet from him.  I realize that there is no rational reason to think that there cannot have been a Saint walking around in the modern age, but then again, does the existence of Sainthood itself not strain rationality?   
I cannot get past my sense that no matter how amazing these two men were, the bar has been lowered for Sainthood, that their previous office somehow gave them a "jump" on things.  

Why is it so hard for me to accept 1) miracles and 2) that miracles happened while I walked the Earth?  I guess I don't find it hard to accept miracles....I find it hard to accept that miracles occur through the intercession of human beings, even dead ones.  I'm becoming so incredibly monotheistic as I age--very much a fan of a God who is That Which There Is No Greater Than, but less so with everything else that has accreted onto that God over time.  Let's face it....if God is Omniscient (all-knowing) and Omnipresent (everywhere)--both of which I believe--what role is there for Sainthood?  

I'm going to have to keep noodling on this, and I would be grateful to any of you for guidance and advice on this matter.  


LL said...

Catholic Sainthood = Catholic Politics

Mudge said...

The Vatican has no Navy. The Vatican has no ships to name after Vatican men of greatness. QED sainthood.

cas said...

>>Why is it so hard for me to accept 1) miracles and 2) that miracles happened while I walked the Earth?<<
Could it be your lack of faith? And perhaps this is also the reason that caused you to become an agnostic (i.e, non-practicing) Catholic in the first place?
I am NOT judging, since I am in a similar place...

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