Thursday, September 15, 2011

Saints

I was reading a little about Rich Mullins today, having remembered he had apparently intended to join the Catholic church. It makes sense, given the direction his music went toward the end. I read how he considered St. Francis his patron saint & was heavily influenced by his life... and I got to thinking, really, I've been led to the church by the saints as well. Even in Protestantism, we know about Francis, Patrick & Benedict. I saw that classic movie “Brother Sun, Sister Moon”. I knew the legend about St. Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland. I had heard about the Benedictine rule. John Michael Talbot, the man whose music drew me closer to the church, is also (I guess you could say) a student of Francis. But there are so many other saints besides these three.
Sometimes I laugh that the Catholic church has a “Saint of the Day”, but when you think about it, it's quite the witness. Look at all these people who have gone before us in the faith. They were human, just like us, but God did extraordinary things for them & through them because of their faith & perseverance. Their lives were remembered, their stories were written down for our benefit, that we might somehow be encouraged in our own arduous journey toward God. How are their stories any less valid or exciting than the missionary stories of the 20th century? I find it kind of sad that the Protestant church seems to downplay the existence & worth of the saints... as if to remember them or honour them in any way would somehow detract from God's glory. Instead, we are told we are all "saints". Perhaps its a matter of prejudice toward Catholicism- the saints were primarily Catholic as far as I can tell, and to approve of them might equate to promoting the Catholic faith... What a tragedy that would be. I think perhaps the bigger tragedy is the tendency of the Protestant church to strain out the substance of faith & hand us a watered down cup. My faith has not made much sense to me all these years. I've always felt there was something missing. But as I explore Catholicism, the faith of the saints makes sense in light of the Catholic church where it doesn't in the shadows of Protestantism. My own faith is finally beginning to make sense to me. Quite honestly, this scares me. What if they're on to something? What if Catholicism is true?!

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