THE SAINTS: The Church’s Hall of Fame

When you think about football, as an example of only one sporting venue, of all the college players, very few get selected to play Professional Football. Still, fewer are selected by the football press to be in the Football Hall of Fame. You can tell that this is a select group of gents. They got there because of their merit and how they played the game, overcoming adversity, and injury, to excel at the sport with the talent they possessed. We honor them, and rightly so, because of their prowess and endurance in a sport, we consider grueling and unforgiving for the rest of us.

Since the Holy Spirit overshadowed the Twelve and those in the upper room, followers of Christ have measured themselves and others against their understanding of what it means to be a true disciple of the Master, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. How people took this message of adoption by God into their hearts and lived it out, became a source of inspiration and devotion to those who lived immediately after Christ. People wanted to be like those who loved others as Christ loved us. The crucible of a lifetime of struggle against the adversity of the world and its allurements to be fully human is different for each of us, just there is but One Lord, One Baptism, and One Faith. All of us who have had the sign of the cross traced on our foreheads in Baptism are saints. Our destiny as citizens of heaven is, excuse the duplication, heaven. When I die, I join the Church Triumphant or Church Purgative waiting to be found worthy to enter and claim my inheritance. Each of us has a lifetime of trying and failing, trying and failing, trying and succeeding sometimes to have in us the mind of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5) Some of us do a better job than others and become examples to emulate but more importantly, those saints who are in heaven rooting us on to stay the course, keep true to the authentic teaching of the Church, and fulfill our destiny as humans as nature intended before the Fall.

Those we emulate and hold up to because of their inspiration and teaching, we gravitate toward. When that inertia becomes noticeable to a wider gathering, a universal gathering of gatherers, the Church Universe, it sometimes offers these unique individuals for us to consider as Saints (upper case).

Characteristic of Saints

They must be sinners, except Mary, Mother of God, who is sinless from the moment of her conception. This is not due to Mary but the Holy Spirit who so completely filled her cup of humanity, one that takes the rest of us a lifetime to fill, so completely that not a drop more of God’s energy could fill that unique cup.

Saints are ones we can ask to join us in intercession (we don’t pray to anyone but God, directly) along with our prayers.

Saints and saints are alive and can pray for us as we pray to Christ for mercy and forgiveness.

The Church Universal creates Saints through a process called canonization (not being shot out of a canon).


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