Skip to main content

Saint Perfect: the saint who doesn't exist

I've seen a number of blog posts and news articles this week dissing on JPII (like this one at The Week.) The basic argument of these is that John Paul II presided over the Church during the horrific sex scandal of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and thus should not be canonized.

There is no doubt that JP II could have and probably should have done more during this time. There is evidence both that he was insulated from the full scale of the situation, and evidence that he was aware of the depth of the problem and was not fully-equipped to deal with it.

Here's the thing about sainthood: it's not about being perfect. There is not ONE canonized saint, not one unrecognized saint, not one fully human person in Heaven that is with out sin except for Our Blessed Mother.

The first pope was a terrible Apostle. He had complete lack of faith, got called Satan by Jesus, turned tail and ran when the going got tough. But still: St. Peter.

One scholar of the Church was known for his horrifying temper and general grumpiness. However, we owe our translation of the Bible mostly to him. St. Jerome.

A Doctor of the Church, a man of epic faith and teaching...also a party boy, fornicator, father out-of-wedlock. St.Augustine.

A woman who was an atheist, a scholar with a Ph.D. in philosophy, stuck teaching in a girls' school, a disappointment to her mother and then a rather quiet failure at being a Carmelite nun since she had absolutely no idea how to cook, clean or do the necessary chores of a monastery. St. Edith Stein.

I could go on. FOREVER. Every single saint is also a sinner, because we all struggle with concupiscence. Sin looks shiny and pretty and good and we reach out for it, and fall right down in the slimy muck. We all do it. Even someone like John Paul II.

If there is no hope for him, there is none for the rest of us. And we all have hope: in Christ Jesus and Him Alone.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Be Transfigured

From today's readings: 

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the and his clothes became white as light.

...we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Today we celebrate the Transfiguration. For whatever reason, Jesus brought three of His disciples to Mount Tabor to witness this miracle. They weren't sure what they were seeing, but they knew enough to throw themselves to the ground in the presence of Almighty God. St. Peter (who never did anything halfway) excitedly declares that he will erect tents on the mountain as a way of memorializing the event. But Jesus tells him and the others that they are not to tell people what they witnessed - at least not yet.

In the second reading, the requirement to be quiet has bee…

Be Brave

A few years ago, it came to my attention that a young family member was struggling with anxiety and depression. I was able to share with her a bit of my own struggles, and let her know she wasn't alone.

A few weeks after our talk, I saw the movie, "Brave." It struck me that the young protagonist, Merida, modeled a great quality. She was indeed brave.

Being brave is not about recklessness. It is not about confidence. It's not about being foolish, or looking for glory in the eyes of others.

Bravery is about doing what is right, even when you are a quivering mess. It's about knowing that things may not turn out the way you expected, but forging ahead anyway. Being brave is standing by the hospital bed while a loved one is dying, and all you really want to do is turn back time. Bravery is standing up to a bully, when your legs are screaming for you to run. Brave is doing what needs to be done even when you're scared and tired and feeling helpless and hopeless.

I …