I am just a lay man with little or no knowledge at all on what grounds the Church may view a Saint to be. So take my words with a pinch of salt and a dash of suspicion thrown in for good measure.
Many of us seem to think that a Saint is someone who just locks themselves away in a monastery somewhere and embarks upon a life of spiritual perfection. Ok that is true. But what about those people who live tireless lives of working hard with the Lord, those who never tire of being tenacious in their bid to be united with him by reducing their vices and passions and confessing them daily?
I do believe we have two types of personalities in the Church that reflect the apostles St.Peter and St.John. St.Peter was forever making blunders and even denied Our Lord three times. Yet he was excited about God and the first opportunity he got to repent, he did. Yet this is the Saint upon whom Christ built his Church and put in charge of the universal Church.
St.John of course reflects the kind of person who wishes to really get close to Christ. For me he reflects the people who lead the life of spiritual perfection of whom I spoke about earlier.
I saw a documentary of a woman who did a great job for the local addicts in her town. She took them in to her halfway house in the Bronx and really worked hard on them. She was loud, sometimes cursed too and there is one stage in the movie where she drops the F-bomb because she is feeling ill. Her name is Sister Helen. This woman is a Saint in my eyes. Some may say, ”But isn’t a saint somebody who doesn’t say curse words or is loud and shouts a lot?” Lets re-phrase that question to ”Is not a saint somebody who does not sin?” and we begin to see how stupid a question that is because . . . We all sin!!!
But don’t we know the tree by its fruit? Well yes of course, but is not St.Peters sin of denial and return to God through repentance a fruit? Is not the woman who does good yet struggles with the passions and asks mercy from God to forgive such sins and get on with the battle evidence of someone who bears fruit amidst the struggle?
So I think we need to sit back and meditate on what exactly it is that makes a sinner a saint. To meditate on the two personalities, that is, St.Peter and St.John. The man who lives in the world, yet is striving to be not of the world, and the man who has removed himself from the world and is on a path to spiritual perfection in the Lord. If you ask me, I think in order to be like St.John we must first stand and walk in the shoes of St.Peter first. And some of us may never leave the shoes of being a St.Peter. But I’d rather my life reflect one of these saints than none at all wouldn’t you? St.Peter was a rock. The winds of sin try to blow him down but he is tenacious and keeps on begging the Lord to forgive his sins and is tenacious in staying close to the Heart of God.
I am not condoning sinning, God forbid. But I am saying we should not deny someone sainthood because of it. We should look at how they lived their lives and look for the fruits. The rosary, going to confession, Mass, adoration, fasting, scriptures, worked hard in reducing that passion of alcoholism, he was a fighter not a man of despair and never gave up trying even though he died with this passion weighing heavily on his shoulders. This is also the kind of man that makes a saint. The fruit of ”tenacity” was in him until the end.
Thank you my friends for reading my post. As I said before, take what I say with a pinch of salt and a dash of suspicion for I am a wretch who in reality has not a clue what he is talking about, therefore if I said anything wrong please by all means correct me.