The Study of Saints and Why Its Important

Sainthood?that title given by the Catholic Church that seems to draw so much criticism from so many denominations. The mere mention of it angers some people. It's not so much the title itself that draws attention but the dogma that prayer to those saints is helpful to the living. And while opponents of such an idea try to distance themselves from Catholic theology, they miss out on a big benefit of this 'disagreeable' doctrine.

As they venture further from Catholicism (like the Church is an embarrassing ancestor that people try to keep in the closet) they stop any real honor of holy men in Church history. The mere study of their devout becomes a sin, and the only ones mentioned in their washed-out history books are the ones who's only accomplishment was extreme opposition to Catholicism. And ignoring the lives of the saints only leaves them with a terrible void?one that should've been filled by an incredible gift from God.

That gift isn't so much the greatness of men and women who have dedicated their lives to the greater glory of God (and the beneficial fruits that come from this) but the display of diversity within the God's Church. As we study the life of Jesus (and try to imitate it) there's always the alluring temptation to give up, because he was God, and not being God, how could we hope to replicate such holiness.

But in the study of saints, we don't always focus on the man...but on specific characteristics of a man. Pope John Paul II, for example (who'll no doubt receive the title some day), brought us an attitude of peace and the promotion of a "culture of life". Yes, he was smart, prayerful, holy, and had all the other markings of a saint. But history (while it might mention these other things) will always point to his accomplishments in the promotion of peace and unity. The Church will always see him as a shining example of what a peaceful man should be. Someone with a weakness for anger will always see his life as source of inspiration.

A quick look through the lives of the saints reveals thousands of such characteristics. St. Thomas Aquinas was the intellectual giant. St. Francis of Assisi showed us how to live a life of poverty. St. Catherine of Sienna reflects a deep love for Christ. St. Bernadette's simplicity (and obedience) gives us a powerful example of what God can accomplish through unlikely channels.

As each of these saints had prominent virtues in their lives, each of these virtues have a contrasting weakness or tendency that we're forced to fight throughout our own existence. And that's why we contemplate on their lives. Not just for example and inspiration, but because they signify that such perfections in virtue are possible?even for someone without a divine nature.

Written by Eric Engel at Copy For Sale

In The News:

Religion, God and me  Royal Gazette
Americans' Views on Religion in Society, Politics | Pew Research Center  Pew Research Center's Religion and Public Life Project
On Religion: ‘Nones’ on the rise  Eureka Times-Standard

The Occult

"Christianity posits the realization of human freedom not here on... Read More

Crucification

Most of know how Jesus was crucified. Do we ever... Read More

Amos and Social Justice - Part 1

Amos was a shepherd who lived in the region of... Read More

The Kabbalah of Love: Part One

(This is the first article in a new series on... Read More

Do You Have Disciples?

Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."... Read More

A Powerful Word For Those Who Have Lost Loved Ones

For what it is worth, I'd thought I'd pass this... Read More

Following In the Masters Footsteps

In these interesting times of change, millions of people the... Read More

Tale of an Ark

The ark must have been much larger than the dimensions... Read More

The Dangers of Harry Potter

The Harry Potter book has just been released in the... Read More

Women in Religion

During the debate in the Episcopal Church over whether or... Read More

God is God

God is God and besides Him, there is no other.... Read More

Is Christianity Losing America?

2 Thessalonians 1:3-1:4Is Christianity Losing America? The apostasy of the... Read More

Billy Graham- America Salutes You

America has had its great share of renowned preachers, missionaries... Read More

Do You Know What It Takes To Crucify The Flesh?

The flesh is the part of us that resists our... Read More

Tom Cruise and John Travolta Prescribe to Scientology... Whats the Deal With That?

CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA: Anytime a well-known name gets involved with a... Read More

The Story of Joshua and Caleb

The story of Joshua and Caleb is one of the... Read More

You and Your Money: Are You Making a GIVING?

A young man who was attending my Coffee Bar Bible... Read More

God is not a Homicidal Maniac

One day on the listserve for my support group it... Read More

As The Storm Clouds Gather

Revelation 20:8-20:9 Jesus warned us of a time of great... Read More

What That 70s Show Taught Me About Christianity

What in the world could I have possibly learned about... Read More

British B. S.

CLEOPATRA'S NEEDLE: -MacDari was a Mason but his Masonry deplored... Read More

Where is God?

Where is God? This is the question most often heard... Read More

White Sun - Tao of Heaven: Heaven and Man are One Entity

The whole universe originated from Tao. Mankind also originated from... Read More

Doctors of the Air

We met at a Saturday afternoon fund-raising and promotional rally... Read More

The Holy Spirit is our Teacher

Now that we know God and Jesus want to release... Read More