The Church honors God's work in saints
Have you ever met a friend or colleague?, about which you would have some reservations ? Maybe someone got you wrong with them, he said something unfavorable about them ? Or maybe someone himself, with his appearance or behavior, made the impression of an unpleasant or funny person ? And so it was, until you got to know him better. Then you changed your mind, and maybe you even became his friend ? Only a closer acquaintance makes it, that we see many beautiful qualities in another person. Only longer intercourse shows, how much we have in common with him and how much we need each other, how can we help each other.
There are such people, in relation to which we are making such a mistake. We judge them on appearances, we settle for an external impression sometimes taken from a naively written biography or from a picture, which represents them. They are saints.
"God is wonderful in his saints"
The word "holiness" has lost its charm and proper meaning for many people. And maybe for you too ?… What do you mean by this word ? How would you describe a holy man ? Let's try to do it together.
There have been and will always be many holy people in the world. They do not live in some separate world. They do not stand out either by their profession, or by machine, nor a way of being. They have it all in common with us, which creates a normal human life.
They have the same human nature. They think like us, they want as we do, they are moved, they are happy and sad. Like us, they experience their successes and their failures. Some of them have wandered and sinned for a long time before finding the Truth.
Just like us, and they are different from each other. There are people of all races among them, culture, states and occupations. So we have holy Europeans, but we also have them among the people of color : the holy martyrs of Uganda, st. Rose of Lima, st. Marcin porres. We have saints from almost every nation : Poles (st. Stanisław Szczepanowski), Czechs (st. Wojciech), Germans (st. Henryk), Rusyns (st. Olga), Italians (st. Jan Bosko), French (st. Vincent de Paul), Spaniards (st. Ignatius of Loyola) e.t.c. There are holy children among them : Dominik Savio (years 15), Maria Goretti (years 13) ; youth : st. Stanisław Kostka, as well as the elderly saints.
There are many holy priests, men and women religious, but there are also lay people. Some of them led an ordinary life, so that after death it was difficult to say anything interesting about them (st. Teresa of the Child Jesus), others had different revelations during their lifetime (e.g.. Maria Małgorzata Alacoque). There were holy politicians among them (Tomasz More), kings and chiefs (st. Ludwik, king of french) and tray, no one knew during their lifetime.
So there are no such living or working conditions, among which no saint or saint would not arise. It is possible everywhere, for holiness does not so much depend on man's nature or on his living conditions, how much from his communication and cooperation with God. Sometimes you hear, that the saints are different, strange people and hard to imitate. This difference is not due to holiness itself, but hence, that they lived in different epochs, when different views prevailed, manners, ways of working or fighting, etc.. But for their contemporaries they were ordinary people. Likewise, our saints contemporaries, living in the 20th century, They do not differ from us in terms of the culture of everyday life and the performance of their family and civic duties, e.g.. O. Maksymilian Kolbe.
Christ has called Christians of all times to holiness. The saints responded to this call. In the conditions of their daily lives, they followed the commands of the Gospel. They fought evil in themselves and in their environment. Their whole life was a service to God and people. They did it all in a heroic manner, heroic. The source of their holiness was the word of God, sacraments, especially the Eucharist.
God has called everyone to holiness. There are saints among us too. Because they are not distinguished by something extraordinary, we don't see them around us. Or maybe years later God will glorify someone of them with miracles, and the Church will declare him blessed or holy. Then those, who met him during his lifetime, they will remember various events in his life and look for traces of holiness, which they had not noticed before.
Communion of saints
Saints are role models for us, how we should interact with God. However, there is a world of difference between the cult of heroes - who are also role models - and the cult of saints. In saints, we do not only honor heroism, not only an effort to strive for true Christian perfection, but most of all this, what Christ has done in them. Through his baptism he included them in his paschal mystery and gave them supernatural talents. He gave them a special share in God's life. He endowed them with the power of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation. He gave them a share of his holiness, in the holiness of God, which he grants to the Church. The life of the saints was and is the manifestation of God's holiness and love in the Church. And today he gives them a share of God's glory : "Where am I, my servant will be there too. What if someone serves me, my Father will honor him " (J 12, 26).
The saints not only showed us the way, which they themselves went to God, but they continue to intercede for us in the Kingdom of God. Thanks to that, though their earthly life ended many years ago, they are close to us. My, Pilgrim Church, and they, The Church is glorified, we form one family of Christ, His Mystical Body - the Church. We work together : we are on earth and the saints in heaven. We continue to build and strengthen God's Kingdom with them. United with them, we create a holy community, otherwise known as the communion of saints.
“Communion, therefore, of pilgrims (i.e.. in the) with brothers, who have fallen asleep in the peace of Christ (i.e.. with the saints) it does not stop at all, contrary, according to the constant faith of the Church, she is strengthened by the mutual provision of spiritual goods. For the inhabitants of heaven are more deeply united with Christ, they strengthen the whole Church even more in holiness, hi, which the Church here on earth gives to God, they ennoble and in various ways turn for the greater edification of the Church " (by. 1 Disease 12, 12-27) (KK 49).
We experience this community to the fullest during Holy Mass. For at the altar, "we unite most closely with the veneration given to God by the Church in heaven" (that is, by the saints) (KK 50). In the Eucharist, we unite with Christ, who is the source of sharing in God's holiness both for them, and for us. We honor the great work of God sharing his holiness with man. Then we also revive our hope, that we will be in union with God with him. Remembering that, what God did in his saints and how they cooperated with God, we celebrate their solemnities during the liturgical year and remember them at every Mass. And while taking advantage of it, that they are so close to God, we are willing to look for their mediation in various matters of everyday life.
How will I answer God ?
Look again at the figure of the saint. How do you imagine him now ? Perhaps you understood better, the role of saints in the life of the Church, which is the seed of God's kingdom. Do you know any saint's resume? ? Have you been looking for a pattern for yourself in it? ? Do you know the life of a saint, whose name you received at the baptism of St.. ?
Your holiness began on the day of your baptism, and now it grows thanks to the word and the sacraments, who were the source and strength of the saints.
Think now : can you go a different way than them ? Tell yourself : they could, I can. And with their help, encouraged by their example, take up this call of God and try in your life to be a true disciple of Christ.
■ Think :
1. W czym święci są podobni do innych ludzi, and how do they differ ?
2. Czym różni się cześć oddawana bohaterom od kultu świętych ?
3. Co łączy nas ze świętymi ?
4. Kiedy najpełniej wyraża się nasza wspólnota ze świętymi ?
5. Kogo Bóg wezwał do świętości ?
41. Dlaczego czcimy świętych?
We honor the saints, because in them the holiness of God is revealed.
42. Jak najlepiej czcimy świętych ? We worship the saints best, when we join them in prayer for the good of the Church and imitate their cooperation with God.
■ Task :
1. Zapoznaj się bliżej z życiem swojego Patrona (Patronesses).
2. Poszukaj w czasopismach katolickich artykułu o człowieku, who died in the odor of holiness.
3. Jak święci mogą nam pomóc w drodze do świętości ?