My Beautiful Wickedness

Humans into saints.
September 25, 2007, 9:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Do I believe that humans can be saints? And if so, what does that entail?

This is what is making me ask.

I believe that all humans have intercessory power with the Divine. I don’t know that I believe that some people are more powerful prayers than others, as I am a believer in Grace Abounding and I think that we are all askers with empty bowls. I believe that some human lives are particularly exemplary and inspiring. I believe in the Mystical Real. I also believe in continuing revelation and so it would follow that some people might wind up as instruments of Divine expression, I suppose. I love the idea of relics and I even own a relic from my patron saint (sold to me by a lovely little old nun of her order at her home abbey — so it’s just got to be genuine, right?). I think sanctified objects possess the ritual power one invests in them. I really like the stories of saints and find them handy as metaphors. I use saints and their images and their stories as one part of my spiritual practice.

I think I’m more willing to believe someone in the distant past could have been a saint — a lasting example of spiritual striving, an inspiration to belief, and a memory or set of stories invested with power through ritual repetition — than I am that some guy that died a couple of years ago could be. I know the creation of saints always has been political. I guess I’m just at a place right now where I’d like not to have to have my nose rubbed in that.

There are times you just want to believe and not have to think so much.


3 Comments so far
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I keep coming back to the strand of thinking running from Pascal through Kierkegaard that insists that faith is inherently non-rational (or “irrational” for the heathens out there.) You cannot entirely think your way to God.

My problem these days is that I’ve become so widely ecumenical that I’m not sure I can identify myself as even being a Christian anymore (too much Bart Ehrman and severe doubts concerning the reality of the resurrection can do that to you). That leaves me feeling very ill at ease. I guess a strict existentialist would say I’m just starting toward wisdom but I’m not so sure.

Comment by Gerald

Yeah, if pinned down to it, I don’t think I’m a Christian either. I just can’t be that exclusive in my thinking about the ways in which the Divine transacts and is made immanent. Oddly enough, I think surrendering the necessity of Christianity as my only vehicle has made me more spiritually inclined, if also (in the view of many) surely damned to perdition. This is what comes from hanging out with UUs.

“First, they came for the Trinity and because I was not a Trinitarian, I said nothing…”

Comment by bridgett

I know Judaism doesn’t allow relics of people or worship of images, it is strict like Islam in this department, and things like saints are avoided, though Abraham and Sarah and some sages and rabbis are really revered and emulated, and people still gather at their tombs.

The exception of revering objects would be things like the Torah, people parade with it, kiss it, lift it up and dance with it, etc., especially on Simchat Torah.
There is also kissing of the tzitzit (sacred fringes of thingy).

Comment by Nick Dupree

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