Friday, November 15, 2013


Lumen Gentium paragraph 51 (the conclusion of the chapter on the Pilgrim Church)
Catholics garner poor publicity when we misunderstand our own traditions and (even innocently) abuse them.  Take the cult of saints.  One of the mightiest reasons to develop a relationship with the saints is that they might influence you to live a better life.  We grow to know them and their situation better and try to emulate their faith and bravery in our own milieu.  Sometimes, however, individuals can become sidetracked with the various activities associated with the saint and miss out on what is truly important.  For example, instead of praying through the intercession of St. Jude, learning more about him, and trying to live a life in Christ more like he did, a person might become focused on some particular action such as finding a prayer with the instructions, “make 10 copies of this prayer and leave it in the church once every week for 5 weeks and then your prayer will be granted.”  So you check off that action and go on your merry way.  Where is the spiritual growth in that?  How did that bring you closer to Jesus?  How dangerously close that is to superstition such as “never walk under a ladder or you’ll have bad luck.”  “Run 10 copies of this on a copy machine and leave it in a church and you will have good luck.”
We are to grow closer to the saints in order to be more like them who strive to be more like Christ so that, rather than taking away from the worship of God, it will lead us more deeply into worship of Him Who is the glory of the saints.  By working together this Body of Christ shall all be united at the banquet of the Lamb.

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