Are we saints?-A A +A
As I See It
Thursday, October 31, 2013
ON NOVEMBER 1, saints will be marching. It’s All Saints Day. It is a religious activity, especially for Catholics and Aglipayans. It is also a showcase of Filipino ‘eidos’ (culture). When desperate, call upon St. Jude. He is the patron saint of desperate cases. For other petitions, you can call upon other patron saints.
I will let some of them march before you. They are as follows: St. Aloysius Gonzaga, patron saint of youth; St. Anne, patron saint of housewives; St. Anthony de Padua, patron saint of the poor; St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers; St. Gabriel de Archangel, patron saint of call center agents; St. Isidore the Farmer, patron saint of farmers; St. John Baptist de la Salle, patron saint of education; St. John Mary Vianney, patron saint of priests; St. Martin of Tours, patron saint of soldiers; St. Thomas Moore, patron saint of lawyers…
I could go on for more. For us who work under our editor, our patron saint is St. John Bosco. My friends in the rural areas amused me by introducing to saints not canonized by the Pope: Sta. Catalina de Regla, San Adonis de Muerto, Sta. Josefina de la Cuarta, Nuestra Señora Adelantada, Señor Jose Decipula, Reina Maria Encantada. They are legendary just like our Santa Claus, St. Christopher, Sta. Phelomina, Sto. Niño Pulis and San Jose Bastonero.
If we have to believe Mother Angelica, the contemplative charismatic Franciscan nun who founded EWTN, the World’s largest Catholic TV network, we are all called to be great saints. She does not want us to miss the opportunity. In my high school religion classes, I learned that those who became saints in the early days of Christianity were persons who lived in holiness, those associated with martyrdom, and those who engaged in monastic virginity.
A whore (except Mary Magdalene if this is true), a thief, a bandit, a harpy or a deicide could not be a saint. Thanks to Vatican II because now any man who may not give all that he has may become a saint if he manages to give more than what he can. I would like to understand that it is by love that we sacrifice and serve. It is by patience that we understand and forgive. It is by trials that we become strong and gain wisdom. It is by sharing that we become a blessing to others.
We can always live a saintly life without being canonized. When they were still alive, Mother Theresa and Pope John Paul II were already considered as saints because of their deeds. I know that millions have also done a great job for Christ. Their names are not just published in the newspaper and their activities were not covered by TV crew. Just the same, they could be saints. They also lived a prayerful life not just by clasping their hands in front of the altar but by extending their arms to the hungry and desperate.
Sinners and ordinary persons can be saints. Saul became Paul. Peter the Fisherman became Peter the Apostle. Persons who have sinned should repent and return what they have taken (from the government or from their brothers). Forgiveness and renewal should have the flavor of justice. This was demonstrated by Christ. He only returned to the Father after following the Father’s will.
Let us remember what the Holy Bible said about judgment. “It is appointed unto men to die once and after this, comes the judgment.” God’s judgment will always be based on performance. Be with God or separate from God. We all want to be God’s saints. We want to march with Him. All things are possible with God. ‘Todo es posible para Dios’.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 31, 2013.