Thursday, August 8, 2013

In, Not Of

I just came across some of Pope Francis' words:
"I left my jeans and tennis shoes in
my other bag."

"We need saints without cassocks, without veils - we need saints with jeans and tennis shoes. We need saints that go to the movies that listen to music, that hang out with their friends. We need saints that place God in first place ahead of succeeding in any career. We need saints that look for time to pray every day and who know how to be in love with purity, chastity and all good things. We need saints - saints for the 21st century with a spirituality appropriate to our new time. We need saints that have a commitment to helping the poor and to make the needed social change. We need saints to live in the world, to sanctify the world and to not be afraid of living in the world by their presence in it. We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs, that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. We need saints that love the Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with their friends. We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, theater. We need saints that are open sociable normal happy companions. We need saints who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without being callous or mundane. We need saints."


Too often, we have this holy vs. secular dichotomy in Catholic circles. The Bible and the rosary are for prayer, and the basketball is for play.
That's the wrong way to think about the world.
This guy has had plenty of hot dogs
and beer.
We're studying creation in homeschool right now, and one key that I don't think I ponder enough is that God made the world, and it was very good. God made iron ore to be fashioned to steel, silicon to be shaped into microchips, corn to be processed into sweeteners, and so forth. Things like iPods, hot dogs, and the other cultural elements the Pope hints at are all made, by human hands, from God's creation.
Think about that.
Created by God. The work of human hands. Now where else have I heard that...?
I think the key thing here is that saints all become saints in the circumstances, time, and place in which they live. Saints are royalty, married, gun owners, kids in school, and have the common thread of being heroic in the practice of virtue within the time and place God put them.
Saints take every day, and sanctify it.
Saints take what God has given them, make it holy, and give it back.
Saints use their gifts, their resources, their possessions, but make the clear choice to not only not be possessed by their possession, but the choice to use those possessions in the service of God.

So the Pope is absolutely right - today's saints will eat hot dogs, drink Coke, have iPods, play football, drink beer, and be normal people.

The difference between today's saints and everyone else?
Today's saints will be giving God the credit.

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