Sunday, August 5, 2012

Portrait of a... Saint?


I've posted several quotes here about the call we have to sainthood.  Thinking of this recently, I came across something I'd written in 1990.  I could scribble these words as easily today......

Am I called to be a saint?  Of course I am.  I am called to be with God forever in heaven - that is sainthood. Am I called to be a saint on earth?  Of course I am.  I am called to give my life to Him in heroic abandon as He enables me, and I am called to love my neighbor in perfect charity, and I am called to be holy and good and dead to self on earth.  But how easy it is to say 'I want to be a saint' when I sit in perfect comfort.

What a different story when the tiniest little thing crosses the rosy self-made path I've envisioned and the flames of sacrifice nip at my will.

What a saint I then become - grumbling on the guillotine and cursing the very instruments of sainthood.
                                                           (from The Cloistered Heart, 2008 edition, p. 13)

20 comments:

  1. Nancy,
    I love the picture; it says it all :) Sainthood or at least the road to it, certainly is not for the faint of heart.

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    1. Thank you, Karinann. It's quite an accurate portrait of me, lying down for "just a little break" on the road to sainthood. Sigh. Thank God for His great mercy!

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  2. PIC OF ME LOL! I just love this quote...it is one of my favorite from your book and I remember posting it on my CWA post several weeks ago.

    Have a blessed day.

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    1. Thanks so much, Theresa! I was just looking at the picture again, thinking of the grumbling "I" am doing as I lie there, having gotten distracted from that book about a saint. But I think I'm beginning a headache and the book is starting to get BORing and I have 3 loads of laundry to do and the dog is whining to be let out and meat for dinner is not defrosted and I've been lying here since I got in from the meeting 2 hours ago and my tummy is hurting and I don't CARE that there's a pile of dishes in the sink and I'd love to be a saintly heroine just like the martyr I was reading about but golly doesn't anybody understand that the demands of life can be so ROUGH........

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    2. Love your post Nancy and your reply here and the photo! The road to sainthood can feel so exasperating! LOL!

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    3. Thank you, Monica! Yes, it can truly feel exasperating. I think that's why I so love reading about the saints. They help me gain perspective on day to day concerns. In fact, I think I'll try to remember, just for today, to think of a saint for every concern or aggravation crossing my path. And I hope all of you will forgive me for my comments that are LONGER THAN A POST! :)

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    4. Oh my gosh Nancy...too funny! So true, so true. Wouldn't martyrdom be much more easier than facing the monotonies of daily life? Really, kidding...but you get my drift I am sure : )

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    5. Yes, I indeed get your drift. When I was 35, doctors thought I might have a brain tumor. Thank God I didn't... but during that ordeal I learned a surrender to God that was beyond what I could have imagined. Nothing would EVER disturb me after that, I just KNEW it(and I thought this even during the time of scary diagnosis). Things eventually settled back to normal, and it didn't take long before I was griping about a little pain in my back and whining when I had a cold. What a merciful, forgiving, loving God we have.

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank God that He loves us so very much.

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  4. From Joy: I had to giggle when I saw the entry of Portrait of a ...saint??? Talk about drama...oh my with the young woman draped across, what I think they used to call the "swooning" couch. I am trying to figure out if she has come from a funeral since she is all in black or if she has just had an long exhausting day and can take no more, as we probably all have felt at different times.
    As to if we are called to be saints...I went back to my Baltimore Catechism days..Why Did God Make You? God made me to know Him and love Him and serve Him in tnis life and be happy with Him forever in the next..so yes, we are called to be saints. A lot easier said than done for sure...especially when you think about all of the sacrifices that the early saints endured, but we are called to live our daily lives offering what ever inconvenience or trial we may be going through at the time, and this offered with a pure heart is a big sacrifice. I remember as a child, I thought I wanted to be a martyr for my faith(childhood enthusiasm). However, having grown in age and wisdom, I can only hope that I would be courageous enough in that day...I hope and pray that I live everyday fulfilling the call that God has given me, and I think in that way, I will possibly be a saint one day...Good Lord willing. May God bless all of His saints....

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    1. Joy, thank you so much! I just wrote a long reply and the screen "lost it" - but again: THANK YOU!

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  5. Hi Nancy,
    Funny! Yes, I can relate to both your words and the painting! Your comments to Theresa cracked me up, as did hers about martyrdom :) I could relate to both. Interior grumbling is something the Holy Spirit has brought to my attention often. Like the Israelites in the desert we don't even see how good we have it!

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    1. Yes, Mary - interior grumbling, just like the Israelites in the desert. For me, it's such a tough habit to break. "Manna AGAIN? In this lifeless arid desert with no food or water around, I am reeeeeally starting to get tired of being the one who always has to bake the ba-manna bread..."

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  6. I love this picture, it really says so much!!

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    1. Doesn't it, though?! I'm so glad to have found it. Thank you, Tracy!

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  7. This is the best! Thanks for posting it on "Pay It Forward"! I have so many thoughts going through my head about this post and particularly about this photo! I'm no Saint(still working), but boy, I can relate!

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    1. Thank you, Holly! This could be a picture of me this very day. Well, the attire might be just a tad different :). I'd be in summer knits with my hair in a scraggly ponytail. It's good to know I'm not the only one who can relate!

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  8. Nancy,

    Having a little rest on the road to sainthood? Taking a day off? Now if there was no such thing as tiredness, I could easily be a saint... a little rest while I grumble and get back my energy. I can relate!

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    1. Sue, your words are priceless. "if there was no such thing as tiredness, I could easily be a saint."

      And from me, you shall now hear a long drawn out yawning pitiful siiiigh......

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