Sunday, September 4, 2016

?Saint Teresa?

I don't think Mother Teresa would want to be canonized.

Apart from other things, canonizing means the Catholic Church is certain she is in heaven. Which implies (like it or not) that to be fairly confident of your place in heaven you have to be in the mold of someone like Mother Teresa.
If you are "ordinary" then who knows?

This is how the media and the world in general would see it, as well as many ordinary Christians of many denominations.

The New Testament definition of a saint is simply, a believer. There is no separating amazing saints from ordinary ones. In fact Jesus identifies himself particularly with the "least" of his followers.

(St.) Paul described himself as the worst of sinners. And all believers know that they are sinners, especially leaders.

The word "saint" comes from the word sanctify which is from the word "holy".
"Holy" is a word that describes the otherness of God. He is "other" because of his moral impeccability, purity, and absolute perfection in all things, particularly with regard to his plan for creation and how he relates to all things. If there are degrees of holiness then God is actually most Holy.

Ordinary people are made holy. God does this. We don't deserve it, we don't earn it, and we never "achieve" it by living our lives a certain way, yet God "sanctifies" us making us (believers) his very own family. This is amazing and true and worth celebrating.

He does this in only one way. By sending his one and only begotten Son, Jesus, who took us into himself on the cross. By his death (the sacrifice of a perfect, sinless and innocent man, the only one who was worthy of the title "lamb of God") and rising from the dead, he purified us, washed us, remade us, sanctified us, filled us with his "Holy" Spirit and certainly that makes us fit for heaven, miracle or no miracle, life devoted to the poor, or to the rich or to any in between.

So now, as believers, our identity is in Jesus and we follow his teaching to love one another, and serve one another, and to forgive one another. That's what saints do.
What saints don't want or need, is to be elevated to a glory that we know only Jesus deserves.
Saints want to honour Jesus.
The church, which is the great multitude of gathered saints, also wants to honour Jesus.
Canonizing a particular person just does not make sense and is not helpful.
I don't think Mother Teresa would want to be canonized.

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