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I've been thinking about this for at least a couple of years. Before this time, I decided to learn about pertinent Saints according to my current vocation (marriage) and I read about St. Monica and St. Rita. I understand their examples are heralded as the model for how wives ought to be in their own marriages. Over the course of time, I've read a lot of Catholicism online saying "be a saint," etc.

In another thread, someone made a statement which resonated with me:

Quote:So I would place your life in His hands and just ask Him where He wants you to worship at this time.  He will show you.  It won't be perfect.  If you are striving for sainthood it will probably suck actually.

I bolded the part that stuck. This is where I'm at right now with my current thoughts about how to "live saintly," and still live my own life. I'll be honest and say when people insist wives should be like St. Monica it bugs me for a couple of reasons. No, I'm not about to bash a saint. What bothers me is St. Monica had to contend with her husband's infidelity, poor treatment, etc. for many, many years (yes, I'm aware he came to faith.). I'm never going to say those things make divorce permissible. However, I've met wives who weren't willing to let things go too much downhill in their marriages, they made appeals to their husbands and if the husbands didn't want to consider their needs, they set a boundary. Are those wives bad people, or bad Christians for not going the way of St. Monica?

There are saints who literally starved themselves to reach some kind of sanctification, there are saints who continued to be cheerful despite being treated disgustingly and were enslaved, etc. I'm aware many saints died defending the faith and made a strong contribution to the Body of the Church. What I'm trying to say is, are we expected to take on those same burdens? Of course there are people in the Middle East who have died for the faith; their countries and lands were taken over by ISIS, and they were killed for not complying. I'm not talking about extreme cases of persecution (I'm aware they can happen on a smaller scale).

I guess what I'm asking is, if we're not willing to go as far as the saints did in this life, does that make us poor Christians? Does it mean we have a lack of faith? How should be apply the examples and teachings from the saints without violating our own conscience or setting a poor example to others, which could segue into bad behavior?
Hello introvert,
others will make better suggestions than I, but, for a start, why not focus on regularly availing yourself of the sacraments, daily Mass, frequent and reverent reception of Our Lord, reading good and holy works? If your life allows it, you could pray the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Start there, if I may make that suggestion.
(05-28-2016, 01:29 AM)introvert Wrote: [ -> ](snip)
I guess what I'm asking is, if we're not willing to go as far as the saints did in this life, does that make us poor Christians? Does it mean we have a lack of faith? How should be apply the examples and teachings from the saints without violating our own conscience or setting a poor example to others, which could segue into bad behavior?

Different people are called to different things, are given different Crosses, different gifts. Not all are called to be victim souls, for ex. Not all are able to live on nothing but the Eucharist and water, as a few Saints did. God will let you know what you're called to -- and what you're not called to.

We all have to refrain from sin, receive the Sacraments, obey the precepts of the Church, and, especially, obey the Two Great Commandments. That's the minimum. Other things are more "vocational," and God will lead the way. Re. things other than what's just been mentioned (the minimum), if you can't offer something joyfully and in peace, you're likely not called to it.

Re. St. Monica, for ex., the Church allows husbands and wives to separate (not divorce, of course) if it's necessary for survival, health, protecting children, peace of mind (understood in a reasonable way), etc., so it's apparent that not all women in bad marriages are called to follow St. Monica's exact path, ya know? To whom much is given, much is expected, and we're not all given the same things (e.g., the same temperaments, upbringings, spouses, etc.) But if you stay close to Jesus and do the things mentioned in the prior paragraph, you can't go wrong.
(05-28-2016, 01:29 AM)introvert Wrote: [ -> ]I've been thinking about this for at least a couple of years. Before this time, I decided to learn about pertinent Saints according to my current vocation (marriage) and I read about St. Monica and St. Rita. I understand their examples are heralded as the model for how wives ought to be in their own marriages. Over the course of time, I've read a lot of Catholicism online saying "be a saint," etc.

In another thread, someone made a statement which resonated with me:

Quote:So I would place your life in His hands and just ask Him where He wants you to worship at this time.  He will show you.  It won't be perfect.  If you are striving for sainthood it will probably suck actually.

I bolded the part that stuck. This is where I'm at right now with my current thoughts about how to "live saintly," and still live my own life. I'll be honest and say when people insist wives should be like St. Monica it bugs me for a couple of reasons. No, I'm not about to bash a saint. What bothers me is St. Monica had to contend with her husband's infidelity, poor treatment, etc. for many, many years (yes, I'm aware he came to faith.). I'm never going to say those things make divorce permissible. However, I've met wives who weren't willing to let things go too much downhill in their marriages, they made appeals to their husbands and if the husbands didn't want to consider their needs, they set a boundary. Are those wives bad people, or bad Christians for not going the way of St. Monica?

There are saints who literally starved themselves to reach some kind of sanctification, there are saints who continued to be cheerful despite being treated disgustingly and were enslaved, etc. I'm aware many saints died defending the faith and made a strong contribution to the Body of the Church. What I'm trying to say is, are we expected to take on those same burdens? Of course there are people in the Middle East who have died for the faith; their countries and lands were taken over by ISIS, and they were killed for not complying. I'm not talking about extreme cases of persecution (I'm aware they can happen on a smaller scale).

I guess what I'm asking is, if we're not willing to go as far as the saints did in this life, does that make us poor Christians? Does it mean we have a lack of faith? How should be apply the examples and teachings from the saints without violating our own conscience or setting a poor example to others, which could segue into bad behavior?

Wow, just the other day I was having the exact same thought and question.

Which sufferings are we supposed to accept, and which should we work to remedy? Is it less holy to want to make certain things better, easier, more comfortable? Or is it more pleasing to the Lord for us to welcome and embrace all the sufferings that come our way? If I feel disgruntled about an ongoing situation that regularly puts me past the breaking point, am I refusing a sanctifying opportunity given to me (or allowed) by God? Is my disgruntledness a sign of my own lack of humility, or a signal that God is calling me to address the problematic situation?  ???

I have some thoughts about this, but not enough time and mental organization to write them right now, but I will try to come back to this when I can. For now I'll just say that I think the biggest key to knowing which answers are right for ourselves is staying as close as possible to God in prayer and in obedience to what we do know He requires of us... Perhaps that's why, even, He allows us to become confused to begin with, so that we will have to seek Him...?
(05-28-2016, 12:14 PM)Margaret-Mary Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-28-2016, 01:29 AM)introvert Wrote: [ -> ]I've been thinking about this for at least a couple of years. Before this time, I decided to learn about pertinent Saints according to my current vocation (marriage) and I read about St. Monica and St. Rita. I understand their examples are heralded as the model for how wives ought to be in their own marriages. Over the course of time, I've read a lot of Catholicism online saying "be a saint," etc.

In another thread, someone made a statement which resonated with me:

Quote:So I would place your life in His hands and just ask Him where He wants you to worship at this time.  He will show you.  It won't be perfect.  If you are striving for sainthood it will probably suck actually.

I bolded the part that stuck. This is where I'm at right now with my current thoughts about how to "live saintly," and still live my own life. I'll be honest and say when people insist wives should be like St. Monica it bugs me for a couple of reasons. No, I'm not about to bash a saint. What bothers me is St. Monica had to contend with her husband's infidelity, poor treatment, etc. for many, many years (yes, I'm aware he came to faith.). I'm never going to say those things make divorce permissible. However, I've met wives who weren't willing to let things go too much downhill in their marriages, they made appeals to their husbands and if the husbands didn't want to consider their needs, they set a boundary. Are those wives bad people, or bad Christians for not going the way of St. Monica?

There are saints who literally starved themselves to reach some kind of sanctification, there are saints who continued to be cheerful despite being treated disgustingly and were enslaved, etc. I'm aware many saints died defending the faith and made a strong contribution to the Body of the Church. What I'm trying to say is, are we expected to take on those same burdens? Of course there are people in the Middle East who have died for the faith; their countries and lands were taken over by ISIS, and they were killed for not complying. I'm not talking about extreme cases of persecution (I'm aware they can happen on a smaller scale).

I guess what I'm asking is, if we're not willing to go as far as the saints did in this life, does that make us poor Christians? Does it mean we have a lack of faith? How should be apply the examples and teachings from the saints without violating our own conscience or setting a poor example to others, which could segue into bad behavior?

Wow, just the other day I was having the exact same thought and question.

Which sufferings are we supposed to accept, and which should we work to remedy? Is it less holy to want to make certain things better, easier, more comfortable? Or is it more pleasing to the Lord for us to welcome and embrace all the sufferings that come our way? If I feel disgruntled about an ongoing situation that regularly puts me past the breaking point, am I refusing a sanctifying opportunity given to me (or allowed) by God? Is my disgruntledness a sign of my own lack of humility, or a signal that God is calling me to address the problematic situation?  ???

I have some thoughts about this, but not enough time and mental organization to write them right now, but I will try to come back to this when I can. For now I'll just say that I think the biggest key to knowing which answers are right for ourselves is staying as close as possible to God in prayer and in obedience to what we do know He requires of us... Perhaps that's why, even, He allows us to become confused to begin with, so that we will have to seek Him...?

Your thoughts could've come out of my own mind. I find the more I study Catholicism and learn, the more knowledgeable I am about the faith, but the more confused I am, too  ???

I too wonder about the sufferings. In a way, I do have constant suffering because of ongoing chronic health issues, possible infertility, and a childless marriage. I won't go so far to think I'm a victim soul. If say, I wanted to seek the doctor to resolve some of my issues, does that mean I don't have enough faith? I wonder about that. A few years back, I was talking to a Protestant pastor about my respiratory illness and he said that it's Satan who gave it to me, and God will take it away if I'm faithful enough. I was incredibly confused by that statement because I started to think, have I been so awful that the Devil gave me this bad health?

With that said, I think the dahveed's suggestion is a good one and I might need to immerse myself more in the sacraments and prayer. Daily Mass might be good for me.
Okay, I'm owning the "it will probably suck" statement. 

Sorry to sound like I have a bad attitude.  :crazy:

Of course life in the Church won't always suck, hehe, and there will be consolations and good times and joy...especially if we have gratitude.

But we often times look around for the perfect Church and are really disillusioned when we think we've found it and find sinners there  :O, or truths that are beyond our comprehension that require faith and trust.

We are brought up with rather unrealistic expectations of a life lived happily ever after with shiny,  bouncy hair, straight white teeth and fun, fun, fun!  Actually, this place really can be a vale of tears because no matter how good things get, there is always a cross to carry with you.  For myself, the more I can accept this and learn to turn my sufferings into prayer, the more peace I have that things really are as they "should" be and be surprised (and grateful) when things actually turn out good!  I just keep telling myself that this isn't our home so no need to get too comfortable here. :)

Quote: If say, I wanted to seek the doctor to resolve some of my issues, does that mean I don't have enough faith? I wonder about that. A few years back, I was talking to a Protestant pastor about my respiratory illness and he said that it's Satan who gave it to me, and God will take it away if I'm faithful enough. I was incredibly confused by that statement because I started to think, have I been so awful that the Devil gave me this bad health?

This short book, which you can read online for free will answer these questions for you:
https://archive.org/details/TrustfulSurr...Providence

Not seeing a doctor is the belief of Christian Scientists.  Catholics are to do whatever is prudentially necessary to take care of their health so they can do God's work.  Sometimes His help comes from a doctor.  Allowing others to treat and care for you is helping them on their path to Heaven as they perform corporeal works of mercy.  Even if you are lying in a so called "vegetative state" you are helping others to grow in love and mercy.

As for if Satan gave you your illness...read the book, it explains it better than I can. ;)

(I read it once a year.  It's like learning how God is our personal trainer.)

Some saints were called to extreme measures of sacrifice.  We are called to heroic sacrifice in our particular state in life in our particular culture in our particular family and time period. 

Today wives are in a better position to put their foot down and set boundaries when necessary than in generations past.  Spousal rape was legal in the US until 1979 for instance.  St Rita and St Monica didn't have much support for standing up to any spousal abuse in their day.

Catholic spouses are suppose to help each other on their path to Heaven.  Letting someone mistreat you time and again, or being a doormat is not helping them to grow in holiness.  Boundaries with love and forgiveness are sometimes necessary while seeking to overcome evil with good.  Children need to see that you have self respect or they will follow their Dad in disrespectful behavior towards you and their future spouse.  Of course a good priest or counselor can help sort this out with the proper balance. 

In my pride I would often try to imitate the saints with fasting or resolutions to STOP ALL MY SINS RIGHT NOW!  Of course I would fail miserably, become really crabby and sin a whole lot more than usual.  >:(  So I learned that we mere mortal saints in training need to take it slow, avail ourselves to as much grace as we can and take tiny steps towards improvement.  :)

Also, the monastic life is so very peaceful and regulated that extra penances are sometimes necessary to grow in virtue.  I heard a priest who gave spiritual direction to parents say that because their lives are full of a hundred penances a day in serving others, caring for the sick, feeding the hungry, the burden of bills...etc. that extra penances are not normally necessary.  Just make use of all the ones God serves up each day in the home (or workplace etc.) and you'll have plenty to make you holy in no time!  :LOL:


We must endure terrible sufferings in our lives and sometimes it even requires us to give up our own lives. If someone tried to coerce you to deny the faith, you'd obviously be obliged to refuse, even if it truly meant your life. If someone held a gun to your head and said you must be my slave for life or I will kill you I think the coragours thing to do would be to stand up and say "No! I am a human being created by God and I have certian rights. I will not be your slave even if it means you will kill me"

I'm not saying that everyone who accepted a life in slavery is a coward, just that I think it would be heroic to stand up against your slave master and refuse to follow his bidding. The slaves who resisted their unjust captivity were brave martyrs in my mind
Just do the best you can according to your particular state in life.  What more can you do anyway?  Just imagine that there are many saintly souls who were never formally canonized,who just quietly went about their life who are now in Paradise.

Personally I do not want extremes of mortification,penance or fasting on the one hand, nor do I want bizarre visions or anything of that nature on the other.  Heck I actually find myself suspicious of anyone (canonized or not) that went to extremes of piety or penance.

Perhaps I'm hopelessly a child of my age and a skeptic,but some stuff from hagiographies even from canonized saints comes off to me as hysterics and mental illness and not holiness. I can't help feeling that way.  I certainly want nothing of those extremes. 

Just to be faithful to your duties as best as you can and getting up when you fall is enough.  Everyone is unique, and God has a path for each of us. We just need to be faithful to grace acting in our lives. 

And if you like you can read about literally thousands of saints, many with totally different paths and tempermants. There are saints stretching back to the apostolic times and from every land and walk in life.
(05-29-2016, 02:46 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: [ -> ]Perhaps I'm hopelessly a child of my age and a skeptic,but some stuff from hagiographies even from canonized saints comes off to me as hysterics and mental illness and not holiness. I can't help feeling that way.  I certainly want nothing of those extremes. 

Well that is just modern backwards thinking. St. Margret of Cortona once climbed to the top of the church tower in the town square and wrapped herself in fish. She was naked otherwise. And she scream "Look everyone, look at the worst most crazy person who has ever lived! Look at what a terrible beast I am." But the church recognizes her acts of self humiliation as saintlihood. St. Francis also publicly stripped himself in the town square to be humiliated in front of all the people who lived there. He wanted to be hated and despised as Christ was hated and despised. The entire reason the original Franciscan rule required beards is because beards were "both manly and disgusted" at that point in history.

St. Joseph of Cupertino's works of piety led him to levitate during mass. And another saint who I cannot remember the name of, gave away all of his possessions and lived on the street as a traveling begger relying totally on the grace of God. Angela of Foligno said it best:

Quote:"No one can be saved without divine light. Divine light causes us to begin and to make progress, and it leads us to the summit of perfection. Therefore if you want to begin and to receive this divine light, pray. If you have begun to make progress, pray. And if you have reached the summit of perfection, and want to be super-illumined so as to remain in that state, pray. If you want faith, pray. If you want hope, pray. If you want charity, pray. If you want poverty, pray. If you want obedience, pray. If you want chastity, pray. If you want humility, pray. If you want meekness, pray. If you want fortitude, pray. If you want any virtue, pray." (( from Voices of the Saints, Bert Ghezzi ))

The Divine light can ask some to do things that would appear crazy in this modern world but our modernist minds lack the ability to understand the works of God in people's lives.

I will say I'm with you. i don't want any special trials in my life. I want to live a life of peace and happiness. But I also hope that wouldn't fail in that calling if that was truly what God wanted for my life.

Found the other saint's name, Saint Benedict Joseph Labre
Quote:Labre, according to Catholic tradition, experienced a desire, which he considered was given to him by God and inspired by the example of Saint Alexius of Rome and that of the holy Franciscan tertiary pilgrim, Saint Roch, to "abandon his country, his parents, and whatever is flattering in the world to lead a new sort of life, a life most painful, most penitential, not in a wilderness nor in a cloister, but in the midst of the world, devoutly visiting as a pilgrim the famous places of Christian devotion".[1]

Labre joined the Third Order of Saint Francis and settled on a life of poverty and pilgrimage. He first traveled to Rome on foot, subsisting on what he could get by begging. He then traveled to most of the major shrines of Europe, often several times each. He visited the various shrines in Loreto, Assisi, Naples, and Bari in Italy, Einsiedeln in Switzerland, Paray-le-Monial in France and Santiago de Compostela in Spain. During these trips he would always travel on foot, sleeping in the open or in a corner of a room, with his clothes muddy and ragged. On one occasion he stopped at the farmhouse of Matthieu and Marie Vianney, who would later become the parents of the future saint, the Curé d'Ars.[3] He lived on what little he was given, and often shared the little he did receive with others. He is reported to have talked rarely, prayed often, and accepted quietly the abuse he received.

I utterly reject the notion that noone in this modern age is called to a radical life of holiness. The entire point of our lives is to become saints. Obviously the first step is to get rid of habitual sin in your life, receive the sacraments regularly and pray often. But after that, God may want a lot more from you. It might be an almost impossibly hard life. But some are called to it. The radical lives of the saints prove that God wants this from some people. And it's not a change that usually happens over night. You can't go from being a terrible sinner to a great saint in one day. Or maybe that's wrong, maybe you can. Who knows what is possible with God.

The sins that don't seem logical to the person will probably be the hardest to remove from someone's life. Like a married couple who already have 6 children and want to use contraception. It would seem like a very small or almost no sin to them. Who are they hurting by doing this? And it seems there's no other way for them to express their love. They already have 6 children, they can't afford to take care of more. But they still just have to remove this sin from their lives if they want to be saints. They just have to make themselves agree with the teaching of the Church.

But ultimately, sainthood is required of all of us. It is the entire goal of life.
Then I was not wrong in my agreement that pursuing saintlihood in the same sense as the saints is going to suck. Got it.
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