Saturday, April 08, 2006

Smiling Saints

I was checking out today's saints at Catholic Forum and was delighted to see the grinning visage of St. Julia Brilliart.

Her picture made a smile burst onto my face, like a star going supernova. I showed the picture to a friend, who also erupted in laughter. You can see the joviality and lightness of spirit in St. Julia's eyes, and you can tell there's something behind the surface that makes it genuine.

That's what I love about the saints. They are proclaimed holy due to one abiding fact: their closeness to God. And anybody who is close to God cannot but help be overcome with a constant glee, even in the face of suffering, of which St. Julia knew plenty.

One of the bishops of her time, Mgr. De Broglie of Ghent, said "she saved more souls by her inner life of union with God than by her outward apostolate." Now that's a profound statement. To have one's relationship with God be a more effective catalyst for conversion than one's good works is the true indicator of holiness.

That's what I'm aiming for in my life. All my works could very well be in vain. When this internet fad fades away, my blog will be forgotten, so I put little hope in it touching the lives of too many people. And even if my own union with God bears no fruit in the lives of others, it will still draw me to my saviour, and there is no greater reward than being in his presence.

It's more than enough to keep a perpetual smile on my face.

1 comment:

  1. As the darkness of Good Friday draws closer, may you find yourself at the foot of the cross, bewildered, fearful that what is happening to your companion will befall you next. Like every apostle, you will run, hide behind a locked door, and fear for your very life.

    Then, two long days later, a miracle will occur.

    You will not believe your eyes. Christ will have to speak to you, eat fish in front of you, have you touch his wounded hands, before you begin to accept the possibility that stands before you.

    Once again you will be bewildered, but this will be a bewilderment of hope. Not free of fear, exactly, but freed from the fears that caused you to run just a couple of days earlier.

    I'm not Catholic, but I am an adult convert to Christianity. I visit your blog every week or so, Doogie, and appreciate your struggles and your joys of discovery.

    May God's peace be upon you, around you and within you, and may it flow through you in rich abundance into His broken world, that there may be healing and growth.


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