Am I alone in this? Or do you, too, have certain saints you just can’t cotton to?
God forgive me and I’m sure she’s praying for me in heaven, but I cannot for the life of me for example get the appeal of St. Faustina and that corny Divine Mercy painting. She’s always telling some anecdote where one of her sisters FOOLISHLY as it turns out underestimated her, and then humble-bragging that Jesus appeared and anointed he for some special mission, using words that do not sound remotely in any way like those used by Our Savior in the Gospels.
Such as “My love deceives no one,” and “Get to know God by contemplating his attributes” and “You will go back to earth, and there you will suffer much, but not for long; you will accomplish my will and my desires, and a faithful servant of mine will help you do this.”
Jesus for one thing is a man of few words. Like to Mary Magdalene, in the Garden after the Resurrection, he said simply, “Mary.” To St. Francis, “Rebuild my Church.” To Saul, “Why dost thou persecutest me?” To Mother Teresa, oh I don’t know, that thing on the train, “Help me out” or something like that. Plus he was never gratuitously cryptic. “A faithful servant of mine will help you do this,” instantly gives rise to the obsessive thought, “Well, who already?”
On the cross, he said, to Mary, “Woman, behold your son,” and to John, “Behold your mother.” He didn’t leave them guessing.
Then there’s Catherine of Siena who–I mean did she really have to drink the pus from her mother superior’s cancerous breast? It’s not so much that it grosses me out, but isn’t it enough that we have to try to find affordable health insurance. and live in a culture where schoolchildren are being massacred by fellow gun-owning citizens, and accept the fact that Trader Joe’s no longer carries fat-free creamer?
When I was in Rome a few years ago, some very nice nuns the way I remember it took me through St. Catherine’s quite beautiful church and I’m pretty sure urged me to kneel in her crypt which was under an altar of some kind I think…I felt pretty guilty and I’m sure apologized down there for not being crazy about her. I’m sure she’s praying for me, too. Still, I find I rarely groove to her reflections.
The point being 1) what do I know? and 2) the whole beauty of the treasury of the Church’s saints is that there is someone in there to appeal to everyone. I adore the Virgin Martyrs for example who I’m sure aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. And Christ no doubt speaks, when he does speak, in the language and words that are bound to resonate with the particular heart he’s addressing.
Like to me he kind of says, Hon, could you please try not to be QUITE so much of a crab, jerk, showoff, whiner, etc, as the case may be on any given day.
Pray for us, Sts. Faustina and Catherine of Siena!