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!
17 Replies to “SAINTS WE MAY OR MAY NOT FEEL”
Love this post! I have been reading Sisterhood of Saints by Melanie Rigney with daily readings. It has someone for everyone's taste. This is my second time through since it was published and I always see something new. But I am still no fan of Sister Faustina!
I think the Diary of St. Faustina was banned or not approved by the Church to begin with. There's surely a story of how that was overturned.
I've heard the same. There's definitely something fishy about the whole thing. The Church seems to push it so hard…. too hard, imo.
I completely agree about St. Faustina. All of it just doesn't add up. And the pictures of her always look so smug. I'm sure she thought that was a beatific smile but….
And I too draw the line at the drinking of the pus thing. I was so excited to find the saint for my birthday (March 9) but apparently St. Frances of Rome was also into pus-proving herself. Ugh.
Have you ever had any saints come up in your dreams? I've had several where someone just came up to me and said "St. Elizabeth of the Trinity". Maybe she's trying to tell me something? If I do ever get the chance to message her I'd have to tell her the book I have about her is deadly boring.
Oh well, saints preserve us!
There's a book by that name, Saints Preserve Us! It's a fun book.
Thanks, folks! I will have to put Saints Preserve Us on my list. And yeah, I don't want to dis poor St. Faustina or anything but the tone to me is somehow off…today in the Magnficat reflection she again goes on and on with her over-the-top, can-you-see-how-holy-I-am? petitions…all I could think of was St. T of Lisieux: someone once asked her, "What do you say to Jesus when you pray?" She thought for a minute and said, "I don't say much of anything. I just love him." Oh well, different strokes. As for the pus-proving, right–I totally resonate with St. Francis kissing the leper but that was because he recognized the leper as a brother, and as Christ–he was establishing a relationship…we all want to be embraced, but do we all want someone to drink our pus? It just seems that such an act is all about the pus drinker rather than the sufferer…a kind of spiritual athleticism with bragging rights…that's what turns me off about it…then again, that I should show the slightest kindness to anyone, for whatever reason and under whatever circumstances would be a true miracle!
Good to hear from you all and to know you are with me!
Love this, Heather! Thanks for saying what many of us have thought about, too. You have a knack for putting it out there with a sense of humor. XXOO
Thanks, Mary Beth! Can't wait to see you–SOON!! xx
Me too! Praying for good weather….
This is Heather King at her finest, doing what only she can do. I'm infinitely grateful you exist, Heather K!
Austin, you're the best! So glad the Catholic boys of NO are safely in your care and under your guidance…Happy Eastertide! I just know I will meet Faustina one of these days and she will give me a stern penance…
Thank you, Heather, especially for presenting the two paintings of Jesus. The Divine Mercy Jesus always looks like an illustration for a science fiction novel to me.
Ha I know! Beam me up, Scotty…somehow the whole thing would have more weight if the image were an excellent work of art. Then again, zillions of people, 99% of whom I'm sure are way better people than me, respond to it with love. So–different strokes, and let me continue to take up my place in the back of the church, sighing Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner…
Agreed, agreed, agreed with everything here. Just have to say that I DO like the fact that Catherine of Sienna had the hutzpah to confront the Pope.
Jesus did speak a lot in each of the Gospels, the parables, The Beatitudes, Sermon on the Mount, St John's Gospel on The Bread of Life discourse on the night of the Last Supper. There were many more books written besides the 4 Gospels. Jesus appeared to St Faustina to ask her to write a book about His Divine Mercy to warn the world before His Second Coming. I find her book helpful sometimes as do others. Similar to the book The Imitation of Christ if you refer to it as a guide in real life situations. The saints lived very tough lives and they chose the difficult path which led to eternal life.
Yes, Mary, wonderful that St. Faustina has provided bread for the journey for you and so many others. My point was precisely that there are many rooms in our Father's mansion! Christ in his lavishness has given us a saint for every temperament, sensitivity and personality. Thanks ever so much for your readership and insight.