Is it wrong to be attracted to a Saint? Not in an impure way. But still…?
I am sorry if this question was offensive to anybody, including the Lord. It did not need to be asked. Please forgive me.
Why in heaven would that be wrong?
I always felt an intense love for our Heavenly Mother, and for a while this worried me greatly, until I realized that it is most natural to experience love towards such beautiful purity…towards the fullness of grace…it is God’s pure reflection that which so intensely attracts us, which is why Mary truly leads us to God: she reflects Him more than any other creature!
While male saints always reflect the Lord in very special ways, female saints always reflect the Blessed Virgin in very special ways. Attraction towards a saint means that you are seeing God’s beauty shining through him or her, and there is nothing wrong, especially if you immediately know that there is no sinfulness in your attraction.
If you read a bit about blessed John Paul II Theology of the Body, you’ll realize that the same can be stated for attraction between ourselves, poor sinners. Because we are made in the image and likeness of God, and once God made us, He saw what He had done and He said that it was very good. Attraction is a gift from God insofar as it makes us want to love back, to give ourselves to the loved one (and the saints want us to give ourselves fully to God as they did). The sin comes into play when we want to take for ourselves…to possess…
If we can fall in love with God without seeing Him, if we can fall in love with God though He may be veiled by the Host, how much more we may fall in love with God through the saints that so wonderfully reflect Him?
Thank you for asking, Dan. Your question will be very edifying to many others, beginning with myself.
O.k. Thanks for the reassuring, informative reply!
People have instincts, apparently evolved, of attraction to others for all sorts of reasons. we are attracted to those who parent, and to those who lead, and to those who offer sex. I guess there are not many saints in the last-mentioned category, but it makes sense that in thinking about saints (praying) you would create an image of a person who was attractive for another reason other than sexual attraction. We often call this charisma, and there are lots of people, saintly and not, who have this quality. You can certainly identify it, or input it, to a saint. In fact I think it likely (but as far as I know unproven) that many who are identified as saints are in fact possessors of charisma in an unusual degree, and that this allows them to exercise a greater influence than others.
I think its pretty common…
I am sorry, but we are a step above animals in that we don’t live of instincts, but of rationality. If someone is attracted to fasting, that is certainly not an instinct. Nor is a vocation to chastity or celibacy.
Ultimately there is only one thing that attracts us, which we see reflected in each of us, but in different ways.
As for the “charisma” that you speak about, you are not far from the truth in that the Greek word meaning “gift of grace” is considered in Theology a divine gift. The secular world has developed the concept of “charismatic authority”, and the first one to define it was Max Weber, who defined charisma as
A certain quality of an individual personality, by virtue of which he is set apart from ordinary men …] These are such as are not accessible to the ordinary person, but are regarded as of divine origin or as exemplary
Unfortunately in this world we often confuse charisma (which is saintly and is a sign of virtuosity) with charm…the latter tends to arise in us from our disordered and selfish desires. Ex. someone powerful, rich, or sexually appealing triggers our disordered desire to posses that power/richness or to use that person as a means for our pleasure, thus we will be attracted by them not because they are charismatic, but because we are vain.
“if another comes in his own name, you will accept him”