Intimidated by the lives of the saints


#1

I have started reading the diary of Saint Faustina, and I am overwhelmed by how different her faith life is from mine or anybody else I know. She had Christ appear and talk to her on a regular basis, and had intense spiritual highs from this relationship. She also had such intense suffering, both physical and spiritual.

On one hand, I realize that most of us don’t have the graces that St. Faustina received. On the other hand, my faith life is so different from hers and many other saints that I wonder if I am missing the mark. What worries be the most is that although I have some minor sufferings in my life, I don’t have anything that even begins to be like what they talk about in their autobiographies.

I always worry that I have some spiritual blindspot, and won’t figure this out until my particular judgement. I have full faith that Christ is merciful, but I want to walk in His was as best I can.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.:blush:


#2

Your post touched me. I have lived an extraordinary blessed life, perfect marriage, four wonderful children loved and adored by my wife and I and who in turn loved and adored us, great jobs, fairly affluent lifestyle, lovely house, happy family, blah, blah, blah…I used to pray the Hail Holy Queen not really identifying with “mourning and weeping in this veil of tears”…Then one rainy evening at the end of July my daughter of 71/2 was killed in a car crash…Now I know!! The Lord handed me a heavy cross, and I will bear it for love of Him. Thing is you have to count your blessings, you don’t know what’s around the corner and He has a plan for each one of us. Live in the now and thank Him for everything.

There a loads of Saints, they are inspirational because we can identify with them or because we can’t imagine the sacrifices they have made or the crosses they have carried. Your journey is your own, it is unique and no one else’s; so live every moment in praise and thanksgiving and realise that we cling to Him by our fingernails (Tabin Adonai, cf. Proverbs 1:7). You only get one shot so make it the best that you can!

God bless!


#3

Good post, FF :).

All of what we experience in life comes to us through either Christ’s permissive or His effective will. His effective will is when He does something Himself. His permissive will is when He allows us, or the demons, to do things that He doesn’t personally want but which He allows for His own reasons . . . to respect our free will, possibly to help us suffer for our mistakes so we’ll get over ourselves, or any number of other things.

St. Paul writes that God disciplines those He loves. For the purification of our souls, we must and will experience pain. It will happen. But He also knows how much we can bear and He won’t test us beyond what we can bear. He knows when to give us trials and when not to – but if we ignore Him when the times are good, we won’t stand with Him when the times are bad.

All things we experience in life come in one way or another from the hand of God. Either directly or indirectly (permissively). This fact calls us to humility, to accept all our circumstances as from God, thankfully if we can, but if we can’t and feel we must protest, we should at least maintain submissive acceptance even while we protest.

We can still pray to God to change our circumstances, unleashing His effective will in our lives to change our circumstances when we are miserable. But it’s important to always understand that His will is in control of what we experience in life, so if we’re experiencing horrible things, we still should try to humble ourselves before God and love Him in spite of everything.

[quote=Romans 8:28]And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
[/quote]

Now as to your own personal situation, you are complaining of the REVERSE problem from what most people complain about. Most people complain that they are experiencing too MUCH suffering, not too LITTLE.

I advise praying for the grace to thank God for all you experience, whether good things or bad, and to humbly accept everything in Christ.

You are going to suffer in life, in due course. When that happens, you will endure the Cross of Christ. Don’t worry about whether the cross comes to you soon or late. It will eventually come; everyone suffers in life. Also, striving to purify your soul from sin and fighting sin involves self-sacrifice, which can hurt. It can mean allowing family members or colleagues to triumph over you in arguments even when they’re in the wrong because this can better open the ways of peace. Or putting out of your life occasions to sin, temptations and such that you might really really enjoy. It can involve unpleasant soul-searching to be freed from sins, and that can definitely hurt, especially when you take the appropriate action afterward. Praying for freedom from sin is a good way to begin spiritual suffering for God. It is very valuable.

Also, the more we submissively accept suffering in small things, the easier it is to accept suffering in big things when it comes. Therefore practicing humility while the going is easy is excellent training for our future trials.

Larger sufferings come in time. We should pray to be spiritually ready for them when they come, and in the meantime, we would do well to train ourselves in the love of God and our neighbor, and especially in humility and faith, which are bulwarks against the enemy in the time of trial. We should especially pray for these, all the while seeking to manifest them in our own lives whenever we can.

Anyway, God bless you! :thumbsup: :slight_smile:

Man, I didn’t mean to make this post sound so depressing . . . The whole point I was trying to make when I started writing is that you should accept your current pleasant circumstances as God’s will, because He is in control and He wills you to be experiencing this right now. But the rest of what I said, about spiritual training, is I think very important.


#4

One of my favorite books:

Ordinary Suffering of Extraordinary Saints by Vincent J. O’Malley, CM. Some of the “sufferings” listed are: old age, gambling, alcoholism, abortion, unemployment, disappointment, cohabitation, divorce, lack of self confidence, misunderstandings, discrimination, and learning problems. Do any of those “sufferings” ring a bell?

Was a very helpful book to put Saints in perspective.


#5

Wow, I think your post is the best I have read; it’s not depressing at all. It is extremely helpful to me as a widow. Thank you so much! :thumbsup:


#6

I feel this way too sometimes. My life is going great right now and I don’t understand why, because I don’t deserve it! I think we just have to accept whatever God sends our way, whether that’s worldly blessings or the graces of suffering.

I read a quote from St. John Vianney that went something like, “If recovery from your sufferings will aid your spiritual welfare, then God will make you better. But if He knows that your sufferings will help you grow spiritually, then you will continue to suffer.”

Make use of the good times in your life to strengthen certain aspects of your relationship with God, like gratitude, humility, and stewardship. Practice self-imposed sacrifices to strengthen for the sacrifices that God may send in the future!


#7

Have you ever read St Thereses Story of a Soul? If not I recommend it as I found it a lot easier to take than Faustinas diary.


#8

I think the Saints are all very different. It’s not having visions, etc, that makes someone a Saint… it’s heroic virtue and love of God. St Faustina did not become a Saint because of her spiritual experiences, they were given to her so that she could share the message of God’s mercy in the world. If you will become a Saint, you will be a totally unique Saint :wink: everyone has a different purpose… try to not compare yourself with anyone or think that this is how it ‘should’ be. For example, St Therese, didn’t really have any visions and lived a very simple life… maybe you would enjoy “Story of a Soul” :slight_smile: remember St Faustina received these experiences to fulfill her particular mission, but it is not what makes her a Saint.

God bless


#9

With no intention to be perceived as giving a negative view and with the greatest of respect. The only assertion that I can add for now is that I should think ALL Catholics should feel intimidated in immolating the life of the saints and (“in a spiritual challenging way”) when embracing our soul journey towards God. It’s not easy to follow the narrow road which incorporates suffering, mortification of all desires of the flesh, and all mindful attachments to this world. There is “no” turning back when one decidedly turns their life over to God.


#10

I think you need to meet St. Therese. She is a very relate-able saint. Her teaching, called The Little Way, is a way to honor Jesus and show your love for Him with every little thing you do. We are not all called to be great visionaries like St. Faustina or suffer like a martyr. But we are all called to do what we CAN. that’s all God asks of us.

Please check out St. Therese. She is a wonderful woman, and I can tell you from personal experience she does really, really, really good things for people who pray to her.

-Jeanne


#11

[quote="Tom_in_WNY, post:1, topic:176313"]
I have started reading the diary of Saint Faustina, and I am overwhelmed by how different her faith life is from mine or anybody else I know. She had Christ appear and talk to her on a regular basis, and had intense spiritual highs from this relationship. She also had such intense suffering, both physical and spiritual.

On one hand, I realize that most of us don't have the graces that St. Faustina received. On the other hand, my faith life is so different from hers and many other saints that I wonder if I am missing the mark. What worries be the most is that although I have some minor sufferings in my life, I don't have anything that even begins to be like what they talk about in their autobiographies.

I always worry that I have some spiritual blindspot, and won't figure this out until my particular judgement. I have full faith that Christ is merciful, but I want to walk in His was as best I can.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.:blush:

[/quote]

the saint had such faith lives becuse they led lives of prayer. visions are not needed to have a lively faith journey or to become holy. The more you pray the more you will come to know God. That is the "key" to the holiness of the saints is the sacraments and prayer prayer and more prayer and when you feel you can not pray any more pick up a bible and start reading then pray some more that is it nothing more you need to do to recive the grace of god.


#12

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