Finding inspiration in the Saints can be great, but it can be a real downer.
For a long time I was turned off to the Saints, mainly because people kept comparing me to people I knew I had nothing in common with.
Example: Persons with disabilities are not always frail and plagued with poor health (as so many of the Saints were, for some reason) so in that context its apples and oranges.
And lest we forget the seemingly endless questions about whether I’ve been to Lourdes and do I ever plan on going to receive healing.
(No & HELL NO, in case you were wondering)
I’m not saying that it’s impossible for people to find inspiration from the saints. If I said that I’d be pretty naïve. What I am saying is that people tend to think others look to the Saints more than they actually do, in my opinion. Or for different reasons than others may think.
One of the biggest issues I have with “Saintly comparisons” is during hospital stays and/or bouts of extreme pain. I understand the need for comfort but you need to look at it from another angle, when you’re that miserable being compared to other people doesn’t help matters. It makes you feel like you’re not being a good person just because you’re not handling your hardships as well as someone else.
Comparisons like that don’t really validate a person’s situation in the moment, which means so much more.
Can it help some people? Yes. But from my experience those instances are few and far between.
Plus you’re talking to a person who is alive (and possibly wishing they were dead) telling them about someone who died probably hundreds of years ago; two completely different contexts that you’re trying to compare in an effort to inspire.
It doesn’t work more often than it does work.
Where am I going with this potentially senseless rambling? It’s OK to find inspiration in the Saints; in fact I’d encourage it, for you. But tread lightly when it comes to finding saintly inspiration for others.