When I was a young lad in Catholic monastery boarding schools in Bavaria, Germany, we used to trade saint cards the way American boys trade baseball cards. (I was really into the martyrs. I thought it was sooo cool to be willing to die for what you believe.)
In my teens I got away from all that. I figured that since I couldn’t see any living examples it must all be a hoax.
From my perspective today I can see that my teenage problem was that I hadn’t done the math. The odds of running into a genuine saint by chance are statistically insignificant.
What is a saint?
God is speaking softly now,
spreading wisdom with his word.
In most of us, the noise of thought
keeps his voice from being heard.
Some hear, but merely add his word
to their collection of ideas.
A few might try from time to time
to match their thought and speech to his.
Very few get serious
and sift their thought and speech until
the content of their mouth and heart
is in alignment with his will.
Let me illustrate the odds of meeting someone like this.
My friend Jeff “Sugar” Schacht took up hurdling in high school and, after a season or two, remained undefeated until halfway through college when he made it to the final heat of the Nationals, where he came in sixth. Imagine how far this great champion was from Olympic gold!
(By the way, if you want excellence, never compare yourself to the local crowd. Consider Jesus.)
There are perhaps 4000 Gold medalists walking around the earth today. Unless you are a top athlete yourself, you have probably never met a single one.
Now maybe you’ve never considered being a saint, but maybe you should.
God’s game isn’t like the Olympics. Everyone who seeks, finds; everyone who asks, receives.
His rewards are unimaginable, but very real:
In him you walk with God Most High,
you sense his presence everywhere;
in him, the fire has done its work,
the dross is gone, you cease to care
for anything except the word
that caused creation to appear,
and the holy fragrance that
remains when all things disappear.
— Spirit of Fire IV-38
The price is high — but not impossible:
As soon as you renounce your right
to take offense and criticize
the veil that hides the love of God
vanishes before your eyes.
— Spirit of Fire IV-30b
A real saint, like our Father, spreads unconditional love to everyone, equally, all the time.
Treading lightly on the earth,
clothed in deep humility,
they live their lives surrounded by
the fragrance of infinity.
Meeting a real saint is one of the most helpful things that can happen in your quest for gold in God’s games. If you can get one to coach you, you’ve got it made.
The problem is that the chances of meeting such a one by chance are, if anything, less than the chances of meeting a gold medalist. God almost certainly won’t slip a saint into your destiny without your asking. (Why would he waste his most prized possessions on people who don’t even care enough to ask?) So ask!
And when the saint shows up, don’t be shy. Make sure that he/she knows who you are. Develop a master/apprentice relationship at any cost.
Are you a saint, or have you met a real saint? Tell us about it. Describe yourself/him/her.