The Last Word
“Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow his steps” (I Peter 2:21).
Saints stand out from the crowd. They far surpass normal Christians in the spiritual life. What distinguishes them from the common faithful is their rejection of worldly allurements and their loving, supernatural relations with God and their fellow men.
As we venerate and admire the saints for their Christian excellence, for their special talents, and sometimes for their extraordinary miracles, we should also see in their lives an exemplar which we, to a certain degree, can imitate and follow.
If our veneration of saints does not lead us to imitate their outstanding virtues, then it is empty, vain, and delusory. We may remain indifferent while watching a nice piece of theatre. But if we remain unmoved and uninspired when considering the life of a great saint, something is wrong.
The message the saints announce is: “What I did, you too can do! How I acted, you too can act!” Their example shows us what is normal, even expected, in the plan of God and under the influence of His grace.
We are very much mistaken if we think that saintly virtue is inaccessible, impossible for us. What seems to be extraordinary—the life of a saint filled with divine graces—is in fact normal. What we see in everyday life and under the reign of original sin and all its consequences is instead disordered!
The present issue of The Angelus, dedicated to our patron St. Pius X, is much more than gratuitous reading material. It provides us with a plan, and it points out the way of sanctity, a way which we should all strive to follow by following in the footsteps of our great patron.
Father Jürgen Wegner