Hidden Saints

Why must we look out for saints?  It’s because if we spot them we can expect unexpected blessings.  Where do we find them?  They are everywhere and we meet them while walking in the woods, shopping, in organizations, at churches, or when we just hop into a McDonald’s or Hardee’s to buy a cup of coffee.  But how do you know they are saints?  Some are unable to recognize them because they appear as all sorts of people with different vocations.  For one, when they greet you, you may be tempted to ignore them because they look ordinary.

Sometimes they strike up a conversation, and you may not even realize there was anything particularly striking, or unusual about them.  This saint might focus on some problem you’re concerned about that you wish would go away.  Then here comes this man or woman and as they spoke with you, they reveal the same problem troubling you.

It could be whether you must quit your job for other work, having financial problems, or struggling with a sick child at home.  What can you do?  You might have relocated to a new town, and are looking for an apartment.  Then again, it might be you simply wish to know the quickest way to your son’s soccer game.  This saint unexpectedly provides the answer you have never imagined.  You didn’t realize it, but in hindsight you’re sure the person with whom you were chatting, provided an answer that literally saved your life.  An American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan (b. 1941) in his lyrics “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” sang about an orphan with his gun crying like a fire in the sun:

Lookout, the saints are coming through

And it’s all over baby blue…

Unlike the lines of these lyrics it is never over, for saints are blessed with an eternal future.  Everywhere they pop up unexpectedly appearing in places and situations where you least expect to see them.  During these times they are working with, and for us, helping solve problems, and shedding light on new ones.

Unexpected Saints

Some saints are considered hidden. On Vatican Radio on December 4th, 2014, Pope Francis (b. 1936) at morning mass at Santa Marta recalled his experiences with them, “There are many hidden saints, men, women, fathers and mothers of families, sick people, priests who every day put into practice the love of Jesus; and this give us hope.”

By simply giving a cup of water to a thirty beggar a saint will be of help, and important gift is feeding the starving in the midst of devastating earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and drought.  You see them building homes for the homeless, and digging wells in impoverished regions, to bring fresh water and relief to villagers.  While working in hospitals, medical centers, and soup kitchens some still go unrecognized.

Throes of Life

In the throes of life saints appear in places where there are severe pangs, pains and suffering.  During extreme difficulties and troubles, they slave away with and for us.  It might be an era of great revolutions, or social change in nations, but they are with the down-trodden.  In these agonizing crises they silently nurse wounds, and care for the sick, and dying.

Pop groups have sprung up capturing these dark moments of life.  Throes of Perdition lyrics by TRIVIUM use images of being blind-folded, gagged, firing squads, vultures and hyenas to promote themselves.  Throes of Dawn – a band formed in 1994, is a dark metal band from Finland that provides music that pushes the fear of pain in human existence.  Their fare is emotional, dark and progressive music with growling, screaming and bittersweet experiences.  An English rock band Pink Floyd founded in 1979, inducted in the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 1996, in “One Of My Turns” – The Wall Lyrics sang, “This is just a passing phase”:

One of my bad days.

Would you want to watch T.V.?

Or get between the sheets?”

Although saints work around the world there are social deficiencies crying out for help.  We find evidence of these problems in our pop culture.  But regardless how bleak these situations are, the meek, hard-working and hidden saints make a difference impacting communities for the better.

 

Our Life’s Predicament

Since the fall of Adam and Eve human beings have faced quite a predicament, but Christ’s dying on the cross at Calvary has saved us.  The problem with our first parents’ downfall led to the fall of humanity.  Moral evil (sin) has entered the world and we live in a state of alienation from God.  This was because of the betrayal of trust in the Garden of Eden.  With this betrayal many humans now have toxic and malignant personal power.  The core of sin is unbelief and hardness of heart that have cast blights over the world.  People have made bad choices, but God wants us to look to him, and reverse our direction.  Franz Wright (b. 1953), a poet said, “I am in no way different from anyone else, that my predicament, my sense of aloneness or isolation may be precisely what unites me with everyone else.”  Wright has succinctly reflected on the plight that everyone has found themselves in.

State of Enmity

 Lots of repercussions followed mankind’s fall, but people persist in living sinful lives.  There’s a lack of reconciliation with God.  People worship profit, and consumption that have become false idols in their lives.  With the propensity to sin they are afflicted with a bad spiritual infection.  Sins lurk in their beings.   People practice self-elevation and aggrandizement.  Now they are struck with physical evils of all sorts.  With these misplaced allegiances they have become willing accomplices in evil schemes.  Many are now notable sinners in this world.  Thomas Sydenham (1624–1689), an English author and physician wrote, “Lastly, he must remember that he himself hath no exemption from the common lot, but he is bound by the same laws of mortality, and liable to the same ailments and afflictions with his fellows.”  With the fall of the first man and woman sin has enveloped us in profound ways.  The only way to counter such evils is to turn to Jesus Christ for forgiveness.

Alienation

Presently many people are living with souls weighed down and tormented.  These people have cursed and corrupted souls.  But by pursuing evil ways they can be lost forever.  It’s only through salvation that people’s souls are saved.  Souls separated from God are in an ongoing state of enmity with him.  These are the ones that have fallen short of the glory of God, who refuse to repent because of pride.  The Bible teaches that “… the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23).  This is the gift people ought to pursue.  Eugene Ionesco (1909–1994), a Romanian playwright said, “There is no religion in which everyday life is not considered a prison; there is no philosophy or ideology that does not think that we live in alienation.”  The consequences of living in alienation are devastating for people living in a corrupt world.

Broken Relationships

It’s for people to correct their ruptured relationships by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior – for he’s our new Adam.  He alone can expiate our guilt, heal our souls, change our distorted lives, and revive us.  Only he can do away with people’s corrupt nature, and save us from eternal punishment.  Evil has led to moral and spiritual bondage.  It’s Christ, who can wipe away negative, and defeated thinking.  Chuck Palahniuk (b. 1962), a novelist and freelance journalist said, “Find joy in everything you choose to do.  Every job, relationship, home … it’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.”  Palahniuk agreed the way people must go about changing their relationships is to embrace a new attitude of love when pursuing peace and justice.

To Be Truly Rich

Are you rich in the things of this world?  Do these riches satisfy your soul?  If the answer is “no,” take a glimpse at what it is to have the right kind of riches.

There are people in this world who have more than enough material possessions.  They boast about their money, property and wealth.  They take extravagant vacations, stay at luxurious hotels, but are they satisfied?  Some may possess fine paintings and sculptures by renowned artists, and display for public viewing these works.  But these masterpieces don’t necessarily bring them satisfaction.  These wealthy people are owners of elaborate yachts, live in mansions, drive state-of-the-art cars, and have many admirers, but they may still be dissatisfied.  What if they have good-natured friends with fine qualities, but their lives don’t seem right to them.  In drinking the finest wines, these folks are able to attend the best concerts, and enjoy enthralling music. And being dressed in stunning evening attire, and flowing gowns, still something seems missing. Their fragrance is that of expensive perfumes, and driven by their chauffeurs they grace elaborate parties, but they may still feel out of place.

These individuals are enjoying some of the best things the world has to offer.  Their friends are elegant, with a quick wit, and sense of humor, but what isn’t amusing is that they may come away from these special functions feeling life is meaningless.  They ask themselves, “Who am I?  What am I doing?  What am I trying to prove?  Where do I go from here?”

Finding Answers

It might be that they have to downsize to start enjoying the simple things they were overlooking. More realistically they ought to give their lives to Jesus Christ.  Pick up their crosses and follow him and watch all aspects of their lives fall into place.  It might not be the best thing to be rich, but ironically there’s much more to gain when people live modestly.  This is after people realize what’s important in their lives.

Such individuals must have an eye on the prize for eternal blessings.  It’s believed that the faithful if they have Christ have found everything necessary for their journey.  Is wealth able to buy health, satisfaction, happiness, joy, and peace of mind?  Over and over people read Scripture warning them about being rich. So people have to be careful about having earthly possessions, especially if they become their gods.  Instead, put your hopes on God’s Heavenly Kingdom and his divine gifts.  That’s where their future lies.

True Happiness

True happiness brings peace of mind.  How can people have peace of mind?  By serving the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and being lights to others.  It’s true people must enjoy the basic necessities, and have enough money for food, clothing and shelter.  But these gifts they must share with the poor and destitute.  Living just for oneself is a dangerous proposition.  Some people have regretted not living godly lives.  An English Archbishop during the reign of Henry VⅢ bemoaned the fact that if he had served God as faithfully as he had served his King, God wouldn’t have forgiven him in his old age.  It was during the 16th century Cardinal Wolsey, who was stricken with a broken heart was executed by his King.