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.
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.