Saints Of The Church Essay, Research Paper
Response Essay – The Saints of the Church
They have lived as hermits in the desert, denied themselves of food and sleep, and battled devils and demons. Others have experienced the stigmata, levitated, or even in one specific case, have flown. Some of these individuals were born into very wealthy families, while others were born into poor and modest homes. They have achieved all of this through the grace of God. So who are these individuals? They are the saints of the Catholic Church. They are the men and women who laid the foundation of stewardship and insight for the church to come.
I have learned a great deal about the Saints of the Catholic Church. Coming from a Protestant background, I knew very little about any of these individuals, nor did I ever really care about their missions or what they endured. This class has given me incredible insight to the lives of these astonishing individuals. For example, I learned that St. Anthony never took a bath. St. Francis of Assisi talked to animals and is believed to be the first person to experience the stigmata. St. Joseph of Cupertino is believed to have been able to fly.
There were two saints that struck me as being rather odd. The first of these is Simon Stylites. He lived and preached from a 60-foot pillar for 40 years. As a result, his skin was exposed to all types of weather. He developed sores in which flies would lay their eggs and thus he developed maggots. When these maggots would fall out, he would instruct someone to place them back within his sores. He would die on this pillar at the age of 69. Simon Stylites provides inspiration and devotion to my very own life. I will probably never live on a pillar or develop maggots within my sores, but by following his example, I may be taught how to persevere. The second of these saints that stuck me as being rather odd is Catherine of Sienna. She began having visions at age 6 and slept on a board, while using a stone for a pillow. She even wore a belt of nails. If this weren’t enough, she would spank herself every hour. Catherine of Sienna was a mystic, who said that she was married to Christ. This example provides valuable insight to my very own life. Hypothetically, I am married to work, school, money, and success. However, God is missing. In order to grow as a Christian, I must dedicate myself to Christ and not to the world. I must make Christ the center of my life just as Catherine did.
St. Augustine challenges me to live a better life. My body and soul seem as if they are in constant conflict. St. Augustine represents all of us. He provides hope for the sinner. I am constantly in a moral dilemma over the love of God verses the love of worldly pleasures. However, Augustine was able to overcome these faults and seek repentance. He gave up nearly every earthly love. As a result, he challenges me to live a better life. I must focus on my love for God rather than my love for the world.
In conclusion, these saints provide great insight into my very own life. They allow me to better understand what God has in store for me and allow me to strive for spiritual perfection. I have learned a great deal about these saints. They come from many times, locations and backgrounds. They help to provide me religious proof that God is present in the world!