Saints: On Being Alive

There’s something prototypical of the saints. That we call them saints and yet recognize that we are all saints, speaks to this reality.

As I look at saints like Hildegard von Bingen and others I would consider patrons/matrons of mine: Gerard Manley Hopkins, Martin, San Isadore, Julian of Norwich–I am in awe of their capacity to surrender to living life fully. Through ecstatic visions, music, art, poetry, plowing, praying, protesting, and preaching, these people offer authentic lives as an offering to God and the world. Through the offerings of their lives we can imagine what being fully alive really looks like.

It seems a costly and uncertain thing. And perhaps this is why there are so few saints in the grand scheme of things. It seems to take a certain reckless abandonment to life, to God, to serving others, in order to live like the saints.

Some days I feel a spark of that audacity in me; some stretch toward that kind of being alive. I’ve certainly taken risks that are beyond anything I could have imagined and I’ve become more present to myself than I casually would have wanted. But I have felt drawn, by the Spirit of God, by the communion of all the saints, by my own desire, to lean toward life. I cannot explain it. I cannot stop trying to explain it.

Here, I try to explain it again:


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