At the beginning of our worship on Sunday, we will pray, “Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot, ask.”
As a newly confirmed teacher, I took the task of becoming a “saint” very seriously. I worked hard at trying to become what I imagined God wanted for me. I hope God appreciated the effort, but it was a pretty dismal performance to say the least. After all, who wants to hang out with the priggish or self-righteous?
I was relieved to discover and be set free by the wonderful writings of the Trappist monk, Thomas Merton. Merton reminds us we should not be concerned if we have not yet become a “saint.” Instead he instructs us to allow God to lead us even when we do not understand the path. When we can do this without concern, when we travel “in the dark” in faith, we can forget about the self and cease the torture of constantly comparing ourselves to others.
To walk in faith is the key to the joy and freedom which is the gift of God for each of us.
This joy and freedom liberates us truly be in fellowship with one another. We find
there is no need to compete with others
because we all will have discovered ourselves to be beloved of God.
As “beloved” people, we are enabled to see virtues and goodness in other people to which we had previously been blind.
In the end, sanctity or sainthood is not to be desired so much for our own self, but because personal sanctity is the door to the restoration of creation. We are set free to give God the glory and love one another.
We are traveling in the dark together.
The Rev. Susan N. Eaves