Last week the canonisation of Mother Teresa was all over the news. It had been a long time coming, but faith is not easily proven in the eyes of the all-powerful Catholic Church. Years of deliberation were involved, however, Mother T. really didn't have to wait for all the cardinals and Popes 'umming' and 'ahhing' over whether or not to give her the honoured title of saint, if she had faith she should have well-known that her honour was in heaven and not given out by mere men.
The major problem is Catholicism's confusion about the term 'saint' given in Scripture. 'Saint' is also used of people of God in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. It is of those who have attained righteousness by faith alone as it explains in the book of Hebrews, not by those who have ticked the boxes required by Catholic tradition.
I achieved sainthood not after death but sometime in April or May of 2004. My memory might be a little fuzzy of the exact date but not of the moment I first felt the Holy Spirit and the gracious pain of true repentance. The moment I knew of my salvation and the moment I could sing 'When the Saints Go Marching In' and be confident that I was going to be in that number.
The crown is waiting
"You so beautiful" my four-year old daughter told me this morning; bed-head, morning-breath, baby-weight and all. "You like a princess, and I like a princess too." It's a beautiful reminder.
Yes, I am like a princess in the coming kingdom. He never ceases to remind me of the crown waiting for me. Not because of anything I've done but because of who He made me to be: created in His image, heir to a promise.
Sometimes I feel like a suckiest of all saints. Maybe I'm not that absolute worst, but surely I'm down on that bottom rung. I've struggled with addictions and sexual sins even after tasting His mercy and grace, and then there's my major folly: sheer laziness.
Holier because He says so!
Then, whenever I'm living up to my sainthood I tend to get accused of being 'holier-than-thou'. After that I usually shrink back again instead of standing boldly. "I'm a saint, I should be holier-than-thou!" is what I should say. Of course it's not very polite to flat out declare yourself to be holier than anybody else, but if it's not true of saints (those according to the word of God) then how can it be true of?
Maybe 'holier-than-thou' should be a compliment instead of an insult to those true saints who cop the slight from friends and family. "Let another praise you and not your own lips" says the book of Proverbs. We should live up to our sainthood while we have the opportunity to—even if it makes others uncomfortable with us.
My sainthood is His mercy
In the Pope's eyes I am no saint. But respectfully, the Pope can suck it. My salvation is dependent on the mercy of Jesus alone and my relationship with Him. Not of anything that I have done, or the Pope has done, or Mother Teresa has done.
Jesus alone declares me a saint and through Jesus alone any sort of sainthood for any one of us lowly sinners is possible.
Bridget Brenton is a writer of visual novels. Her latest game can be downloaded at the Google Play store at: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=pt.caseone
Bridget Brenton's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/bridget-brenton.html