Days of Mid-Autumn Part I: Recognition: In Praise of Beatification

As All Saint’s Day comes to a close, it may be of some benefit for us to recognize the best among us.

If you want to become a saint in the Catholic church, this is what you have to do. First, you must be dead. Then, a powerful bishop who is still alive, has to think you were good enough to investigate you so that you might become a “Servant of God.” Then they need to check out your body and make sure nobody has been worshiping it. Then they decide if you are heroic, or “venerable.” Then (if you pass the tests or whatever), you become Blessed, also known as “beatification.” This actually gets you a feast day, which is kind of cool. I wouldn’t mind having a feast day. If you get this far, and someone can come up with three miracles attributable to you (if you’re still alive, you can always get working on this part now to get ahead of the game), they can make you a saint.

Then, if you pass the tests or whatever, you become Blessed.

So naturally, this is not the type of saint I am talking about tonight, at least not exclusively. One does not need to believe in the Catechism to recognize the existence of saints, just as one need not follow the Q’uran or the Old Testament to recognize the existence of prophets. Let us define the saint, tonight, the beatified, as that person who seems to have more light around them and within them than the average person–and who uses this additional light (or, perhaps, additional access to light) for the benefit of others, and the world.

The saints are those who share hidden knowledge, who reveal a higher path, whose actions result in greater peace, justice, and comfort wherever they go.

The saints are those who share hidden knowledge, who reveal a higher path, whose actions result in greater peace, justice, and comfort wherever they go and whatever they touch. We’re not all going to agree on who the saints are. Yours are going to be different from mine. But let us agree, on this generally forsaken holiday, that they do exist, and they exist for the benefit of us all.

The saints are not just the famous ones, the mighty and the martyred, but people you know. People you work with or live with. Maybe only people that you see from time to time. But they are doing the difficult things, the sacrificial things, that you may not have the strength to do. Or maybe they simply blaze around leaving a pleasant afterglow in their wake. Whatever their form, you know who I am talking about.

Recognize these people, dead or alive. Light a candle or some incense, bang a drum, do some simple but mindful action in conscious recognition of these people, reflect a moment on what they bring and have brought to this world, and think for maybe a sliver of a moment about what is within your power to be more like those you admire.

When you’re done, comment with who you believe the top saints (or prophets) to be.

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