As Catholics, why do we give so much attention to the saints?
I recently came across a brief reflection that appeared in the publication, One Bread, One Body, Volume 24, Issue 6, entitled The Imitation of Christ. The author is very effective in explaining how the saints assist us in our quest to imitate Christ. In fact, it was the following sentence that caught my attention and reminded of something St. Thomas Aquinas said concerning the sacraments.
The author writes, “. . . However, we are human beings, created with human senses, and we relate most readily to other humans. This is why God sent His only Son, Jesus, to take on human flesh (Jn 3:16).
In his treatise on the sacraments, St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that it is because of our human nature that we must be led by things corporeal and sensible to things spiritual and intelligible. (Summa Theologica, Part III, Q.61)
Read the entire reflection below:
“The Imitation of Christ”
Here on earth, we do not see Jesus as He is. "Now we see [Him] indistinctly" (1 Cor 13:12). We get glimpses of Jesus through the splendors of His creation. We can see Him in His eucharistic splendor. However, we are human beings, created with human senses, and we relate most readily to other humans. This is why God sent His only Son, Jesus, to take on human flesh (Jn 3:16).
God is so generous in creating ways for us to relate to Him that He has also created other human beings who point us to Himself. He has sent us saints — holy people who have allowed the light of Christ to shine through their lives so that all may see the goodness in their acts and give praise to God (Mt 5:16). God has given saints for what seems like every imaginable state in life. There are saints for doctors, homemakers, priests, religious sisters, accountants, teachers, lawyers, sinners striving to reform, disciples striving to grow in holiness, etc. Each of these saints is a gift from God sent to help us "see" Jesus in a new and deeper way.
Jesus gave His disciples an example to follow (Jn 13:15; 1 Pt 2:21). In the same way, the saints are examples for us. Heed the call of the saints as they tell us: "Imitate me as I imitate Christ" (1 Cor 11:1).
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