I’ve been reading a book by Jim Martin, SJ, called My Life with the Saints (Loyola Press, 2006). Growing up I always thought of the saints as superhuman (not unlike Wonder Woman or Superman) … people with an extra dose of holiness who were able to do amazing things. I never really thought of them as ordinary people. Over the years I learned otherwise and have come to appreciate the saints for who they really are.
I love the Thomas Merton quote that Jim Martin uses to open his book: “For me to be a saint means to be myself.” (Would that it was always easy to be ourselves!) The saints are people who are truly themselves, the people God created them to be … with all their craziness, holiness, foibles, and insights. Saints are truly people whom we can relate to, not ones who are so superhuman that they don’t really relate to our own lives. That’s why I like My Life with the Saints. Martin presents the saints as our companions on life’s journey. We can look to them for inspiration, encouragement or even a good laugh.
As I’ve been reading this book, I’m reminded again how we encounter God in the most ordinary ways in our lives (e.g., a sock drawer … you’ll just have to read the book to see what I mean!). Just as the saints opened themselves to experience God in all things, we too are called to that same kind of openness and willingness to meet God.
Click here to read more about My Life with the Saints as well as other stuff by or about Jim Martin.
And for even more Jim Martin, check out his appearance on In Good Faith -- or this episode of Ask Sister, where he talks more about the saints.