Sainthood (which is Catholicism in the ultimate degree) is cool because it starts at absolute zero. Let me explain.
Pre-Saints live in a world of feelings, sensations and ideas that are produced by their external environment, their upbringing, their experiences and their internal constitution.
With so many variables, it is no surprise how individual every one is. It is also no surprise how they are all so prone to ignorance, misinformation, neurosis and even psychosis
How can one unite so many unique individuals, both living and dead, and also those yet to be? How can one unite all those with all the creatures of the universe and with all of the Heavenly Host?
Well, this is my suggestion: Take everything and everyone down to absolute zero. Rid oneself of possessions, relations, activities (except breathing!), and even one’s precious ego-will-identity. This is not easy by any means and will require help from Above for success. Without Divine Grace, such an endeavour can lead to madness or worse. Heaven cannot be taken by violence!
All that will be left is one’s “being”, and in that supposedly bleak spot one will make a marvellous discovery: one’s puny naked being is purely contingent on the greater, nay, infinite Being who is full of Joy and Life and Truth, and who shows the Way for people to attain this Blissful state in saecula saeculorum.
That Being is Christ, the great I AM whose name was given to Moses, so, so long ago.
Catholicism is the distilled and formalised system and community, open to all, which shows the way to Communion with God in Heaven. Its imperfect human members hinder its purpose, but cannot ultimately stop it from reaching fruition.
“Take everything and everyone down to absolute zero. Rid oneself of possessions, relations, activities (except breathing!), and even one’s precious ego-will-identity. “
Well, Burro, if you take what you have written above at face value, you must divest yourself of (1) your noble profession, (2) your loving family, (3) your faithful attendance at Mass, and – most importantly – (4) your trusty computer.
So that will be the end of you on CP&S.
Which will be sad for us. And uncool.
(And if you get rid of your precious identity nobody will know who you are. And Toad won’t know who it is that’s pointing out his numerous shortcomings.)
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Toad, may I introduce you Miss Symbolic Metaphor? She tries to catch your eye and she’s hurt by your absolute ignorance of her beauty even though you see her practically every day.
oops. “Sym”, as I’ve known her since we were first introduced in elementary school, reminds me that she is now married, which is why you’ve probably no interest in her. She is now known as Mrs Literary Licence.
As you say, JH – one man’s Symbolic Metaphor is another man’s Literary License. So that’s that.