Friday, January 15, 2016

The Saints and the Successful

The cult of saints excludes the cult of success--the veneration of those people who have got on well in this world, the snobbish admiration of wealth and fame. This does not mean that a person who apparently has succeeded in the world and has led a happy life is necessarily a bad Christian who must be prepared for a painful settlement with his God and Judge when he comes to die. But it does mean that the religious business instinct which has caused people to imagine that the material welfare of individuals or nations is a sign of God's special favor, or to see in disasters and defeats a punishment from God--that this is opposed by the Church in her veneration of saints.

Sigrid Undset, Stages on the Road, Chater, tr., Christian Classics (Notre Dame, Indiana: 2012) p. xii.

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