A saint, for me, is one who grew up with a sturdy belief in God. He/She, as a child, meticulously followed catechetical teachings. As a young adult, he/she exudes potential to preach or to be a missionary. This potential materializes in adulthood and faithfully perseveres until death.
Speaking of death, I have come to acknowledge a common pattern among saints. That is, most die as a penalty for sticking to and sharing their beliefs. To put it succinctly, they suffer horrible and tragic deaths.
Let’s veer away from saints and focus on those two factors which may have contributed to their executions: faithfulness and preaching.
A lot has been said about staying firm on your beliefs despite unanimous opposition. This has been going on for years now and is more magnified in these times. A causal factor that opposes faithfulness is change. Many want to change the teachings rooted in peoples’ Faith. But the truth is, change does not weigh in in one’s relationship with God. If it does, then we would have a God who keeps changing His rule and His mind. A changing God would not really make sense because then, His authority would become shaky. Because of the faithful’s persistence to not give in to change, many turn their backs on God. Others retain their Faith, but with the conditions that they want, which really is not according to God’s will.
It’s more comforting to know that God is firm with His rule. It never changes. And with that, He too, never changes. As a bonus, He keeps waiting for us to submit to Him and be guided to what is best for us.
Change may be good, but not all that is good is right.
I have come to believe that preaching God’s Word has contributed to a lot of the saints’ suffering. I see them going to lands not yet reached by God’s Word and enthusiastically sharing the Good News. However, the people of these lands resist their preaching. Still, they continue their evangelist work, barring humiliation, mockery, and threats. At last, the people of these lands become very displeased that they move for the assassination of these saints.
Such imaginations surface in my mind. Reflecting on these, I have also drawn the idea that this way of treating preachers / ministers / and pastors still exist today. The only difference is that they are not killed for preaching the Word. They are simply laughed at, humiliated, and criticized. Their personal lives are dissected and when “skeletons” are found, these are used against them and their evangelical work. They cite that they should practice what they preach and because they are “holy people”, should also be purely holy themselves.
Many also say that one should keep their spiritual beliefs to themselves. This, unfortunately for them, is not possible. Almost all spiritual beliefs reiterate the importance of “spreading the Word of God” and “sharing the Good News”.
Catechists are generally pacifists and are patient when it comes to sharing God’s Word. Which is why people being preached to should also convey patience, respect, and long-standing tolerance. They are doing their work. At the same time, they will never give up on it, in the same way God will never give up on His people to return into His holy embrace.