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Author Topic: Is becoming a Saint in the world nearly impossible?  (Read 5273 times) Average Rating: 0
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88Devin12
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« on: April 11, 2010, 08:04:07 PM »

after reflecting on the recent thread about Fr. Alexander Schmemann and Fr. Seraphim Rose, I began wondering if it is near impossible to become a Saint apart from monasticism. It seems to me that 90% or more of our Saints were all monastics, or celibate Priests. What does this say about those of us who want to live married lives and have children? Does this doom us to mediocrity? Are we never to reach the status of Saints unless we exhibit "miracles" like floating, healing etc...?

Yes I know that a Saint recognized in the Church is not the only "saint" in heaven. Yet they are our examples to follow, yet the examples of many monastic Saints are impossible to follow unless we become monastics ourselves. I know there are a few married Saints, but why aren't there more?
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2010, 09:06:03 PM »

This is one of Roman Catholicism's biggest criticisms of the Orthodox Church: that we have such a narrow ideal in our saints. They tend to canonize people of all stripes.
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2010, 10:21:21 PM »

Yes I know that a Saint recognized in the Church is not the only "saint" in heaven. Yet they are our examples to follow, yet the examples of many monastic Saints are impossible to follow unless we become monastics ourselves. I know there are a few married Saints, but why aren't there more?

Monasticism is a replacement for martyrdom, as it is dying to the world. Just as nearly all of the earliest saints were martyrs, so most saints after the end of the initial Roman persecution have been monastics. No surprise, really.
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2010, 10:31:41 PM »

Then who are the examples we are to follow? I know the Saints, even the monastics are our examples, but we cannot be monastics if we want to be married and live amongst the world.
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2010, 10:51:26 PM »

Then who are the examples we are to follow? I know the Saints, even the monastics are our examples, but we cannot be monastics if we want to be married and live amongst the world.

What exactly is the essence of monasticism? 
Prayer?  You can do this, and do so abundantly, in the world.
Hard work?  You have to do this, and do so abundantly, in the world.
Fidelity and obedience?  To those with families, this is paramount, and the cornerstone of a happy and blessed household.  Fidelity and obedience to the spouse, the household, the children, the parents, to working and loving.
Worship?  The tie that binds the monk to the other monks, which is also the tie that binds one family to another.
Self-sacrifice?  The daily exercise of the monk is also the daily routine of the mother and father, and of each child as they progress in maturity.
Renouncing the world?  This is the only area where things are different: the monk renounces the world and separates from it; the family can renounce what the world teaches while sanctifying the world with their active presence in the midst.

To those who should be monks, marriage and family are (nearly) impossible tasks; to those who should be married, monasticism is an (nearly) impossible task.  But those who follow the calling of the Lord and pour their energy, love, dedication, and indeed their entire selves into His work, they find fulfillment and sanctification from Him.

As to why we may not have many Saints - for those of us with families, we have plenty of saints to give us excellent examples of God-fearing life to emulate: st. Mom, st. Dad, st. Papou/Grandpa. etc.  They may never have canons written about their exploits, but long after they've left this present world I will be telling my child/children (and, if the Lord blesses me, Grandchildren and beyond) of the love, dedication, self-sacrifice, hard work, fidelity, prayer, worship life, and renunciation of the false teachings of the world of my parents and grandparents.
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2010, 11:26:42 PM »

Then who are the examples we are to follow? I know the Saints, even the monastics are our examples, but we cannot be monastics if we want to be married and live amongst the world.

What exactly is the essence of monasticism? 
Prayer?  You can do this, and do so abundantly, in the world.
Hard work?  You have to do this, and do so abundantly, in the world.
Fidelity and obedience?  To those with families, this is paramount, and the cornerstone of a happy and blessed household.  Fidelity and obedience to the spouse, the household, the children, the parents, to working and loving.
Worship?  The tie that binds the monk to the other monks, which is also the tie that binds one family to another.
Self-sacrifice?  The daily exercise of the monk is also the daily routine of the mother and father, and of each child as they progress in maturity.
Renouncing the world?  This is the only area where things are different: the monk renounces the world and separates from it; the family can renounce what the world teaches while sanctifying the world with their active presence in the midst.

To those who should be monks, marriage and family are (nearly) impossible tasks; to those who should be married, monasticism is an (nearly) impossible task.  But those who follow the calling of the Lord and pour their energy, love, dedication, and indeed their entire selves into His work, they find fulfillment and sanctification from Him.

As to why we may not have many Saints - for those of us with families, we have plenty of saints to give us excellent examples of God-fearing life to emulate: st. Mom, st. Dad, st. Papou/Grandpa. etc.  They may never have canons written about their exploits, but long after they've left this present world I will be telling my child/children (and, if the Lord blesses me, Grandchildren and beyond) of the love, dedication, self-sacrifice, hard work, fidelity, prayer, worship life, and renunciation of the false teachings of the world of my parents and grandparents.

Thank you... though I think my argument was especially about the typical attributes of monastic Saints, such as floating during prayer, healings and other miracles and works. I haven't heard of any (especially recent) examples of any married couples that have these things attributed to them.
The lack of such works shouldn't remove someone from candidacy as a Saint, though it can be a guide...
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2010, 12:21:32 AM »

Examples Married saints:

St. Monica
Ss. Justinian the Emperor and His Wife, Theodora
St. Peter
St. Nicholas Planas (relatively modern saint)
Saint John of Kronstadt
Ss. Constantine and Helen
St. Vladimir
St. Xenia of St. Petersburg
The Holy Martyrs Timothy and Maura
Saint Theophanes the Confessor
Hosea the Prophet
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2010, 12:28:08 AM »

Then who are the examples we are to follow? I know the Saints, even the monastics are our examples, but we cannot be monastics if we want to be married and live amongst the world.

I'm going to pull a quote from a lecture I recently posted on facebook.

http://www.allsaintsofamerica.org/orthodoxy/orthodoxlife.html

Worldly Cares
Perhaps, we still can't see how to become holy in a work oriented, 9-5 world with all of its cares and concerns. Again, I would like to quote from St. Theophan the Recluse.

There is a widely-accepted misconception among us: that when one becomes involved in work at home or in business, immediately one steps out of the godly realm and away from God-pleasing activities. From this idea, it follows that once the desire to strive toward God germinates, and talk turns toward the spiritual life, then the idea inevitably surfaces: one must run from society, from the home to the wilderness, to the forest. Both are erroneous.

Homes and communities depend on concerns of daily life and society. These are God-given obligations; fulfilling them is not a step toward the ungodly, but is a walking in the way of the Lord. All who cleave to these erroneous premises fall into the bad habit of thinking that once they accept worldly obligations, they no longer need to strive towards God.

...Cast them aside and grasp the concept that everything you do, inside and outside your home, concerning social life, as a daughter, as a sister, as a Muscovite, is godly and God-pleasing... Your misconceptions truly make them ungodly, because you fulfill your daily tasks with an attitude contrary to the one God intended you to have.

...Once you adjust yourself to this outlook, no worldly duty will distract you from God. Instead, it will bring you close to Him. We are all servants of our God. God has assigned to each his place and responsibilities, and He watches to see how each approaches his assignment. He is everywhere. And He watches over you. Keep this in mind and do each deed as if it were assigned to you directly by God, no matter what it is.

Do your housework in this manner. When someone comes to visit, keep in mind that God has sent you this visitor, and is watching. When you have to leave the house, keep in mind that God has sent you out on an errand, and is watching. Will you complete it as He wishes?

By orienting yourself to God at all times, your chores at home and responsibilities outside the house will not distract your attention from God, but, on the contrary, will keep you intent on completing all tasks in a God-pleasing manner. All will be performed with the fear of God, and this fear will keep your attention unswervingly on God.


This is remarkable advice from someone who, though once active in the world, became known as a recluse. But it demonstrates that we too often excuse our weekday worldliness because, after all, "one cannot be holy where I work."
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2010, 12:32:57 AM »

Examples Married saints:

St. Monica
Ss. Justinian the Emperor and His Wife, Theodora
St. Peter
St. Nicholas Planas (relatively modern saint)
Saint John of Kronstadt
Ss. Constantine and Helen
St. Vladimir
St. Xenia of St. Petersburg
The Holy Martyrs Timothy and Maura
Saint Theophanes the Confessor
Hosea the Prophet

I don't think this solves much, as not a single one of these was canonized for living a quiet, humble and saintly life in the world like just about every single Orthodox Christian does. On here we still have imperial royalty, a priest who never touched his wife, one of the Holy Prophets of the Old Testament, a crazy lady whose husband died tragically which is what drove her to the streets, martyrs, oh, and let's not forget the Prince of the Apostles St. Peter.

These examples are still very far away from the average person, and I think only strengthen Devin's point. Where are the canonizations of simple, pious people who lived holy ascetic lives in the world with their families? We don't have such examples. We have apostles, priests, prophets, emperors and martyrs in this list, all of which happened to be married. Their respective hagiography isn't about the love of Christ being magnified through the love of their spouse or children. The facts that they have spouses or children are mere footnotes at best.
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2010, 08:08:46 AM »

Examples Married saints:

St. Monica
Ss. Justinian the Emperor and His Wife, Theodora
St. Peter
St. Nicholas Planas (relatively modern saint)
Saint John of Kronstadt
Ss. Constantine and Helen
St. Vladimir
St. Xenia of St. Petersburg
The Holy Martyrs Timothy and Maura
Saint Theophanes the Confessor
Hosea the Prophet

I don't think this solves much, as not a single one of these was canonized for living a quiet, humble and saintly life in the world like just about every single Orthodox Christian does. On here we still have imperial royalty, a priest who never touched his wife, one of the Holy Prophets of the Old Testament, a crazy lady whose husband died tragically which is what drove her to the streets, martyrs, oh, and let's not forget the Prince of the Apostles St. Peter.

These examples are still very far away from the average person, and I think only strengthen Devin's point. Where are the canonizations of simple, pious people who lived holy ascetic lives in the world with their families? We don't have such examples. We have apostles, priests, prophets, emperors and martyrs in this list, all of which happened to be married. Their respective hagiography isn't about the love of Christ being magnified through the love of their spouse or children. The facts that they have spouses or children are mere footnotes at best.

I disagree with you. These are people that had jobs (whether it be as ministers, fishermen, or nobility) and chose to put Christ first. Just because someone is a priest, does not mean they love Christ. Just because someone is an Emperor doesn't mean they have to love Christ. There have been many rulers over the years that were Christian in name only; these examples truly showed what it was like to be a loving ruler, spouse, and follower of Christ.

St. Xenia wasn't some "crazy" woman. She acted that way for a reason, and did not act as a Fool-for-Christ prior to her husband's death.  St. Monica was a housewife married to a pagan who prayed for her husband and her son's conversion. How is that not piety in a normal life? Many of the posters on this board are in similar situations where they believe, but their spouse does not.

St. Peter had a wife and kids he had to balance with his ministry with his family life. How is that not a challenge many of us face? I mean, what do you think his wife's reaction was when he came home and told her that he was leaving his fishing business to follow some man who claims to be "the way, the truth, and the life"?

I think that there are many ways in which we CAN relate our lives to the lives of these saints, but because their lives aren't exactly like ours, we choose not to.

I choose to focus on the similarities and what I can relate to, rather than what I can't relate to. Furthermore, even if I have nothing in common with a saint (for example, I was never pregnant with the Son of God as the Theotokos was) there are still things from their hagiography I can learn.

Your response is sarcastic and snarky, when my original post was intended to be an aid. Just because you choose to focus on all the ways that you are NOT like these people does not mean that no benefit can be derived from their hagiography.

While it is true that there haven't been any computer programmers, mechanical engineers, or gas station attendants canonized in the Church YET, that does not mean it is not possible in the future.
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2010, 09:16:06 AM »

Yes I know that a Saint recognized in the Church is not the only "saint" in heaven. Yet they are our examples to follow, yet the examples of many monastic Saints are impossible to follow unless we become monastics ourselves. I know there are a few married Saints, but why aren't there more?

Because the Church doesn't canonize different kinds of Saints to represent different kinds of life-situations. For the most part, it canonizes saints that are eschatological sign posts, whose lives are not conformed to the ways of this world but rather radically conformed to the reality of the in-breaking Kingdom to come. That's why, in the early church, martyrs were 95% of the saints. In the absence of actual martyrs, 95% will naturally be those who adopt the martyrdom of asceticism, giving up all things of this world: family, money, etc. It's possible to live out those principles even in the world (cf. St. Juliana of Lazarevo). Most of us just don't want to.
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2010, 09:53:05 AM »


What about this regular, married couple - Joachim and Anna (the parents of the Theotokos)?

We are all called to be Saints!  Each and every one of us.

If there is a lack of saints from the IT field...then let that be a challenge to us...let's become the first!

Each one of us has sooooo much to do in our lives...if God would only grant us the time, energy and wisdom we need to accomplish it!

Sainthood should not be a goal in itself.  We should not desire to levitate, foresee the future, or have wild beasts lick our feet.  That is pride and vanity speaking. 

We should strive to lead the most pious Christian life that we can, wherever we are, whatever field of work we find ourselves in, whatever state of marriage/non-marriage, in order to be pleasing to God - not in order to attain "sainthood".  Our goal is to live life the way Christ has directed us.  To follow His example as best we can.  To do good, to teach, to support each other...to leave this world a better place than it was when we arrived.  To make a positive difference. 

Many monastics fall far short.  Many married people fall far short.  It's not "where" you find yourself, but, how you conduct yourself wherever God has put you.

...and when we fall short...we get up....we go to Holy Confession...and we begin again.

May the Lord have mercy on us all!



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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2010, 10:26:57 AM »

What about this regular, married couple - Joachim and Anna (the parents of the Theotokos)?

They gave 1/3 of their income to the poor and 1/3 to the Temple. Not very regular.
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« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2010, 10:42:11 AM »


...not regular as compared to us...because we "choose" not to give 2/3 of our income away.

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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2010, 10:57:40 AM »

One of my problems with some of this, (though not all, I like the quote by St. Theophan) is it assumes that although we live in the world, we still must be separate from it. For example...
I'm becoming an architect, this means I HAVE to go to school (which has to be paid for)... After school, I have to work and take tests (which have to be paid for)... Eventually, when I become an actual architect, I can make between $40,000 and $100,000. What happens when I get married and our kids all have to go to college? We would absolutely need the ability to pay for that. Not to mention we would need the ability to pay for all sort of things like healthcare, taxes, transportation, shelter, etc...

I know that this may not seem like a lot, but it seems to me that according to the adults I talk to, this actually adds up to a lot. If we tithed 2/3 of our wealth to the Church, we would be left with nothing, or nearly nothing.
I know there are many people out there who have nothing, and that we are called worship God and not worldly goods. But I think people fail to realize that we are all born into a system, and unless you abide by that system, then you become poverty stricken and will then have nothing at all to provide monetarily for the Church, nor for your family or anyone else...

Because we live in the world, (as I said) we thus live in a system that we must abide by, how can we possibly hope to live up to the level of the Saints in a system like this? Is it possible or should we simply give up and become recluse in our own society?
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« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2010, 11:00:46 AM »

What about this regular, married couple - Joachim and Anna (the parents of the Theotokos)?

They gave 1/3 of their income to the poor and 1/3 to the Temple. Not very regular.

That's the point. That's what makes them Saints. My goodness, who are you looking for? Ss. Homer and Marge Simpson? Ss. Dan and Roseanne Conner?




I don't want them to be role models in the Church. The entire idea of recognizing someone as a Saint is someone who HAS lead an extraordinary life, and raises the bar for us.

Ss. Joachim and Anna were "regular" people who went to work, went to Temple, and were faithful to God. THAT is what being a Saint is all about.

St. Paul describes our life with Christ as a race we are running to win a crown of victory. A person can watch one race at the Summer Olympics and quickly figure out that Athletes who run these races are not like "average" people. They train, they sacrifice, they give up their time, they do things they may not *want* to do but *have* to do in order to improve as an athlete. It is the same with us. We must sacrifice, we must do things we don't *want* to do, we must give up our time for Christ if we are to receive our reward.

The Saints of the Church are the ones who have done just that.

Christ never said our life would be easy. He told us that we would be persecuted, that we must "take up our cross and follow" Him, and that if necessary, we must deny our family to follow Him. These are not the actions of "ordinary" people.

"Ordinary" people stay in their comfortable recliners, don't do the training, don't persevere to win the race, and avoid pain at all costs. The path to Sainthood is not intended to be an easy one, but it is an achievable one if we are willing to put in the work.
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« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2010, 11:03:44 AM »

One of my problems with some of this, (though not all, I like the quote by St. Theophan) is it assumes that although we live in the world, we still must be separate from it. For example...
I'm becoming an architect, this means I HAVE to go to school (which has to be paid for)... After school, I have to work and take tests (which have to be paid for)... Eventually, when I become an actual architect, I can make between $40,000 and $100,000. What happens when I get married and our kids all have to go to college? We would absolutely need the ability to pay for that. Not to mention we would need the ability to pay for all sort of things like healthcare, taxes, transportation, shelter, etc...

I know that this may not seem like a lot, but it seems to me that according to the adults I talk to, this actually adds up to a lot. If we tithed 2/3 of our wealth to the Church, we would be left with nothing, or nearly nothing.
I know there are many people out there who have nothing, and that we are called worship God and not worldly goods. But I think people fail to realize that we are all born into a system, and unless you abide by that system, then you become poverty stricken and will then have nothing at all to provide monetarily for the Church, nor for your family or anyone else...

Because we live in the world, (as I said) we thus live in a system that we must abide by, how can we possibly hope to live up to the level of the Saints in a system like this? Is it possible or should we simply give up and become recluse in our own society?

Whoever said you have live like Paupers to be a saint?

My goodness, Ss. Justinian and Theodora weren't exactly begging on the streets!  laugh

It is not a sin to make good money. What is a sin is to put money before God.

It is good to work hard and be successful, but remember to give to charity, give to Church, pray, be an example of Christ's love for others, follow God's commandments and the teachings of the Church. THIS is the path to Sainthood.
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« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2010, 11:08:33 AM »

What about this regular, married couple - Joachim and Anna (the parents of the Theotokos)?

They gave 1/3 of their income to the poor and 1/3 to the Temple. Not very regular.

St. Joseph.
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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2010, 11:19:32 AM »

These examples are still very far away from the average person, and I think only strengthen Devin's point. Where are the canonizations of simple, pious people who lived holy ascetic lives in the world with their families? We don't have such examples.

Look, these people who were canonized were not even necessarily celebrities even in their own days.  And I'm sure most of them, if not all of them, thought of themselves as very simple, pious people. Don't confuse their new and now earned celebrity saint status as indicative as what they thought of themselves or were thought of in their own time. 
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« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2010, 11:26:57 AM »

I recall a story that an old priest once used in a sermon many years ago. He was preaching in a beautifully adorned Church with a full icon screen and many wall and ceiling icons depicting various imagery and saints. He told of a child who once approached him in the church and asked , "Father, are all of the saints of our Church painted on our walls?" The wise pastor smiled and replied, "No my child, only the few whose lives were so remarkable that we were blessed to know of their sainthood in our world. The rest are known to God and will be revealed to us when we are blessed to enter into His Heavenly Kingdom." He went on to tell us that we would be judged upon  how lived our Christian lives rather than 'where' we lived them. In other words, the monastic life was not the life we all were to follow. In thinking about the topic,  St. Alexis Toth of Wilkes-Barre comes to mind. St. Alexis was not a monk, but rather a married priest with a child (who died at a young age) and who was widowed early in his priestly career.
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« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2013, 02:43:16 PM »

Hey this is all proving very helpful as I am seeking out a patron Saint. So, did St. Anastasia have children? I have a hard time finding that information (sorry if it is off topic)
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« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2013, 03:11:59 PM »

The way the world is going right now, we'll have plenty of opportunities in the near future to be martyred.
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« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2013, 03:31:16 PM »

Hey this is all proving very helpful as I am seeking out a patron Saint. So, did St. Anastasia have children? I have a hard time finding that information (sorry if it is off topic)

Which Saint Anastasia?
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« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2013, 03:44:34 PM »

The way the world is going right now, we'll have plenty of opportunities in the near future to be martyred.

Why wait?  We could just hop on a plane to Afghanistan or Pakistan or Pick-Your-Own-istan with some crosses, a few Bibles and start evangelizing.  I think we would find ourselves martyred pdq.  Roll Eyes  So, no, becoming a Saint in the world is not nearly impossible.  It is, in fact, quite possible and probably quite easy--we have to but want it enough. Wink
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« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2013, 04:17:10 PM »

The way the world is going right now, we'll have plenty of opportunities in the near future to be martyred.

Why wait?  We could just hop on a plane to Afghanistan or Pakistan or Pick-Your-Own-istan with some crosses, a few Bibles and start evangelizing.  I think we would find ourselves martyred pdq.  Roll Eyes  So, no, becoming a Saint in the world is not nearly impossible.  It is, in fact, quite possible and probably quite easy--we have to but want it enough. Wink

One shouldn't seek to be martyred for martyrdom's sake though.
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« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2013, 04:30:03 PM »

The way the world is going right now, we'll have plenty of opportunities in the near future to be martyred.

Why wait?  We could just hop on a plane to Afghanistan or Pakistan or Pick-Your-Own-istan with some crosses, a few Bibles and start evangelizing.  I think we would find ourselves martyred pdq.  Roll Eyes  So, no, becoming a Saint in the world is not nearly impossible.  It is, in fact, quite possible and probably quite easy--we have to but want it enough. Wink

One shouldn't seek to be martyred for martyrdom's sake though.

True enough.  Nor was I suggesting that.  One should (I think), however, seek to become a Saint.
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« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2013, 04:35:23 PM »

The way the world is going right now, we'll have plenty of opportunities in the near future to be martyred.

Why wait?  We could just hop on a plane to Afghanistan or Pakistan or Pick-Your-Own-istan with some crosses, a few Bibles and start evangelizing.  I think we would find ourselves martyred pdq.  Roll Eyes  So, no, becoming a Saint in the world is not nearly impossible.  It is, in fact, quite possible and probably quite easy--we have to but want it enough. Wink

One shouldn't seek to be martyred for martyrdom's sake though.



St. Anthony disagrees
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« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2013, 04:37:43 PM »

There are plenty of figures in the Church who lived in the world and became Saints via martyredom. Plus, I could still think of many Saints who had families and lived in the world. St. Monica had a family and became a Saint through her life of piety and prayer, eventually converting them. St. Augustine sorta-kinda had a family for a little while with his concubine and son who later died, all of the political Saints like St. Vladimir and Constantine had families.
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« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2013, 04:39:22 PM »

They tend to canonize people of all stripes.

No they don't. Don't they have some complex set of standards that each figure must meet in order to be Canonized? Such as having at least two miracles attributed to them or something? That's why Mother Theresa and Pope John Paul haven't been Canonized yet.
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« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2013, 04:40:22 PM »

The way the world is going right now, we'll have plenty of opportunities in the near future to be martyred.

Why wait?  We could just hop on a plane to Afghanistan or Pakistan or Pick-Your-Own-istan with some crosses, a few Bibles and start evangelizing.  I think we would find ourselves martyred pdq.  Roll Eyes  So, no, becoming a Saint in the world is not nearly impossible.  It is, in fact, quite possible and probably quite easy--we have to but want it enough. Wink

One shouldn't seek to be martyred for martyrdom's sake though.



St. Anthony disagrees

You know, come to think of it, you're absolutely correct.  Thanks for pointing that out!  St. Francis of Assisi would disagree, too, not that it matters to most Orthodox, though.
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« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2013, 04:42:31 PM »

You know, come to think of it, you're absolutely correct.  Thanks for pointing that out!  St. Francis of Assisi would disagree, too, not that it matters to most Orthodox, though.

But he never died a martyr, so that is besides the point.  You can say it was God's will to make him a saint, but not under his (St. Francis) terms.
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« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2013, 04:55:20 PM »

You know, come to think of it, you're absolutely correct.  Thanks for pointing that out!  St. Francis of Assisi would disagree, too, not that it matters to most Orthodox, though.

But he never died a martyr, so that is besides the point.  You can say it was God's will to make him a saint, but not under his (St. Francis) terms.

Yes, but he wanted to become a Saint through martyrdom.  God, as you correctly point out,  had other plans for him.
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« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2013, 04:57:19 PM »

You know, come to think of it, you're absolutely correct.  Thanks for pointing that out!  St. Francis of Assisi would disagree, too, not that it matters to most Orthodox, though.

But he never died a martyr, so that is besides the point.  You can say it was God's will to make him a saint, but not under his (St. Francis) terms.

Yes, but he wanted to become a Saint through martyrdom.  God, as you correctly point out,  had other plans for him.

And that was my point about being martyred for martyrdom's sake.
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« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2013, 05:05:14 PM »

You know, come to think of it, you're absolutely correct.  Thanks for pointing that out!  St. Francis of Assisi would disagree, too, not that it matters to most Orthodox, though.

But he never died a martyr, so that is besides the point.  You can say it was God's will to make him a saint, but not under his (St. Francis) terms.

Yes, but he wanted to become a Saint through martyrdom.  God, as you correctly point out,  had other plans for him.

And that was my point about being martyred for martyrdom's sake.

What, that God had other plans for St. Francis??  What about Michal's example of St. Anthony?  Or other saints who sought martyrdom.  A martyr, as I'm sure you know quite well, is a "witness".  In Christianity, a witness to what?  That Jesus is Lord, has died and risen, etc., etc., right?  So why not chose to seek to bear witness to The Truth for the sake of bearing witness to The Truth, even if it means laying down one's life?  For what other sake would one do it?  (Uh oh...I'm getting that nasty little feeling now, that I'm getting in over my head  Shocked Cry Grin.)
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« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2013, 05:46:25 PM »

You know, come to think of it, you're absolutely correct.  Thanks for pointing that out!  St. Francis of Assisi would disagree, too, not that it matters to most Orthodox, though.

But he never died a martyr, so that is besides the point.  You can say it was God's will to make him a saint, but not under his (St. Francis) terms.

Yes, but he wanted to become a Saint through martyrdom.  God, as you correctly point out,  had other plans for him.

And that was my point about being martyred for martyrdom's sake.

What, that God had other plans for St. Francis??  What about Michal's example of St. Anthony?  Or other saints who sought martyrdom.  A martyr, as I'm sure you know quite well, is a "witness".  In Christianity, a witness to what?  That Jesus is Lord, has died and risen, etc., etc., right?  So why not chose to seek to bear witness to The Truth for the sake of bearing witness to The Truth, even if it means laying down one's life?  For what other sake would one do it?  (Uh oh...I'm getting that nasty little feeling now, that I'm getting in over my head  Shocked Cry Grin.)

Well, there is a difference between, "I need to get martyred so I can get to heaven," and, "I know I can get killed for doing this, but who cares, I have to do this no matter what because I love God."

I don't know much about St. Anthony to comment, other than the little summary on the link Michal provided.  The important thing as always is intent, if we do something out of love for God then it is good.  But if we treat martyrdom as merely a ticket to heaven, then it most probably won't be.
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« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2013, 05:54:55 PM »

You know, come to think of it, you're absolutely correct.  Thanks for pointing that out!  St. Francis of Assisi would disagree, too, not that it matters to most Orthodox, though.

But he never died a martyr, so that is besides the point.  You can say it was God's will to make him a saint, but not under his (St. Francis) terms.

Yes, but he wanted to become a Saint through martyrdom.  God, as you correctly point out,  had other plans for him.

And that was my point about being martyred for martyrdom's sake.

What, that God had other plans for St. Francis??  What about Michal's example of St. Anthony?  Or other saints who sought martyrdom.  A martyr, as I'm sure you know quite well, is a "witness".  In Christianity, a witness to what?  That Jesus is Lord, has died and risen, etc., etc., right?  So why not chose to seek to bear witness to The Truth for the sake of bearing witness to The Truth, even if it means laying down one's life?  For what other sake would one do it?  (Uh oh...I'm getting that nasty little feeling now, that I'm getting in over my head  Shocked Cry Grin.)

Well, there is a difference between, "I need to get martyred so I can get to heaven," and, "I know I can get killed for doing this, but who cares, I have to do this no matter what because I love God."

I don't know much about St. Anthony to comment, other than the little summary on the link Michal provided.  The important thing as always is intent, if we do something out of love for God then it is good.  But if we treat martyrdom as merely a ticket to heaven, then it most probably won't be.

I don't honestly believe that there is a "merely a ticket to heaven".  There's a difference between "I'll go out and get killed so I can get to heaven", which is NOT martyrdom, and martyrdom, which is, "I will bear witness to God and His Truth, and if I die in so doing, which in certain circumstances I most surely will, I will get to heaven."  (I think.)  (I think I'd better stop thinking now--my head's about to explode.  Besides, it's time to log off and go home.  Thank you, God!  Grin Grin)
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« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2013, 10:49:09 PM »

saint anastasia of kiev specifically. If any of the others do, that could be pertinent. Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2013, 11:49:17 PM »

If the Lord wills it, we will soon have a new saint, Matushka Olga of Alaska. Check up on her at http://orthodoxwiki.org/Olga_Michael
and
http://oholy.net/stolga/olga_index.html
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« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2013, 12:17:52 AM »

Nothing is possible without God.
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« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2013, 12:57:40 AM »

Nothing is possible without God.

Weren't you going on about Kierkegaard lately?

You should really take him seriously:

Without nothing God is not possible.
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« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2013, 08:14:58 AM »

saint anastasia of kiev specifically.

Never heard of her. Can't find her in any Saint list either.

edit:

Do you mean her?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchess_Alexandra_Petrovna_of_Oldenburg
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« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2013, 11:53:30 AM »

A good book...

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« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2013, 01:58:20 PM »

I think the premise is absurd. I vividly recall a church school lesson from my youth many years ago. The teacher had us in the church and was explaining Saints and icons. One of my classmates asked if the people portrayed were all of the Saints since Jesus' time since he could only count a hundred or so in the church he was worried. The teacher smiled and said something like of course not. These are people whose lives were such that they were clearly known to those of us here on earth. All of the faithful who led saintly lives are known to God.
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« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2013, 03:38:40 PM »

There were MANY married saints. Some of the Old Testament Saints were even polygamists! Of course the latter was under the Old Testament law, but you get the point! 
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« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2013, 03:41:36 PM »

St. Sophia is a nice example of "a world Saint".
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