READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: http://www.oneyearbibleonline.com/july.asp?version=63&startmmdd=0101July 9, 2009
(Heb 12:1-2) And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us: Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who, having joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and now sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God.
AUTHOR: Viewing saints as perfect is a mistake
As the proposed sainthood of Emil Kapaun has advanced in the Catholic Church, an expert has watched with an interest stemming from his joy of studying Kapaun.
Many Catholics have made the mistake of "pasteurizing" their saints, making them into sanitized and de-humanized cliches, said Thomas J. Craughwell, a popular author and a writer on saints for the Catholic Church.
"Cleaning up" saints is a disservice to the saints, and to the church, he said; saints are appealing in part because of their sins, their rough edges and their ordinariness.
St. Augustine was a womanizer. St. Francis of Assisi was a party animal. Dismas was a thief and a condemned sinner until he turned to Jesus and asked forgiveness when they were being nailed to crosses side by side.
Part of what made Augustine and Francis and Dismas saints were the flaws that came with their humanity, Craughwell said.
He has written a dozen popular books, including secular ones like "Stealing Lincoln's Body," and religion-themed books including "Saints Behaving Badly: The Cutthroats, Crooks, Trollops, Con Men and Devil-Worshipers Who Became Saints."
Craughwell thinks Kapaun has a "great chance" of becoming a saint. He said this would be good for the church for a number of reasons, not least of which is that Kapaun was heroic while also cranky at times, prone to swearing.
"I stumbled across a biography of Father Emil a few years ago," Craughwell said in a telephone interview from Connecticut. "He wasn't levitating three feet off the ground. He was an ordinary guy in a tough situation, acting in a way that was so admirable and inspiring.
"He seems like the kind of guy that if you were his neighbor, you could mow your lawn and then sit down with him on his porch and have a beer with him."
Kapaun, a Catholic priest and chaplain, deliberately allowed himself to be captured by the Chinese Army in 1950 during a disastrous U.S. Army retreat. He stayed behind with the wounded soldiers about to be executed by the roadside, then behaved heroically in prison camps until he died in May 1951.
Craughwell said from what he has read, Kapaun has a good chance of being canonized in the next few years because his heroism was so pronounced, because fellow soldiers said the Chinese camp guards murdered Kapaun because of his religious faith, and because Pope John Paul II, who died in 2005, sped up the canonization process.
It will still take miracles, Craughwell said. And those miracles may already have been identified.
Andrea Ambrosi, a lawyer and investigator for the Vatican, visited family members and doctors for two Wichita-area families last week who believe the survival of their children during recent medical crises should qualify as miracles. Afterward, the investigator told a local priest that he had never seen doctors make such a compelling case for miracles occurring.
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8. The preparing of the table exposes gluttons, but the work of prayer exposes lovers of God. The former skip on seeing the table, but the latter scowl.
Prayer request? Send an email to: PrayerRequest3@aol.com
This month's archive can be found at: http://www.catholicprophecy.info/news2.html.