Sainthood IS the Revolution by Rocket Kirchner

Lia Fire Writing

Image by naturalturn via Flickr

by Rocket Kirchner
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rocket Kirchner (blog)
Rocket Kirchner (youtube channel)
April 11, 2017

Everybody and everything is in danger in the presence of a saint. Every ideology, every notion of morality, ethics, right and wrong, up and down, progress and digress, the entire status quo in its pathology short circuits and explodes when a saint emerges in the public sphere. There is no safe place to hide. There are no excuses. Nothing will ever be the same. Sainthood is the revolution that exposes all other revolutions to be cheap, shallow, tawdry, and ineffective.

When one approaches the subject of saints it is tempting to dismiss their passion as an excess of aesthetics. In other words, the burning quest for beauty. There is no doubt that the beatific vision plays a crucial role in the life of any saint. However that is not their quest. It is also tempting to see them as deliberate revolutionaries because their lives produce the revolution, but they are not in it for that either. They are in it for something wholly other. They live for the transcendent.

We always hear people say that if you are too heavenly minded you are no earthly good. When in reality unless you are heavenly minded you of no earthly good. Simone Weil stated that the revolutionary looks forward while the saint fixes his gaze upward. It all depends on where you fix your gaze. In that fixation there is born THE revolution. Not because saints are revolutionary but because of what follows in the wake of the earthquake that is the life of a saint in the present and over the arc of time.

Lets first talk extremes of the nuts and bolts of a revolution. St. Jerome could paint the world blacker than e.m.cioran. Saint Francis could paint it brighter than George Bernard Shaw. The secular expansion is not wider in scope than the circumference of the saintly one. Then there is the competing ideologies of revolutionary models of all shapes and sizes that have been played out. Let us look at that and their results and compare them to the saint in his or her effectiveness in regards to humanizing the world.

Capitalism leaves too many deprived. Communism leaves too many under tyranny. Utilitarianism leaves to many without transcendence. Nationalism leaves too many displaced. Conservatism leaves too many under moral judgement. Liberalism leaves too many dependent. Anarchism leaves too many confused. Libertarianism leaves too many marginalized. Fascism leaves too many under conformity.

The saint by their very presence and action restores dignity to each individual, demolishing deprivation, tyranny, displacement, moral judgement, dependency, confusion, marginalization, and conformity, hence establishing the sphere of transcendence and the climate of mercy. The saint is Occam’s razor with the burning heart of love. Tell me, what or who can top that?

Nothing can top that. Yet people run around to this day spouting revolutionary slogans like two-year-olds in a calculated indifference ignoring the lives of the saints, even the ones in their midst. It is infantile to try and reinvent the wheel. Even if a new ideology comes along and does reinvent it, the wheel will do what a wheel always does which is to just go around in a circle. It never just cuts to the chase of the root of the problem which is to establish a lasting revolution.

The root of every social and political problem is every human being. The root of every human being is the direction of our intent. The root of every direction of intent is the state of the human heart. The root of the human heart is the decisive factor as to whether it has love in it or not. If not, then no lasting revolution. All political revolutions that seem hopeful at the start always come crashing down into a nightmare. History is replete with such examples of sinking Titanics, power just changing hands, wishful thinking and bloody revolutions all ending in ruins.

Yes indeed, history attests to this indisputable fact while history puts a saint in every dream. As that dream expands, the more we can let go of our illusions. It is this final letting go that can give us the vision that we too can have a shot at the very thing that is THE revolution, namely Sainthood.

***

Therese de Lisieux from “Who Cares About The Saints?” with Fr. James Martin, S.J.

Loyola Productions, Inc. on Sep 7, 2012

Let James Martin, S.J. author of “My Life with the Saints,” introduce you to his favorite saints in the exciting new DVD Who Cares about the Saints? Loyola Productions proudly releases this DVD which combines Fr. Martins lively commentary along with dramatic photos and artwork that brings to life the lives of the saints.

The DVD features twelve 6-10 minute chapters on the lives of Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Joan of Arc, Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa, Ignatius Loyola, Bernadette Soubirous, Pope John XXIII, Therese of Liseux, Joseph, Peter, and Mary, Mother of Jesus. The DVD also includes insights from Fr. Martin on how to use the saints today.

***

Francesco – Trailer

Cinedigm on Dec 14, 2015

Based on Herman Hesse’s book Francis of Assisi, Francesco, starring Mickey Rourke and Helena Bonham Carter, paints an intimate portrait of St. Francis, one of the most beloved, influential and complex figures in the history of religion and civilization.

from the archives:

Chris Hedges: Prophets of Social Justice

Progressives That Became More Progressive After Their Conversion To Christ by Rocket Kirchner

St. Francis of Assisi (1961)

Exclusive: Peace 101: Will the Real Saint Francis Please Stand Up by Rocket Kirchner

Deliver Us From Virtue by Rocket Kirchner

Exclusive: Why is there no peace in the peace movement? by Rocket Kirchner

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11 thoughts on “Sainthood IS the Revolution by Rocket Kirchner

  1. Pingback: Good Friday: The Holocaust – Dandelion Salad

  2. Von balthasar was highly thought of by the Jesuits at Marquette University that I would meet at the Jez res for a Communio study group meeting back in the nineties

    • Chris – yeah – actually after Pope Benedict said that Origen was a true teacher , Von Balthasar has been reconsidered in his defence of Origen .

  3. Never got the definition of a saint, but, if you accurately describe their effect in the real world, it would seem there have never been any. Things go on as they always have.

    • thanks for commenting Brad . i thought i defined the Saint as one who seeks transcendence . I will concede that there have been very few in regards to their impact , but i cant say that there has not been any.

      After seeing Micky Rourke playing St Francis recently in the three hour epic ”Francesco” i was stunned at how much impact St Francis really made . I mean Rourke played it so well with such passion that it really surprised even me . Check it out Netflix sometime and see the impace in the real world of what the town of Assis’s called ”nothings” about the people just outside its limits that Francis literally saved their lives.

      Herein lies the rub: People chose to go on for AS IF it did not happen. it is just way to intense for the average person to comprehend. Nor do most people even care. But the real effect in the real world is that there are some that seek the same way of being in peace , non violence , giving in excess to others , feeding strangers , etc… and the saint provides a template for this …an inspiration.

      just giving one example : if St Francis never did what he did – would there be a St Francis house that has stood here for 37 years that has been a port in the storm for making sure that keep people from actually freezing to death in pain on the streets when institutions fail them ? it has been my observation first hand that there would have been alot more casualties without that House and its Modus Operendi.

      And i know that there has been many more examples that my studies have taken me in regards to the inspiration that Saints bring . Governments swing like yoyos . All their systems fall short. The casualties are too many to count. Hence i will present the one thing tried and tested and can inspire others.

      • What we have now from him, whom i admire if the stories are true, is a nice little prayer. As usual, religion is words.

        • words ? you show that you really know nothing about his life . This is not like trying to find the historic Jesus in a haystack . What Francis did was documented and so radical that i cant even find anything in extant known history that even compares. See the movie with Mickey Rourke . How Rourke pulled the roll off is a mystery to me . It was like Ben Kingsly playing Gandhi or George C Scott Playing Patton . Role of a lifetime .

          BTW – who said anything about religion .? my article never mentioned religion or God . You assumed that . My article talked about those who sought transcendence. this can be defined in a myriad of ways . Francis sought poverty with the passion that some men sought gold . This was a challenge to the whole structure of a rich mans son to the core and everyone around him .

          He was disowned in public . He was stripped of all rights and his inheritance . he stripped naked and gave away even his clothes , and he became a beggar and stood with and saved the lives of those rejected by the town and other towns – and went around disrupting hangings and …the list of what he did goes on and on and on and the other rich mans sons left everything ..and did the same . tsk tsk . such a bad influence .

          that my friend is the opposite of words . it is called action . And as Mark Twain said ”There is nothing worse than a man who sets a good example”. it is easy to condescend and just carelessly dismiss him as insane or a dreamer or even a religious fanatic . but given the devastating impact of his life ..the issue is not dismissed so lightly .

      • the sound track by Vangelis is spooky as Mickey Rourke takes us thru so many emotions . Vangelis had done the sound track of Blade Runner 6 years earlier . Both movies have the music just sits heavy on ones chest . amazing . also the lighting in Francesco is very dark and shaded like the Godfather . The native realism is stark with less talk and more mystery about it .

  4. This article may complement Rocket’s essay:

    “According to Hans Urs von Balthasar, in The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics, vol. 1, Seeing the Form, if theological aesthetics is about anything it is about beauty, and if beauty is about anything in particular it is particularly about love, a love which Christ, the archetype of all forms, embodies and expresses perfectly and against which all created forms are to be measured and to find their ultimate telos.”

    http://www.transpositions.co.uk/beauty-as-love-hans-urs-von-balthasars-theological-aesthetics/

    • He is one of my fav theologians . Neo Platonic like Origen . The saint does not seek beauty but the source of all beauty – Christ , as Dante found in his last 5 Cantos in Paradise. Seeking the by product of something is different from seeking that Someone who is that very thing .

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