Controversy, Sainthood, and Me

[ 2 ] January 3, AD 2012 |

Hi. My name’s Mariella. I want to be a Saint.

Or…

Hi. My name’s Mariella. I have discovered controversy.

Right now the Scripture that keeps popping up in my head is John 15:16.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” (RSV)

Why?

See, after starting Universal Faith, a website for Catholic teens, quick replies about Church issues became my business. I’ve friended Catholics on my Facebook page to the point where I’ll probably have to start another page for personal use. One day I logged in and a headline seemed to flash everywhere that said, “Pope says Protestants aren’t proper Christians.” It’s from a British news site and I didn’t like it. I knew it would cause an uproar–I could feel it in my bones–so I blogged about it. Being the mediocre apologist that I am, I blurted a bunch of words and clicked Publish.

Two days passed with no comments, so I forget about it completely. But then I checked my blog stats and noticed that that post had attracted some attention. Later, a friend messaged saying, “God job finding a four year old news article…great learning.” If I’d known it was already four years old I wouldn’t have been so quick to write the blog post, but the day I saw it, Facebook was flashing it in my face as if it were hot off the press.

That the Holy Spirit arranged it, I’m sure. I can’t say why–perhaps it was to push me out of my sugar-coated Catholic musings and to get out into the real world of apologetics. This world is more challenging, but you can never learn too much about what you’re writing. Maybe I would write that post differently today, but I left it up anyway as a reminder that I still had things to learn.

How does this relate to my desire to become a Saint?

Well, the Saints learned from correction as well. They had to say a lot of things that were unpopular half–if not most–of the time. St. Catherine of Siena had to face off with the Pope himself! Pope Gregory XI lived in France as part of what’s called the Avignon Papacy, a period of time from 1309-1376 when the Popes resided there. He would be the last Pope to live in France, because the Saint had had a strong will and wrote powerful letters encouraging him to return. In one of them she wrote: “No longer resist the will of God, for the starving sheep wait for you to return to the see of St. Peter.” To really pursue Sainthood, I think, you have to be willing to put your reputation on the line and follow what God tells you to do. In my case, He had to arrange things so that my foolish brain would come up with crude words to help me learn.

It’s worth it, though, because I’m never going to become a Saint if I don’t sacrifice something!

This doesn’t mean you have to write a hasty and crude blog post about some non-Catholic teaching, and then wait for people of other faiths to yell at you. My gift, though, is writing. I feel strongly that blogging as I learn is a form of evangelism. I’m showing that as a Catholic I’m not perfect, but I am definitely passionate about the Church and defending her. It’s being a fighter, but humble at the same time, replying to comments and not disapproving them just because I disagree with them. It’s bowing my head and accepting that I have to learn but I have to speak, too.

There’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide when God chooses you. You might find yourself ranting about a misleading British news article from four years ago. You might find out that it’s not misleading, but you were so excited that your explanation turned out to be wrong. No matter what God chooses to do with you and your gifts, you’re going to have to sacrifice your pride and the road is never going to be easy.

It’s not as easy as just deleting the blog post when you’re wrong. It’s allowing yourself to be corrected.

The only correct path to Sainthood is sticking to the Truth–but within it, the path is unpredictable depending on the person. If you tell God your plans, He will laugh. If He told you all His plans for your entire life, you’d fall over in disbelief. “No! That’d never happen to me, ever!” That’s why He doesn’t tell you: The scare teaches. The learning shapes. The reward is beyond your wildest imagination.

So Hi. My name’s Mariella. I want to be a Saint.

How ’bout you?

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.ignitumtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Mariella-Hunt.png[/author_image] [author_info]Mariella Hunt is determined to become a saint. In 18 years she’s been many places, but the most beautiful place she’s entered was the Catholic Church at age 13. Since then she’s faced many trials, physically and emotionally, but is now prepared to spread the Gospel and tell the world that Jesus is real and so is His love. Her interests vary from classical literature to apologetics to country music. She hopes to someday have a big family and live by Lake Geneva, but for now she can be found blogging as A Catholic Sheep contributing to Universal Faith.[/author_info] [/author]

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Category: Columnists, Spirituality

About the Author ()

Mariella Hunt is 20 years old and lives in the Treasure Valley. She writes fiction and reflections on the Catholic faith. In 2014, she is self-publishing an anthology of short stories and a Young Adult novel, Dissonance. A practicing Catholic, she is actively involved in the New Evangelization. She’s an associate editor for Catholic websites Ignitum Today and Catholic Lane, and is a book reviewer for Catholic Fiction. Recently she has also started a vlog for the New Catholic Generation video movement.
  • richard

    An impressive blog site over at A Catholic Sheep.

  • http://acatholicsheep.wordpress.com/ Mariella Hunt

    Thank you! :)