Friday, August 1, 2008

Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Today (according to the Saints Index on-line) is the day of Saint Alphonsus Liguori. The only thing I miss about the Catholic Church is the saints. They have a strange fairy-tale quality: Once upon a time there was a very old man who lived in a cave --let's face it, that's 1/3 of them, right there.

It's a shame my limited religious instruction didn't cover the saints in more detail; even when they were crazy they were interesting. I have begun to wonder why they did not come up more often during my Liberal Arts education, in world history or abnormal psych. Pretty much the only saints I have run across outside the church are Thomas Aquinas, that well documented philosopher, & Louis IX of France, who as far as I can tell was canonized for killing Jews. Oh, I forgot Constantine & his mother Helen. They are fun, too.

I like what I have read about Alphonsus Liguori so far. Apparently he worked for separation of church & state & thought kindness was more important than piety. I wonder that they canonized him at all. He is also the patron saint of moral theologians. I am doubly impressed. I did not think the church was that close to admiting there were immoral ones.

So today, in honor of the man Alphonsus Liguori I will make an effort to consider that every vastly corrupt institution probably has one or two members that are not quite so bad. I will do this while shoveling out the horse stalls in the rain.

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