August 29, 2010

Cooperation = Work, Leider

On the subject of cooperation between God and man, I think we see that explicitly in the canonization procedure. The Church sure isn't a Quietist on this front (or any other), but actively investigates the cause for sainthood as if everything depended on her, though of course the final say is God's, who either grants or doesn't grant a miracle. I read part of a book today containing the letters of Pope John XXIII to his family, and it's not always the most riveting read. And I think of the papal investigators who have to read every single thing a prospective saint has ever written - just for starters. Perhaps this is a symbol of how we should work our tails off to get into the Kingdom with God having the last say. I'm thinking of this also in conjunction with a Betty Duffy post about Christian unhappiness (not an oxymoron, though neither can you say if you're happy 'you're not doing it right' :-)).

The Church presumably looks at the background and writings of potential saints perhaps in part for the reason she wants to avoid being embarrassed, to avoid the case where someone says the Church canonized this individual despite this anti-Semitic streak or what-not. But it doesn't change the fact that the Church doesn't just sit back, relax, wait for a miracle, investigate it, and then canonize someone.

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