I was watching Mother Angelica on EWTN last night of a rebroadcast from the late 90’s. She said something so profound, as she always does. I’m going to emphasis on her subject.
Why is it, we can look at Saints like St. Augustine of Hippo, a man who lived and died from 354 to the year 430, who before he was a Saint, was just a repentant soul, moving away from adultery, fornication, and worldly things and moving in the direction toward God, away from a life of sin, and say, Boy what a great SAINT! But when we look at our own family members, friends and people in our community, doing exactly the same things as the greatest Catholic saints, we call them hypocrites. “Look at so & so! Preaching to me about how I should live and she did the same things I am!”
Lets define hypocrite: :
1: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings
Our Lord severely rebuked the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy (Matt. 6:2, 5, 16). “The hypocrite’s hope shall perish” (Job 8:13). The Hebrew word here rendered “hypocrite” rather means the “godless” or “profane,” as it is rendered in Jer. 23:11, i.e., polluted with crimes.
Now, how can we call someone a hypocrite, who has through life experiences, made many serious mistakes, is repenting and is trying to amend them through seeking Christ and returning to Him and the church He created?
The difference between a Saint in progress and a Hypocrite is one lies about his religion and faith. The other lays his life down in search for his religion and faith. And its very easy to distinguish between the two souls.
If you find yourself telling your repenting friends & family members, your not the same, chances are they are working on sainthood and not working to be a hypocrite.
When we hear non repenting souls, who make excuses for their sinful behavior using this name against repenting souls, it is the one calling who needs to look in the mirror and stop justifying their sinfulness, with lack of understanding in which the word is actually defined.
Before the word has a chance to leave your mouth, check yourself first. God never changes. What God did to St. Augustine of Hippo, (Not taking away from his Sainthood) He does to many souls, no matter what century they are living in. Are we to then call the “Prodigal Son” a hypocrite, or should we give him the encouragement to return home as fast as he can?
4 responses to “The Hypocrite”
We call many a Christian a hypocrite because they are not following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, through their judgmentalism and their lack of true adherence to the word of God. Sainthood is not self-proclaimed; what appears on the surface to be Christian value, may be far from it underneath. Those who become canonized are so because they give themselves wholly and singly to God and to Jesus Christ, and do nothing but advance their teachings through their actions. They play no favorites, make no judgments, and extend the hand of God to anyone, not just those they choose to.
If you see a beggar on the street, and your first thought is how disheveled they are and how they have no business doing that, rather than thinking that they need help, and stopping to lend them encouragement and possibly remuneration, that is not saintly virtue. If you look at a person and seek to judge them by how they dress, or the language they speak, or the religious garments or accessories they wear, that is not saintly virtue. Jesus spoke of the inclusion of all in the milieu of humanity, and that no one was beneath us, and yet so many “Christians” look down their noses at others reflexively, then sit in the pews on Sunday and count themselves among the saints.
No one but the Roman Catholic Church may grant true sainthood, and to do so requires the test of time, and the performance of miracles. To slip money in the collection plate is not the stuff of sainthood, but of being a good Christian. It takes far more than simple acts to be a saint.
Every soul in heaven is a saint and not every soul in heaven has been canonized by the Catholic Church. I am speaking in this post in regards to souls not known to many but God. We are ALL called to be saints. “Romans 1:7 (NKJV) 7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The “Simple Acts” of St Therese of Lisieux, not only made her a great Saint, but a Doctor of the Church.
From the CCC
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
LIFE IN CHRIST
1691 “Christian, recognize your dignity and, now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return to your former base condition by sinning. Remember who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Never forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of the Kingdom of God.”1
1692 The Symbol of the faith confesses the greatness of God’s gifts to man in his work of creation, and even more in redemption and sanctification. What faith confesses, the sacraments communicate: by the sacraments of rebirth, Christians have become “children of God,”2 “partakers of the divine nature.”3 Coming to see in the faith their new dignity, Christians are called to lead henceforth a life “worthy of the gospel of Christ.”4 They are made capable of doing so by the grace of Christ and the gifts of his Spirit, which they receive through the sacraments and through prayer.
1693 Christ Jesus always did what was pleasing to the Father,5 and always lived in perfect communion with him. Likewise Christ’s disciples are invited to live in the sight of the Father “who sees in secret,”6 in order to become “perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”7
1694 Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, Christians are “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” and so participate in the life of the Risen Lord.8 Following Christ and united with him,9 Christians can strive to be “imitators of God as beloved children, and walk in love”10 by conforming their thoughts, words and actions to the “mind . . . which is yours in Christ Jesus,”11 and by following his example.12
1695 “Justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God,”13 “sanctified . . . [and] called to be saints,”14 Christians have become the temple of the Holy Spirit.15 This “Spirit of the Son” teaches them to pray to the Father16 and, having become their life, prompts them to act so as to bear “the fruit of the Spirit”17 by charity in action. Healing the wounds of sin, the Holy Spirit renews us interiorly through a spiritual transformation.18 He enlightens and strengthens us to live as “children of light” through “all that is good and right and true.”19
1696 The way of Christ “leads to life”; a contrary way “leads to destruction.” The Gospel parable of the two ways remains ever present in the catechesis of the Church; it shows the importance of moral decisions for our salvation: “There are two ways, the one of life, the other of death; but between the two, there is a great difference.”21
1697 Catechesis has to reveal in all clarity the joy and the demands of the way of Christ.22 Catechesis for the “newness of life”23 in him should be:
– a catechesis of the Holy Spirit, the interior Master of life according to Christ, a gentle guest and friend who inspires, guides, corrects, and strengthens this life;
– a catechesis of grace, for it is by grace that we are saved and again it is by grace that our works can bear fruit for eternal life;
– a catechesis of the beatitudes, for the way of Christ is summed up in the beatitudes, the only path that leads to the eternal beatitude for which the human heart longs;
– a catechesis of sin and forgiveness, for unless man acknowledges that he is a sinner he cannot know the truth about himself, which is a condition for acting justly; and without the offer of forgiveness he would not be able to bear this truth;
– a catechesis of the human virtues which causes one to grasp the beauty and attraction of right dispositions towards goodness;
– a catechesis of the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and charity, generously inspired by the example of the saints;
– a catechesis of the twofold commandment of charity set forth in the Decalogue;
– an ecclesial catechesis, for it is through the manifold exchanges of “spiritual goods” in the “communion of saints” that Christian life can grow, develop, and be communicated.
1698 The first and last point of reference of this catechesis will always be Jesus Christ himself, who is “the way, and the truth, and the life.”24 It is by looking to him in faith that Christ’s faithful can hope that he himself fulfills his promises in them, and that, by loving him with the same love with which he has loved them, they may perform works in keeping with their dignity:
I ask you to consider that our Lord Jesus Christ is your true head, and that you are one of his members. He belongs to you as the head belongs to its members; all that is his is yours: his spirit, his heart, his body and soul, and all his faculties. You must make use of all these as of your own, to serve, praise, love, and glorify God. You belong to him, as members belong to their head. And so he longs for you to use all that is in you, as if it were his own, for the service and glory of the Father.25
For to me, to live is Christ.26
“Called to be saints,” which is not the same as being saint in actuality. If sainthood is so common, then sainthood has no value. The Saints are those who lie in perfect harmony with God and Jesus Christ; and not everyone now extant lies in perfect harmony with God. He or she who puts money in the collection plate at church or gives canned goods to the local food pantry is not a saint simply for those actions, if in the head and their heart they continue to judge others around them, or hold secret sins for which they do not seek absolution. To call every living Christian a saint cheapens Sainthood, and makes it a commodity, not an honor.
I’m NOT calling “Everyone” in this world a “Saint”. I said, EVERYONE is called to be a saint. The entire post is about how so many call the REPENTANT sinners hypocrites when the reality is, they have no room to even use the word.