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Reflections: Entertaining Saints & Sinners…

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“The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” Oscar Wilde

Reflections: Entertaining Saints & Sinners... Saints of the Church, before you know what...

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone… When I read the Daily Post prompt; Would you rather laugh with sinners, or cry with saints? I laughed so hard I almost had a coronary… Then I thought, “Wait a minute, this is not a fair question Scott?” You see, being raised Catholic comes with a particular set of burdens; guilt, purgatory, hell, Saint worship/celebration, novenas, the rosary prayers, stations of the cross, guilt… you get my drift. The dilemma becomes deciding whether applauding the fun times that so-called sinners enjoy would mean eternal hell or years of purgatory for me, until my beloved friends and family pray me back to heaven… Oy Gevalt! πŸ˜‰ If a bunch of so-called sinners are having a ball, partying to great music, eating the best food, drinking margaritas mango juice, telling ribald hysterical jokes at a feast for the hungry and homeless, why should I leave town?

I mean, I still love the saints and all. Heck, I was the kid who celebrated all the saints birthdays and said regular novenas for special graces; imploring all my favorite saints to give me and my family/friends delightful treats, and give my enemies dreadful diarrhea… Yeah I know, busted. Sheesh! I was a kid then, okay? Cut me some slack. Seriously, I’ve always loved the fact that saints were very brave people who acted with great courage and defended justice, truth and God’s word. Many of them died horrible deaths at the hands of sanctimonious leaders and “religious” people who couldn’t deal with what the saints were saying… We’ll get to them in a NY or perhaps a NJ minute. πŸ˜‰

“The Vedanta recognizes no sin it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that.” Swami Vivekananda

Reflections: Entertaining Saints & Sinners... Saint Jude Thaddeus; patron saint of desperate/hopeless cases

Interestingly, all the saints gained their sainthood from the Church… We know the dirty little secret on that one, right? Please go find the details elsewhere; this is Mirth and Motivation not Dirt and Divulgation. Did I mention my favorite saint yet? He is St Jude of Thaddeus or Thaddaeus; the Patron saint of desperate or hopeless causes. I loved the sound of his role; desperate or hopeless. Go to St Jude when the going gets tough because he’ll be on it fast. No queues or tickets, just the facts and then the solution. See, read desperate… He has a dedicated website, and I enjoy celebrating his feast and praying to him… would highly recommend. I love St Jude and all the other revered saints, but crying? Keening and whining? Hell Heavens NO! If I recall, revisiting the last memo I got from our Father above, we are done with that. They died to help us live… tears of joy and celebration on their sainthood? Yes. Crying and whining? Nyet!

“The self-assured believer is a greater sinner in the eyes of God than the troubled disbeliever.” Soren Kierkegaard

Reflections: Entertaining Saints & Sinners... Saints/Sinners in gaping hell?

Of course, I almost forgot to mention the admonishments of sanctimonious believers who are quick to point out our sins while theirs are wrapped tightly with magic tape… but I’m not going to “pay them any mind…” as my dear friend Penny M would say. I’ll just pray them back to the confessional. Is there an app for that? Better yet, if they start with the self-righteous finger pointing, I’ll point them to Swami Vivekananda’s quote above, and say, “Look, dude/dudette, there is no sin only error and enough with the sinner shtick. We are not sinners, okay? We are human beans… I mean beings. Goodbye. Auf Wiedersehen. hwyl fawr! ___ (insert goodbye in any other language you know?)” If they insist on pushing the sinner agenda, I’ll direct them to ABC’s Pan Am to go take a flight. Perhaps while flying high, closer to the heavens, they’d see the proverbial light. More below…Β  πŸ˜‰

“All human history attests. That happiness for man β€”the hungry sinner!β€” Since Eve ate apples, much depends on dinner. Lord Byron (Don Juan. Canto xiii. Stanza 99)

Reflections: Entertaining Saints & Sinners... All are welcome to the party! πŸ˜‰

Lord Byron had some serious insider information and, as I see it, dinner matters most. Whether saint or sinner, we all need a decent meal. Once we have satisfied our creature comforts, we’d be game for any complicated conversation about what defines a sinner and a saint.Β  Aside from the obvious distinctions, How do we distinguish a sinner from a saint? In millennium speak, after we rule out the usual suspects, you know, the bad guys, are sinners overactive social media fanatics? Are bloggers, twitterers, or Facebook fans saints? Does it matter? The way I see it, as long as we can have a bloody blessed good time entertaining saints and sinners, and everyone walks away peacefully satisfied, I’m in. I’ll gladly laugh with sinners and saints. Let’s leave the crying and kvetching to the drama kings and queens. What about you?Β  What are your thoughts? What would you do? Have you ever entertained saints and /or sinners? Do share! Thank you. :-)

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Would you rather laugh with sinners, or cry with saints?

Positive Motivation Tip: A saint is a reformed sinner and to err is human. Enjoy the party.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Saints of the Church, St Jude Thaddeus, Sinners or Saints Hell?,Β  and Entertainment viaΒ  Wikipedia.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. Β©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

43 Comments leave one →
  1. 26/09/2011 1:03 am

    We share beliefs, but you state yours so elegantly. Glad the pea green only appears on the outer edges of my heart and does not surface upward. Glad that as a Jew, I believe that all evil thoughts are just thoughts, not mortal sins. Lucky me.

    Going to bed. Bad day tomorrow. Teeth pulling. Will practice my advice and stay strong. Will not share the trip to the dentist, however.

    • 26/09/2011 1:44 am

      Amen to that and I’m glad you caught the humor too… TY for the kind words. Pea green? πŸ˜†
      Bets wishes on the dental work tomorrow… and thanks for reminding me as I have to reschedule a dental appointment. πŸ™‚

  2. 26/09/2011 1:27 am

    I want to be a saint but I’m not. I can try but honestly I don’t think I can. But I’ll try. I grew up in a strict Catholic upbringing but once you get out of the confines of the school, the world is blaring anything the flesh desires, all material things that consumerism has to offer. I recognize my sins, it’s what keeps me going back to church. My son knelt at church today and proudly did the sign of the cross after a CCE class. My hopes I see in him. God bless you always my friend. Your post touches our hearts…

    • 26/09/2011 1:32 am

      Thank you Island traveler! Like you, I grew up Catholic and attended Catholic schools. I like to find the humor in my experiences as I find it helps cut the ice… Would you believe I wanted to become a nun and my dad refused? πŸ˜† Life goes on and I’m keeping an open mind on this topic. I am a person of faith but I know a sense of humor is very important… TY for your kind words as I appreciate it much and I’m happy for your son… brings back memories… πŸ™‚

  3. 26/09/2011 1:40 am

    Sometimes, what once was a sinner, became a saint.

    Our own Mary MacKillop for example, was excommunicated from the church for rallying for the health and welfare of the poor. Evil woman. But you can’t keep a good woman down, and now she’s a saint.

    “Some things, though right, were considered wrong for generations. Since the value of righteousness may be recognized after centuries, there is no need to crave an immediate appreciation.” Zengetsu, T’ang dynasty

    • 26/09/2011 1:49 am

      Narelle, spot on… that was part of the dirty secret; excommunication and then sainthood by the same church… πŸ™‚
      There is, in the scheme of things, a saint in every sinner… I love the quote from Zengetsu, so, so true! TY! πŸ™‚

  4. 26/09/2011 3:58 am

    There’s an app for pretty much everything now, so why not? πŸ™‚

    • 26/09/2011 10:04 pm

      I’m glad you picked up on that one Sharon… I have to admit that I had a good laugh when it popped in my had. TY! πŸ˜‰

  5. 26/09/2011 5:12 am

    Yeah, I didn’t like this prompt; but I like that first quote πŸ™‚

    • 26/09/2011 10:08 pm

      It was a difficult one to bite into and I knew that humor would have to be the road to take or it will get too serious and preachy… TY! πŸ™‚

  6. 26/09/2011 6:24 am

    I dine with saints, or saints-in-the-making everyday. My grandmother was definitely one!
    Great post, Elizabeth!

    • 26/09/2011 10:18 pm

      I’m all for the saints because I grew up with them and love their path of courage and devotion. TY! πŸ™‚

  7. 26/09/2011 6:19 am

    the path must be joy – do not block your creativity …

    • 26/09/2011 10:17 pm

      Strangely, when I came to your blog to leave comments, I didn’t see today’s post… anyway, I don’t believe in devils… I have a Christian background and foundation and I am a spiritual person interested in eastern philosophical teachings and yoga… My beliefs are universalist in nature. I’m not interested in condemning anyone’s path; it’s not for me to decide. TY! πŸ™‚

  8. 26/09/2011 11:30 am

    Never bought into the notion of saints and sinners. Love this quote:

    β€œThe Vedanta recognizes no sin it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that.” Swami Vivekananda

    Thanks, E!

    • 26/09/2011 10:39 pm

      I love the quote too as it sums up what the basic problem is with being on the sinner trail… TY πŸ˜‰

  9. 26/09/2011 11:56 am

    My first memories of religion were through my grandfather, who was a southern Baptist minister. They were all about eradicating the sinners but sadly most of them were sinners and I learned about hypocrits who turned me off the entire mess for good.
    I believe there is a major difference between spirtuality and religion. You made this a fun post and I applaud you for that.

    • 26/09/2011 10:42 pm

      Yes, the hypocrisy was something that bothered me growing up too… All the nice colored by viciousness..and a rigidity that was saddening. TY πŸ˜‰

  10. 26/09/2011 1:29 pm

    This was difficult prompt and your post had me thinking about it all morning. Is sinning just a religious concept or is it a moral one? For me a sin is anything we do that causes another pain but it has taken me way too long to figure that out! You said it best!

    • 27/09/2011 3:10 pm

      I chose the humor route because there are many schools of thought on the subject, and a light touch is always a good thing… Sin is really a religious term so if we are looking at it from a moral perspective, we will have to use every day language; error, crime, illegal act and so on.. TY! πŸ˜‰

  11. 26/09/2011 1:51 pm

    The whole notion presupposes that sinners have fun and saints are a mess… so does that it make it a devil of a quote? I’d much rather laugh with saints. And I, like Nancy, love the Swami quote! (PS – I know someone who needs St. Jude today… gonna put a bug in that person’s ear!)

    • 27/09/2011 3:18 pm

      It could make it a devil of a quote but if you look at the Saints historically, they had many challenges and much sadness… However, like you, I wouldn’t want a weeping session with my saints too. I would rather laugh and celebrate their glory.
      The sinner term is sometimes used as a whip in some Christian circles or used to make people feel worthless and bad. It is not an approach I subscribe to as I’m all for empowerment and I believe in an empowering God; one who brings the courageous David out in us, not turn us into sniveling, whimpering peons… just my two cents. TY! πŸ™‚

  12. 26/09/2011 4:07 pm

    *still trying to recover*… from laughing πŸ™‚
    Re being raised a Catholic: It took me ages to recover from that… The worst were coping with completely unnecessary guilt & shame and living in constant fear of “them above” watching my every movement (including me using the loo, yes), just waiting to send me to purgatory, if not straight to hell. I always had a very vivid imagination, and all these scenarios were very real and “realistic” to me, part of my life.
    Btw, there is a patron saint of laughter: St. Sarah (wife of Abraham). According to, she is venerated by the Holy Roman Catholic Church because she was the first female convert from paganism. (Was Abraham a Catholic??) Miracles: She gave birth to her first child, Isaac (meaning “laughter”) at the age of 90 (ninety).

    • 27/09/2011 3:27 pm

      Well TY dear Maria!
      I’m with you on the Catholic path we followed… and glad that common sense kicked in at a certain age and I merrily moved on. πŸ˜‰ It is still a great tradition and I still love the rituals an worship but…
      Yes, Sarah’s story is a biblical one and she did have a child in her old age, no less after she encouraged her hubby to get another wife. Well, Abraham was of the Jewish faith and their story is an important one in the Old Testament… So I’d have to read up on how the Catholic Church co-opted her…
      I mean, their story goes way, way back and one would assume that Sarah lived well before the existence of the Catholic Church. I didn’t know about Sarah becoming a saint… but It’s all good. TY! πŸ™‚

  13. 26/09/2011 10:10 pm

    What a great post, Elizabeth. I haven’t worried about sin in years. Maybe I should. I have reached a point where I pretty much accept my actions and figure God will too, will see what’s in my heart and it isn’t evil. Now you have me thinking again.

    • 27/09/2011 3:31 pm

      Oh you have nothing to worry about Jacqui, I am of the school that we have a loving, forgiving and merciful God… We must or all the atrocities that have happened in our world, over the years, would have led to another 40 days and 40 nights Noah experience… But then, according to the great book, it would be angels on chariots… Revelation, TY! πŸ™‚

  14. 26/09/2011 9:04 pm

    Elizabeth, thank you for subscribing to my blog – I really appreciate it! πŸ™‚

    • 27/09/2011 3:28 pm

      You are welcome and I hope it will be a reciprocal blogging friendship.
      Have a great day! πŸ™‚

  15. 27/09/2011 5:52 am

    It wasn’t easy growing up Catholic, was it? The guilt was always there! It was so bad that I had to lie in the confessional booth–sad, huh? So I guess I’ll have to run with the sinners.

    • 27/09/2011 3:36 pm

      LOL! You are funny! You don’t’ have to run with the sinners, whoever they are, Terry… Look, I was praying to the saints to punish a few people… and some of those people wore habits… get it? πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†
      We were kids and we are fine because if there was one thing the church did for us, it was to instill a moral compass and a guilty conscience in us… We don’t even think about doing the bad stuff because we believe everyone is watching…Oy vey! Works like a charm even in adulthood… and it keeps us out of trouble. πŸ˜‰

  16. 27/09/2011 7:03 am

    Great advise!

  17. 27/09/2011 7:42 am

    On the grounds I may inadvertently incriminate myself, I’m declining the opportunity to divulge any sinning or sinners or saintliness (saintlessness?) or saints in my hsitory! πŸ˜†

    Great post!

    • 27/09/2011 3:39 pm

      You are funny Robyn and we understand… Were you raised Catholic too? Welcome to the community! I have many good memories as well as some not so good ones but who doesn’t?
      So, it is a balance of sorts… We were kids caught between holiness and hypocrisy and we survived. It’s all good. πŸ™‚

      • 28/09/2011 4:20 am

        I was baptised an Anglican, confirmed High Church of England. My mother didn’t send me to a Catholic School because she didn’t like the nun’s attitude to patent leather shoes. I guess she liked patent leather shoes! πŸ˜†

      • 28/09/2011 8:11 pm

        Patent leather shoes!?? What a riot… I must admit they did have a few odd rules. We were allowed to wear Mary Janes in brown leather only… No other style or design… I despised those brown shoes! πŸ˜†

  18. 28/09/2011 1:05 pm

    Enjoyed reading your post. Sometimes I wonder why we as a people get caught up in labels. Sinner, Saint, God, Goddess, etc. Who’s to say who is what at which point in their lives or even at which point in their day?

    • 28/09/2011 10:58 pm

      Exacto! All these labels just create more anxiety for folks and then we start to second guess our actions.
      Thank you for stopping by… πŸ™‚

  19. Bree permalink
    29/09/2011 11:47 am

    I’m still laughing over this post. The tongue in cheek humor gets me and I’m still on the floor over what you were praying for.
    I’m sure there’s an app for almost anything. Loved that question! :-_

  20. 29/09/2011 2:52 pm

    I was raised catholic but have discovered a more spiritual path along the way, and while I may have to bite my toungue around my more conservative relatives who claim what I do is wrong (omg so I read my horoscope everyday!) I still think sinners should be cut a little slack. After all we’re all just speculators, so who’s to say what the “sinners” are doing is wrong? Very good post. Loved it!

  21. 06/10/2011 6:47 am

    I love this quote, so true — β€œThe only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” Oscar Wilde

    Really, why are saints recognized or beatified when they’re dead? Just asking…

    β€œThe Vedanta recognizes no sin it only recognizes error…” — I want to be like The Vedanta, haha…

    “Is there an app for that?” – lol, what’s this app for, for confessions? let me know when it’s available πŸ™‚

    Seriously thanks for sharing, new learnings on The Vedanta

  22. 17/10/2011 11:12 am

    I’ve never partied with saints, but have done so with some darn good folks. Then there are the sinners too I have/do spend time with. To my way of thinking the best thing I can do to help them is be a good example. I try to do that every day….


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