If you are Catholic and you have kids, then you have the little picture books of saints.
You know the ones I’m talking about. The thin little paperbacks where each page is devoted to a particular saint, with a colorful illustration and a brief story about the saint’s life.
My kids love these books. I love these books. They’re great little books. They’re great for teaching children that to get to Heaven, we need to love God and our neighbor, and lead lives of holiness.
And also…we need to look fantastic.
It’s true. Although the saints led devout lives of service to the Church, and in some cases lived in extreme poverty and even solitude, it also looks like most of them probably found time to co-star in films with Fred Astaire, Grace Kelly, and quite possibly, Legolas.
Don’t believe me?
See what I mean?
But Heaven wasn’t always such an exclusive club. The illustrations in the first few books in this series actually give most of us regular-looking folks a glimmer of hope…
But right around the ninth or tenth book, the talented artist in charge of painting the saints’ portraits just started going for it.
And I’m pretty sure I saw Book No. 12 being sold in the check-out aisle at the grocery store.
I don’t mean to be critical at all. I think pictures of saints should look nice. Sure, our outward appearance isn’t an automatic indicator of the state of our soul, but I think it is true that holy people can project a certain appeal. Goodness attracts, right? Can’t a person’s inner holiness shine through somehow and reflect in a real physical way the image and likeness of God?
As I said, I like these books. And they really are beautiful pictures – even a glimpse into Heaven maybe.
Which is nice, because with the mug I was born with it looks like a glimpse is all I might get.
oooooooooooooooooooooooHe went straight to Heaven