I read this article in UU World with great interest. While it mostly talked about the beautiful artwork of Andrene Kauffman displayed at Third Unitarian Church in Chicago, it got me thinking about the idea of "liberal" saints.
Having been raised Roman Catholic, I am well versed on saints. I could probably tell you more about them then anything else in the Bible. I love saints. I love reading their stories and hearing of all their amazing deeds. I believe that they were actual people. In fact, if I have to get on a plane, I wear my St. Christopher* medal. It brings me comfort. I even say a little prayer to him for safe travels. While to become an official saint in the church a miracle needs to have occurred, I don't find that necessary. To me, what makes them a saint is the life they chose to lead, despite great hardship to them and their family. I pray to St. Christopher to inspire in me the strength and bravery he had to "cross the raging river".
This is why I enjoyed reading Donald Skinner's article. I don't believe in worshipping people, but I do believe in learning from the amazing lives others have led. Whether they be in biblical times or the twentieth century, we all can learn something from our fore bearers. How many of us are currently living lives of comfort without really challenging ourselves to make a difference? I know I could work on living a more purposeful life. People like Jane Addams, Maria Montessori, and Harriet Tubman are current saints that inspire me. While many people might feel uncomfortable using the word saint,I would suggest broadening its definition to include one who has led a truly led an inspiring life. That, to me, is true sainthood.
*I do realize there is some question to St. Christopher's sainthood, but according to my ideas of being a saint, there is no question.