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RE: Lincoln as secular saint - Eva Elisabeth - 05-22-2015 08:51 AM

(05-20-2015 04:08 PM)Juan Marrero Wrote:  It is wonderful that we have people like her and Lincoln to look up to, even when, unlike the biographer, we find inperfections.
One who was at least officially beatified is Mother Theresa, "Blessed Teresa of Calcutta". I think there needs at least one miracle to be credited to her to make her an applicant for the actual "St. title" (the Catholics will know better).

I think during all wars there were many people (not all appropriately remembered) who acted in an extraordinary human way to help others while facing the danger or fact of having to sacrifice their own lives. As for WWII, Otto Schindler and Dietrich Bonhöffer come to my mind first.

Two further persons who followed an exceptional path in life in order to help others to me were Ghandi and Albert Schweitzer.

RE: Lincoln as secular saint - LincolnToddFan - 05-22-2015 01:58 PM

Hi Eva,

Mother Theresa was canonized under the pontificate of Benedict XVI. She is indeed now St. Theresa of Calcutta.

RE: Lincoln as secular saint - Eva Elisabeth - 05-22-2015 06:18 PM

Hi Toia,
This is new to me, and I cannot find any evidence on the internet as for when this should have happened (only the confirmation of what I posted - lacking miracle...). May I ask - how do you know and when was it?
This article e.g. is of May 19:

RE: Lincoln as secular saint - Eva Elisabeth - 05-23-2015 07:49 AM

Re: "I have had a life-long almost religious reverence of Lincoln. I read somehere that he is one who can be called great in three aspects: as president, writer, and saint."

I sure agree with you on the first two points, but would personally replace the last one by "role model".

"Saint" is a concept "created" by the Christian church(es), who recognize(s) a person having an exceptional degree of holiness, or likeness to God, and who had dedicated him/herself to God as a saint, proven by either two miracles performed through the saint's intercession after his or her death, or instead of one of the miracles, the acknowledgement that he/she gave his or her life voluntarily as a witness for the faith and/or in an act of heroic charity for others.

According to his wife, Abraham Lincoln only increasingly turned to God after Willie's death, and wasn't a "technical Christian" either as he didn't belong to any denomination. However, many religions also use similar concepts but different terminology. Theologian John A. Coleman wrote that saints across various cultures and religions have the following in common:

- exemplary model (Yes, I think he was in many ways.)
- extraordinary teacher (? Your thoughts?)
- wonder worker (? Your thoughts?)
- intercessor (? Your thoughts?)
- a life often refusing material attachments or comforts (He eagerly did increase his material estate!)
- possession of a special and revelatory relation to the holy (According to himself, at least in the context of the presidency - "I am but an accidental instrument, temporary, and to serve but for a LIMITED time.", "It has pleased Almighty God to place me in my present position and looking up to Him for wisdom and divine guidance I must work my destiny as best I can.")

Would Abraham Lincoln himself have liked to be worshipped as a saint? I personally doubt it, but I am sure he would have been delighted to be considered a good role model. And this he certainly was as for many of his accomplishments and personal/character features. To name just a few: his way from the log cabin to the presidency, his humanity, his forgiveness, his love for children and animals, his desire to offer his family the best life possible, his striving to improve and reconsider, his "remaining humbleness" in office, etc.pp. Still he was a human being and did make mistakes. And exactly this and his capability reconsider and to admit and take over responsibility for his mistakes is another feature that makes him a very good role model to me. I would never attempt to chose a saint as a role model as I know I, like most others would be doomed to fail from the onset. But Mr. Lincoln, despite I couldn't become president of your country, makes a great, but still "realistic"role model in everyday life.

RE: Lincoln as secular saint - Wild Bill - 05-23-2015 08:24 AM

Sorry, Eva, but you description of what Saint means is exactly what many Lincoln fans really believe. As the old Hymn says, Nearer my God to thee. That's Old Abe.

RE: Lincoln as secular saint - Juan Marrero - 05-23-2015 09:57 AM

Mother Teresa is now Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Beatification is the stage before canonization. Many blesseds don't make it all the way to saint. It's like being vice-president, I guess.

As the article suggests, she may be canonized in 2016 but the process can easily get gummed up. Any purported miracle must vetted by doctors, reviewed by a group of Cardinals who then send it to the Pope for his final say, then a date is set for the ceremony.

M. Teresa is widely respected and admired, but she does have her critics inside and outside the Church. Personally, I wish that her order, the Missionaries of Charity, made life a little softer for the nuns who join. Poverty is one thing, but complete self-denial another. Such a life apparently can lead some to holiness and others to chronic irritation!

RE: Lincoln as secular saint - LincolnToddFan - 05-23-2015 07:51 PM

I apologize, folks Juan is correct. Mother Theresa is beatified or "Blessed", not canonized yet.

As for admiration vs. worship...I admire Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, and Abraham Lincoln. I worship only the Trinity(Father, Son and Holy Ghost)Wink

And Lincoln would have been the first to scoff at any attempt to deify or worship him!

RE: Lincoln as secular saint - Eva Elisabeth - 05-23-2015 08:35 PM

Hi Toia,
The Catholics where I came from (and AFAIK this is the same in general) used to pray to and worship saints, too, that's what I was thinking of (and Abraham Lincoln's reaction to the Messiah incident in Richmond - I just think he also would feel embarrassed being entitled a saint).
Admire is a word I am fine with, and he would probably have been, too!!!

RE: Lincoln as secular saint - LincolnToddFan - 05-23-2015 09:13 PM

I can't speak for those people Eva, because I am sure there are indeed many misguided and poorly catechized Catholics who worship saints. But the Catechism of the Catholic Church has never taught the worship of Saints. Saints are VENERATED and invoked-or prayed to, because they are still considered members of the Church as stated in the Credo("I believe in the Communion of Saints")

The Church has always taught that death does not separate us spiritually, only physically from those who have gone before. We are encouraged to pray and invoke the intercession and assistance of those who have led holy lives. In the catacombs about Rome archeologists have inscriptions and writings that the early Christians did exactly that..."Holy Apostle Peter...Pray For Us".

Unfortunately the veneration of Saints and holy images is one of the most misunderstood teachings of the Church and it's own people and priests are at fault for that.

RE: Lincoln as secular saint - Eva Elisabeth - 05-24-2015 01:29 AM

Toia, I am sorry, I used "worship" because in German there's no difference in the verbs venerate and worship, so from the "German point of view" I cannot see a difference in the action. Both words can be translated by "honor" ("verehren") and "pray to" ("anbeten"), both words would be used equally in German for what you "do with/to saints", and the latter meaning was the one I had in mind:

RE: Lincoln as secular saint - LincolnToddFan - 05-24-2015 01:41 AM

That makes sense, thanks Eva. We are discussing nuances, but in English veneration is not exactly the same as worship, which is to honor a person or thing as part of the Godhead.

Worshipping any saint as a God would be equal to idolatry, as the very excellent article you provided points out.....

[Some people ask “why say prayers to saints? Shouldn’t all our prayers be to God?” Praying to the saints is praying to God, in a fundamental way. We're praying to those who can ask God to help us in our various needs in accordance with His will.

When you ask someone to pray for you are you worshiping that person? Of course not! It’s the same when we ask the saints to pray for us! In our prayers to saints we ask them to “put in a good word” for us with God in Heaven. They are not the focus of our worship, God is
// quote

RE: Lincoln as secular saint - Eva Elisabeth - 05-24-2015 06:17 AM

Thanks, Toia. Happy Whitsun btw!

RE: Lincoln as secular saint - My Name Is Kate - 06-25-2015 06:19 PM

Suppose the Catholic Church has canonized someone a saint, then the Second Coming (for those who believe in Christianity) finally comes around, at which the Bible tells us all people both living and dead will be judged by God, and His judgment conflicts with the Catholic Church's judgment. I know the Catholic Church claims, or used to claim that the Pope is infallible in his judgment, still, I would assume God's judgment takes precedence over the Pope's or the Catholic Church.

I'm not nearly as religious as I probably should be, and I have not opened a Bible in I don't know how many years, but I did study it at one time and many things that are written in it stick in my mind. Here are a couple more that I think are relative to the concept of sainthood.

In one of the Gospels, someone called Jesus "Good Master" (or it may have been "Good Teacher"), and Jesus took exception to that, countering with "Why do you call me "good"? No one is good except God" (meaning "of course I am good since I am God, and there is no goodness other than or apart from me.")

Somewhere else in one of the Gospels, someone asked Jesus about the dead (I forget the exact question) and Jesus' response was "The dead know not anything." So what possible good could it do to pray to someone who has no consciousness? And what is the Final Judgment for if people immediately go to the next world?

RE: Lincoln as secular saint - Juan Marrero - 06-25-2015 10:33 PM

Note the term "secular saint" is a term of art covering very good people who are not revered by a specific religion. If you go to the Wikipedia article for the term, you will note that such people as Audrey Hepburn, Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton, and Ann Frank (who was a secular Jew) are or were listed as "secular saints". It has nothing to do with the Second Coming or the Roman or Orthodox churches formal process of canonization. It can be said that Lincoln "worshippers" have turned him into a "secular saint."

RE: Lincoln as secular saint - My Name Is Kate - 06-26-2015 12:52 AM

My questions are raised by the discussion in this thread concerning nonsecular saints canonized by the Catholic church. But I guess I'll take this opportunity to give my opinion about the canonization of secular saints by the media, popular opinion, or whatever. I don't think anyone should be given the label of saint. Besides, anyone who truly is "saintly" would not want to be called that. Same goes for celebrities and such, who are elevated above ordinary folks but hardly deserve such status, for the most part.