Imitators of the Saints…
To remain steadfast in our faith, we need to simply be imitators of the saints:
We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of hope until the end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who, through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises. -Hebrews 6:11-12, NAB
This wonderful verse helps us to relate to the early Christians in marvelous ways. It plainly shows us that they faced many of the same challenges we do today, and to overcome those challenges, they followed the examples of those who came before them.
The author of Hebrews points the reader towards the great men and women of the Old Testament, challenging the first century Christians to follow the examples of the kings, prophets, and other heroes. He saw how their example could help guide the people on their own journey.
We can continue to do this today. We can learn from the courage of David, wisdom of Solomon, and faith of Abraham. And beyond the Old Testament, we have the heroes of the New Testament, such as Sts. Peter, Paul, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of course, Christ Himself. Their examples and teachings continue to light our paths to this day.
We also have the added benefit of looking beyond Scripture at the lives of the saints. Over the past two thousand years, there have been heroes from every tribe and nation that can serve as models for Christian living. From St. Francis of Assisi to Blessed Mother Teresa, we should be imitators of the saints who came before us.
The lives of the saints have inspired millions of Christians for centuries. Which saint has inspired you the most?