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The Self-proclaimed Saint

      All Saints by Fra Angelcio, 15th Century

Yet, by an obvious fact in no need of justification, we know perfectly well that no one can say “I am a saint” without total deception. Through a performative contradiction that is intuitively irrefutable, someone who lays claim to sanctity disproves it in him- or herself. Why can’t holiness lay claim to itself? Not only because one does not want to fall into the massive trap of pride in one’s own satisfaction and self-affirmation, which is involved, but above all because holiness is unaware of itself (for reasons that will have to be specified later). In any case, we know that there is no such thing as a self-proclaimed saint. To the contrary, self-proclamation (albeit through the intermediary of disciples or the community the saint has founded or tolerated) is the surest measure of the alleged saint’s fraud. The false prophet, like the false saint, always stands out conspicuously.




  1. The quote from "Little Children," "that the things we love... the people we love, at any time now can all be taken away." rings true to me. I wrote a song by that title in fact. My song "The People We Love" encourages us to love one another. We can cherish the gem that is set in our souls of the memories and love of our friends and family. In that way love never fails.

  2. Yes. In a sense love is impossible because to love implies loving once and forever; that what you love is not only loved for now but for the rest of your tomorrows. This seems impossible because there is no such guaranty of those tomorrows--for the people we love can be taken away any time, thus leaving us unable to love anymore, leaving us alone. To stare at this fact everyday--and most often I do--can lead one to despair.

    But even if it seems to be impossible, love still happens in reality, and not because we are just ignorant of the fact they can be taken away from us but, precisely, because and in spite of that. A philosopher said that when you say you love someone what you mean is that he or she will not die. That even if "We expect her gone for some time / I wish her safe from harm." What happens to the people we love is beyond us, but love, as you said, will never fail because it will always strive to protect the people we love and cherish them within ourselves.

    Thank you, my friend. It is indeed a thought-provoking song.


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