This past Sunday was All Saints’ Day for Greek/Byzantine Catholics my archpriest was telling me yesterday as I called him on the phone. One thing that you notice about all the saints is that they all had doubts and that they were all slightly off on their viewpoint of God (compared to a lot of the modern developments in Catholic theology). Does All Saints’ Day tell you something about the church, Catholicity, and Orthodoxy? Perhaps it was my archpriest’s way of telling me, “Yeah, our modern mindset gets bogged down on the details but you know what, these guys made up the church and they were hardly bogged down on the details embracing a lack of complete understanding! In spite of your doubts, you’re still within range of salvation!”
So while we’re two days late–and my parish priest just wanted to focus on Fathers’ Day this week–let us reflect on the saints who were totally and completely wrong according to the church’s standards yet somehow right according to God’s standards. St. Peter for denying Christ three times. St. Paul for bickering with St. Peter. St. Thomas Aquinas for rejecting the immaculate conception. St. Justin Martyr for allowing the Arian heresy to exist. The list could go on and on for saints who blew it–I believe that Auntie told me that St. Isaac of Nineveh who is highly commemorated in all Eastern Christian traditions (especially Greek Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and The Assyrian Church of the East) was actually a Nestorian!