The other evening I watched the biographical movie of Saint Hildegard of Bingen. As I sat there and watched this very beautifully made movie about the inspiring life of this very wise and holy Saint, I began to think how by today’s standards all the Saints that had heavenly visions, the mystics, would be considered mentally ill, insane, unfit, demented, etc…
SOCIETY AND VISIONS
Society would more than likely go as far as calling their visions illusions and say they were baseless unless they could prove, absolutely, without a doubt, that the messages they received were true and truly from God. I myself think I too, in my limited and envious mind, would find myself thinking there was something wrong with them. I probably would begin to think that they had lost connection to reality and had fallen into a realm of fantasy. But could it be that the reality of things is not that they who are demented, illusioned, crazy people living in fantasy but rather it is us who do not believe that are living in the fantasy?
OUR FANTASTIC LIFE
Many of us live in a fantasy world that revolves our identity around material wealth and power. Many times we revolve around our fancy, expensive cars, our desire to have a luxurious home, expensive name-brand clothing, the amount of money we have, the influence we have over people, the titles we hold and the number of prestigious relationships we have.
Perhaps it is we that are living the fantasy are are lost to reality and these mystics, these Saints, all “had their eyes opened just a little bit” (Fr. Tim Galagaher, Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living) to see the reality of heaven, of our Loving God. They, like the apostles, saw that their home is not on earth but in heaven before the throne of our soverign and loving King, Jesus Christ.
These Saints took all the words of our Lord serious and ran the race, faced persecution from all people, even some from those who were supposed to love them without condition. They persevered and in the end attained the goal of eternal life with all of Heaven.