Stefano Maderno, The Martyrdom of St. Cecilia (1599), Church of St. Cecilia, Trastevere, Rome.
Here’s one of the most profound things I’ve read lately. Although we Baptists have a different definition of “saint,” this is too good not to share with you:
“The saints are what they are, not because their sanctity makes them admirable to others, but because the gift of sainthood makes it possible for them to admire everybody else. It gives them a clarity of compassion that can find good in the most terrible criminals. It delivers them from the burden of judging others, condemning other men. It teaches them to bring the good out of others by compassion, mercy and pardon. A man becomes a saint not by conviction that he is better than sinners but by the realization that he is one of them, and that all together need the mercy of God!” (Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation)