A portrait of a saint
"... the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (v.27)
The Christian in whom the fruit of the Spirit is fully evident is the best picture of saintliness it is possible to find. How would we go about painting a portrait of a saint? Some sections of the Church say that a saint has to have several qualifications -- faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance -- and all of them in an heroic degree. Others take from Scripture its own catalog of the virtues begotten in the human soul by the Holy Spirit. They see, therefore, in Paul's list an inspired catalogue of the qualities that characterize a saint.
How then does God go about painting a portrait of a saint? His canvas is the Scriptures -- the Word of God. The colors He puts on His palette are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control. The absence of any one of these virtues would be serious, for every one is needed if the portrait is to be a masterpiece. These colors, by the way, are not pastel shades -- every one is deep and rich and vibrant. The model He uses is the peerless example of His own dear Son, in whom every quality is seen to its utmost perfection and wondrously balanced by every other. Even now, as you read these lines, His brush strokes are at work, gently and lovingly caressing into your nature all the lineaments of your Lord's character. All He asks is that you hold still -- that you stop trying and start trusting. Do this -- and in the truest sense of the word, you will become a saint.
My Father and my God, help me hold still as You go about the task of painting in me the portrait of a saint. Let every brush stroke reflect the beauty and loveliness of Your eternal Son. I ask this in and through His precious Name. Amen.
For Further Study
1. Write out a list of the fruit of the Spirit.
2. Ask God for a fresh anointing of His Spirit today.