To be a Saint
by Frederick Buechner
To be a saint is to be human because we were created to be human. To be a saint is to live with courage and self-restraint and more than that. To be a saint is to live not with the hands clenched to grasp, to strike to hold tight to a life that is always slipping away the more tightly we hold it; but it is to live with the hands stretched out to give and to receive with gladness. To be a saint is to work and weep for the broken and suffering of the world, but it is also to be strangely light of heart in the knowledge that there is something greater than the world that mends and renews. Maybe more than anything else, to be a saint is to know joy. Not happiness that comes and goes with the moments that occasion it, but joy that is always there like and underground spring no matter how dark and terrible the night. To be a saint is to be a little out of one’s mind, which is a very good thing to be a little out of from time to time. It is to live a life that is always giving itself away and yet is always full.
- "The Magnificient Defeat" 1966