Disconcerting All Heroes

Christian Wallpaper
Statue of Saint Paul the apostle with a sword and scroll in Saint Peter's Square, outside Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City with the quote: “A hero gives us the illusion of surpassing humanity. But the saint does not surpass it: he assumes humanity. He strives to come as close as possible to his model, Jesus Christ, which is to say, the One who was perfect man, who was man with perfect simplicity, who was man to the point, precisely, of disconcerting all heroes.”—Georges Bernanos, Bernanos: An Ecclesial Existence
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“A hero gives us the illusion of surpassing humanity. But the saint does not surpass it: he assumes humanity. He strives to come as close as possible to his model, Jesus Christ, which is to say, the One who was perfect man, who was man with perfect simplicity, who was man to the point, precisely, of disconcerting all heroes.”—Georges Bernanos, Bernanos: An Ecclesial Existence

Original piece by Nils on Unsplash.

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Reflection

The quote isn’t to say heroism is bad; it simply casts a light on what it means to be a saint, a true hero. True heroism flies in the face of a culture that celebrates putting oneself over others, and going by one’s feelings over reason. That’s not to say one should completely neglect oneself or completely neglect one’s feelings, but to fiercely adhere to an agenda of “me and my feelings” blindly without concern for logic or for the wellbeing of others is the result of misused heroic qualities and a misplaced identity. Read more about The Qualities of a True Hero.

Note: The quote is a slightly condensed version of the full passage:

“A hero gives us the illusion of surpassing humanity. But the saint does not surpass it: he assumes humanity; he strives to realize it as well as possible. Do you understand the difference? He strives to come as close as possible to his model, Jesus Christ, which is to say, the One who was perfect man, who was man with perfect simplicity, who was man to the point, precisely, of disconcerting all heroes”—Georges Bernanos, Bernanos: An Ecclesial Existence

 

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