Christianity has a long tradition of encouraging people to meditate on the lives of the saints. That tradition has foundered somewhat in this egalitarian age, in which we resist the notion that some lives are worthy of emulation. We have also been schooled by modern journalism and psychology to suspect that virtue is never unblemished. Beneath heroic accomplishment must lie private vice, or at least an aberrant personality.
Yet, as previous generations understood, stories of the saints are needed to show us the kind of life it is possible to lead. Perhaps in our time more than ever, we need stories of how particular lives of virtue and faith can take shape.