A while ago we took the grandkids to the cinema to watch a movie they probably understood even though I didn’t. No matter – it was an enjoyable experience.
Somebody had brought an autistic boy who was obviously and noisily unsettled and troubled by the experience. Eventually the lady looking after him had to take him out even though he pleaded with her to let him stay. She had calmly and patiently tried to keep him tolerably quiet and persuade him to enjoy the movie but it was no go.
To my mind it requires the patience of a saint to cope with an autistic boy in this way, quietly handling what proved to be a disappointing attempt to brighten his existence by a visit to the cinema. It was only a tiny slice of an unknown life but I know I couldn’t do it. I’m patient but I’m not a saint. No – I just couldn’t do it.
On the other hand we have Cardinal Newman’s progress towards sainthood. Maybe he was a saintly man, but there are no such things as miracles and he did not have to look after autistic kids.