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“According to My Calculations,” said Spock . . .

It’s one of Spock’s favorite lines. “According to my calculations . . .”

I finally watched the second Star Trek movie with the young version of Kirk and Spock and Bones. I’ve been thinking about Spock’s line and how it applies to sainthood because – let’s face it – by all calculations, it is unlikely that any of us would become saints.

We are a messed up lot – this human race.

What are the chances that a total sinner could ever become a saint? Can God really tame her temper? Purge her selfishness? Teach her to silence the anxious thoughts? Guide her from the trap of using people – through her looks, or her wit, or her position of power?

What are the chances that God can remove a man’s disordered lust? Give him a heart for his wife and children? Lift him from the need to succeed? Show him how to trust a God he cannot see with finances, fertility, and the future?

“According to my calculations,” it simply cannot happen – except by grace. And grace isn’t a quiet thing that swoops down and renders everything sunshine and roses. It is sometimes jarring as it grabs us by the shirt collar.

Though it can be lovely, too.

A Catholic fiancé. A job with a new office across the street from a cathedral. A song masterfully sung. The smell of lilacs and an old country lane where God lingers.

God shows up in so many ways, and shakes us from our world of probability. Disoriented, we walk away from what we thought we’d do or be or act or choose. Then, disorientation fades and the will becomes stronger – strong as death, lovely as Life itself.

Yes, the saints above are laughing. They are Kirk, who lives a life against the odds. Who likes it that way.

Because, with God, all things are possible – including the transformation of sinners into saints.

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