8. Let us be spurred on by the signs of holiness that the Lord shows us through the humblest members of that people which “shares also in Christ’s prophetic office, spreading abroad a living witness to him, especially by means of a life of faith and charity”. [Lumen Gentium 12]
We can be bothered by prophets. Institutions–from the Vatican to the parish office–are especially vulnerable to this sort of bother.
Edith Stein weighs in:
We should consider the fact that, as Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross suggests, real history is made by so many of them. As she writes: “The greatest figures of prophecy and sanctity step forth out of the darkest night. But for the most part, the formative stream of the mystical life remains invisible. Certainly the most decisive turning points in world history are substantially co-determined by souls whom no history book ever mentions. And we will only find out about those souls to whom we owe the decisive turning points in our personal lives on the day when all that is hidden is revealed”. [Verborgenes Leben und Epiphanie: GW XI, 145]
What do you make of her assessment of “the formative stream of the mystical life”? Most often, the mystical life is connected to personal virtue. Perhaps that is too limiting. While saints are regarded for virtue, the most revered of those considered holy have made of their lives a heroic witness for others.