I find a devastating irony in devotion to the saints as a role model.

There is a look that romanticizes holiness by believing that it is the extinction of vices and bad habits; however, there is another look, more veiled, that involves accepting yourself as a sinner in order to punish yourself for not fitting into the canons of the time in which you live.

So many things that were previously so reprehensible and today so accepted, would have to make us question all our beliefs.

Although, at least in theory, guilt keeps us on the path of our own good and caring for others, excessive punishment of our imperfection keeps us away from happiness and joy.

I then propose an alternative look at holiness: That we do not confuse this need to sanctify ourselves and end up just flogging ourselves. That our pleasure is not that of the martyr, that not only in the search for pain we feel good about ourselves.