The greatest bank heists in the history of human crookery reveal both human depravity at the lowest of its lows, and human ingenuity at the highest of its heights. Yet, in re-creating us in the Paschal Mystery, God desires for us to leave behind our depravity, in transcending in virtue born of His Love, while retaining our human ingenuity, in converting it in the sanctifying grace of God, turning it into the cleverness which wins souls for God in, but not of, the world. And the good thief, the sinner who stole heaven in perfectly contrite repentance, is the light of Christ which shines in the cleverness of Love, which takes the philosophy of the world and runs it through the heart of the saint to address the problems of the needy.
Subsequently, glorifying God in the heart and the mind of the saint.
"Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land...The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done!" Amos 8:4-7
So how does this transformation from convicted thief to contrite saint take place? First, it occurs in the humble realization of both God's Transcendent Holiness and the sinners utter desolation. And then, like a lightning bolt, the sinner, in a heap of nothingness, is offered Mercy from on high. And this blows his, or her, mind! For I am nothing but a dirty sinner...and the Almighty deems it appropriate to reach down from Heaven with His Holy Right Arm to save me?
For Amazing Love cleanses all acquired human filth. In the flash of His Will!
"He raises up the lowly from the dust; from the dunghill he lifts up the poor to seat them with princes, with the princes of his own people." Psalm 113:1-2, 4-8
Great human minds, driven by worldly ambition, have fallen (or rather have transcended in repentance) to the unfathomable and overwhelming mystery of the Mercy of the Lord; He, who forgives the unforgivable. Whether Saul to Paul, or rotten crook to good thief, or immature son of Monica to St. Augustine, or philosopher Edith Stein to St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, the pantheon of intelligent fools turned wise saints is innumerable, and shines as our hope within our own foolishness.
And it shouts, 'God is good, all the time!'
"First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone..." 1 Timothy 2:1-8
In this great plan of Mercy, God has left an important niche for us. The God of Mercy desires that we, especially within the Perfect Sacrifice of His Beloved Son in the Eucharistic celebration of the Mass, participate in the conversion of sinners to saints. Certainly, it starts with our own conversion. But it also includes our prayers for all our brothers and sisters in 'this valley of tears.' For prayer, especially in Communion with the Eucharistic Lord, is most powerful for the conversion of sinners. And, as a side note in the Perfect Genius of God, it creates a more compassionate heart within us.
For God's conversionary powers flow in all directions, all the time.
"No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon.” Luke 16: 1(or 10)-13
In the end, we are the Church Militant on the side of the Victorious Christ. But we are in the midst of self-created battles yet to be won! And the enemy, though depraved in intent, and weak in sin, is ever so clever in the ruin of souls. Therefore, God calls His Church, His Body, suffering for the good of all mankind, to transcend in Loving intent, utilizing the brilliance of our God-given minds in the ingenuity which wins the battles on earthly turf in turning souls to Christ in Spirit-inspired Love.