Throughout my life, I've been told that there are certain people who have been declared to be saints. We really can't know what secret sins were in the hearts and lives of even the seemingly most holy people. Nor can we know what small sparks of goodness may have been left smoldering in the souls of those touched by those we consider to be most wicked.
We tend to want to put people in one or the other category, saint or sinner. I believe that we can't know what way the scales of life balance after we have died. A person who may have been a drain on the spirit of one person may have brought light into the soul of another.
Even saints are not gods; they too brought both pain and peace to those they left behind, and these influences may go on for generations to come. I cannot judge the goodness or badness of a person by what they do to or around me, but I can decide whether their presence in my life is a source of light or a source of sin to me. I believe that we are absolved of the shame of wrongs we inflicted in our lack of The Light, but that we are also admonished to help make right what we have set wrong.
Did Paul fully make amends to the families that followed his days of persecuting the Christians, or did the seeds of his destruction carry on for many generations, even until today? Are we fully at peace with all of creation simply because we have turned our new lives over to The Light? I don't think we can know.
We are the hands, hearts, and voices of The Holy Spirit on this earth. We must live to spread light into even the darkest places. For this, we must seek to infuse our lives with The Light so that it envelops all we encounter.
Spirit of Light,
Spirit so bright,
On me alight.