Some of the books about the lives of the saints leave out any mention of their weaknesses, probably for fear of scandalizing us when we find out that they were men and women just like us.
But this is precisely why it is good to recognize that the saints we see up on altars weren’t made of wax, or plaster, or plastic; rather, they were flesh and blood, and like all mortals felt pain and had their own burdens; they were regular people who may have had to take medicine, had sleep problems, or got distracted during prayer.
Many books have the canonized so distant from us that all we can do is admire them. Placed so far away and so high, so draped with uncomfortable and ostentatious vestments, so separated from us, there is no way to imitate them. Such biographies make us believe that holiness is not for us.
But the real life stories of Christian heroes read like our own: they struggle and win, struggle and lose, and then struggle some more.
In the lives of holy souls there are sometimes extraordinary things, supernatural events and clear interventions by God. But this was not what made them saints, because such actions were not their own, but of God. What made them saints was their generosity in communicating the love of God in their daily lives during all those days, months and years when nothing out of the ordinary was happening.
It helps to know that from childhood St. Theresa of the Child Jesus (the Little Flower) had an insurmountable stubbornness, that St. Alphonsus Liguori had a wicked temper, that St. Augustine was a great sinner before his conversion, and that St. Teresa of Avila confessed to never having been able to pray a complete rosary without getting distracted.
It is commendable to know and to study the saints: very real men and women, with great virtues, heroic actions, and monumental faults.
Holiness does not consist of being up on a pedestal with a palm branch in hand and a crucifix on the breast. Saints are not inactive; they are always busy with lots of little things, like worrying about the illness of a brother, feeding the dog, carrying out their jobs, and joyfully doing other things that they are asked to do.
These are the saints of today - those who ride the metro, pray to the Virgin, work in the field, use a typewriter, rest on the weekends, and go back to the same job every Monday, concerned only with doing what they are called to do, extraordinarily well.
You too can be a saint
You have probably heard it said that all Christians are called to be saints, but can’t picture yourself as a plaster statue on an altar in some church, surrounded by candles and relics. Or perhaps the thought of seeing your picture on a holy card, a shimmering crown on your head, seems ridiculous.
However, being a saint isn’t about statues and prayer cards. Being a saint means reaching heaven in order to be with God, which is our calling from the moment of conception.
You’ve also probably heard some pessimist say that this world is beyond hope, that it’s headed straight for ruin. But that will not happen if you don’t let it.
It is true that we live in difficult times, that the Church has many problems, that many people are on the wrong path; but this has always been the case.
Since the beginning and throughout human history, there have always been just a few who have followed God, and it is in them that He has put all his trust.
God - the Supreme Being, the Omnipotent, the Omnipresent - has willed the need for man’s participation in the salvation of the human race, and with those few who have responded to Him, has made possible the Church’s survival in spite of all the external and internal attacks it has suffered.
God calls all, but very few answer. These few are the saints: men and women full of weaknesses and defects that have put themselves at God’s disposal, who have been willing to give Him five loaves and two fishes so that He could feed five thousand people. They are the ones who have given Him a house so that He could institute the Eucharist, and who have rolled away stones from sepulchers so that He could resurrect the dead. They are the men and women inspired to be the leaven, the salt, the light for the rest of humankind.
Whether you belong to the few who listen and respond to God depends entirely on you. God asks for your help, He counts on your participation for the salvation of many, but only you are in charge of your own response – positive or negative - to Him.
God calls you through your everyday life, through your companions and teachers, your tasks, your problems, successes and failures. Everything happening around you is a divine message, a call to holiness right there where God has put you: in that house, in that school, in that job, with those classmates, coworkers and those brothers and sisters, for you to transform them with your light.
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|Published by: JUAN ANTONIO SALOMON|
|Date: 2010-06-09 11:06:18|
|I ask god for forgiveness of my sins and past errands to keep on walking on his directions. bless you all
|Published by: MEHunter|
|Date: 2010-05-29 14:31:53|
|It's good to hear articles like this, because if you feel that you have grown up in a bad situation, it hangs on to you, its good to know there is hope.
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