Not true! All of us are called to be saints, and you
must believe this if you truly believe and accept what the Bible, the Word of God
teaches, the Church teaches and what the saints have taught by their words and
their lives! The sources of Biblical
challenges and imperatives for us to become saints are abundant as well as the
saints challenge us and encouraging us.
Jesus commands all of His followers
to become saints with these uncompromising and unequivocal words: BE HOLY AS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS HOLY!!!!( Mt.
5:48) The tense used is the
“Imperative” tense—meaning that it is an order, an obligation, an imperative,
and command, no way around it! The theology of grace teaches us clearly that
God never commands the impossible, but what He commands He always gives
sufficient grace--- divine help and assistance—to carry out!
Furthermore, in one of the Beatitudes,
once again Jesus challenges us to holiness of life, listen attentively:
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for holiness, they will be filled.”(Mt.
5: 6) Remember the words of the
Psalmist: “As the deer yearns for the running streams so my soul longs for you
a Lord my God.” The human heart has an
insatiable hunger--- often for food, sex, power, claim and fame; these are
false-gods, or if you like idols! The
true object of the longing for the hungry heart is God and holiness of
life. The famous and brilliant convert
in his world-classic CONFESSIONS, St. Augustine hit the bull’s eye, when he
asserted: “O Lord you have made our hearts for thee and our hearts are restless
until they rest in thee.” Holiness depends greatly on desiring earnestly from
the heart, GOD AND GOD AS THE ONE
NECESSARY IN LIFE!!!
St. Paul, another famous convert,
stated clearly God’s will related to holiness: “This is the will of your
heavenly Father, your sanctification.”(I Th. 4:3) Sanctification is another way for saying
seeking out holiness of life. Both
Augustine and Paul went through radical conversions of life; and even if you
are the worst of all sinners you can still become a great saint. Jesus said to Saint Faustina Kowalska that
the worst of sinners can become the greatest of saints if they simply TRUST in
God’s mercy. Remember Mary Magdalene,
the Good Thief on the Cross, and the triple denial of Saint Peter! JESUS I TRUST IN YOU!
The Blessed Mother Teresa of
Calcutta, whom the world already viewed as a saint even while living, has her
say also on the call to sanctity; let’s listen to her challenging words: “Sanctity
(to become saints) is not the privilege of the few, but it is the
obligation of all.” In other words, becoming a saint does not belong to the
select, elite, privileged saintly aristocracy. No it is universal!
The saintly founder of Opus Dei,
Saint Jose Maria Escriva Balguer, known for his writings and teachings on how
to arrive at sanctity in practical ways and by doing one’s daily duties well
and for the honor and glory of God commented concisely: “The biggest crisis in the entire world is
the lack of saints!” The world is filled to the brim with crises, but the worse
is a lack of saints. You are called to be one! God’s plan is for you to be a
saint! We are not called to mediocrity
or tepidity or lukewarmness; rather we are called to greatness—meaning to be
One saint can accomplish miracles
among men in the world and can inspire others to become great saints. One of
the most impressive saintly priests was Saint John Marie Vianney, commonly
known as “The Cure of Ars”. Among his many accomplishments, the greatest was
his long hours that he spent in the confessional dispensing the mercy of God,
and reconciling sinners to God. He spent
decades in the little town of Ars, France. He spent from 10-17 hours in the
confessional on a daily basis. In the summers the confessional was like an oven
and the heat suffocating; in the winter the confessional was like a freezer.
Still, he spent those long hours confessing; such was his love for the salvation
of souls and the honor and glory of God.
At night the devil would visit him,
call him names, start fires and make loud and disturbing noises. The worse the
diabolic interference at night the more would the Cure of Ars rejoice. Why? It
was simply a joyful anticipation that the following day a “Big Fish” would
enter the confessional--- some sinner that had not been in the confessional for
many years! Sure enough he following day
the fish came in to the net of the confessional! How strong is the hunger and thirst that the
saints have for the salvation of souls.
Remember the motto of the great Saint John Bosco: “Give me souls and
take all the rest away!”
At the end of the life of the Cure of
Ars the devil appeared to him angrily complaining about the work of the saintly
priest. Why? Because clearly The
Cure of Ars was seriously damaging the work of the devil. The devil sadly
commented: “If there were three more like the Cure of Ars in the world, then my
kingdom would be ruined.”
Finally, one more proof and this is
from the Church! Among all of the
documents in the past one hundred years the Dogmatic Constitutions of the
Second Vatican Council--- along with the Catechism of the Catholic Church—are
of the highest importance. Furthermore, what is considered possibly the
greatest of Dogmatic Constitutions is LUMEN GENTIUM with its eight chapters. In the very heart of this Document, chapter 5
is found the chapter on THE CALL TO
HOLINESS (numbers 39-43).
Let us read and meditate on the
exact words at the very start of this all-inspiring chapter:
“The Church, whose
mystery is set forth by this sacred Council, is held, as a matter of faith, to
be unfailingly holy. This is because
Christ, the Son of God, who with the Father and the Spirit is hailed as “alone
holy”, loved the Church, as his Bride, giving himself up for her so as to
sanctify her (cf. Eph. 5:25-26); he joined her to himself as his body and
endowed her with the gift of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God. Therefore,
all in the Church, whether they belong to the hierarchy or are cared for by it,
are called to holiness, according to the apostle’s saying: “For this is the
will of God, your sanctification.” (1 Th. 4:3).” (Lumen Gentium V, # 39). The Council expresses the idea as clear as
the noonday sun: sanctity is a universal call—all are called to become saints.
Finally, a very simple and clear
dynamic could convince us all the more to accept the call to become saints and
starting with a simple but important question:
“How many of you want to go to heaven????” ALL, WITHOUT A DOUBT!!!! Well, who is in
heaven? The Trinity, Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the angels and who else????? THE
SAINTS!!!!! So, for you to go to heaven, you must become a saint! Why not start right now to strive to become
the great saint that God has called you to be! Mary, Queen of the angels and
all of the saints, pray for us!