Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Just Curious: How badly do you want to be a saint?



Watching the cultural, moral, and economic death spiral of a once-shining, exceptional America has done a lot to focus the minds of Catholics I know, including myself. The decline of the nation I love (and in which I felt comfortable) has caused me to look interiorly, and to recognize with blinding clarity that the only thing there is, the only option left to us, is the only thing we were ever called to in the first place: Sanctity.

With that urgent understanding now a part of my everyday thinking, I turn to you to ask:

How badly do you want to be a saint?

My question is directed at everyone reading this (though I expect that secularists and atheists would answer, "It's not even on my radar screen" and that's okay; I'm looking for honesty), and it might be the most important question you are ever asked, at least on a blog.

The truth that has been forgotten by some and unknown to others is that every single human being who has ever existed or will ever exist is made for one thing only: Union with God. Therefore, every single human being who has ever existed or will ever exist is called to be a saint.

There are no exceptions to this calling.

French writer Leon Bloy said that, "The only tragedy in life is not to be a saint."

He is right.

St. Thomas Aquinas told us in two words what it takes to be a saint: "Will it."

He is right.

To that end, I am "willing it" this year. Holiness cannot be achieved without discipline (the very root of "disciple"), which I lack utterly. My plan for holiness must be disciplined, but doable. It includes a daily rosary (the weapon in our spiritual arsenal that makes the demons tremble), weekly adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, and a formal program of prayer and formation, with a trained spiritual director as a guide, so that I may progress through the three stages of holiness.

Can I do this? I don't know, but I am excited (giddy, even?), nervous, hopeful. I know that I can't not try, because nothing else I do in this life will be worth spit if I don't.

There is not one thing that the world needs more desperately right now -- and I mean "desperately" like a dying man in the desert who is out of his mind for a drop of water -- than saints. We needs saints more than we need politicians, attorneys, scholars, philosophers, theologians, doctors, businessmen, celebrities or activists.

We need saints, saints, saints.

I want badly to be one. And I want all of you to be one, too. We are all called, and I pray that we are willing.

I'm earnestly asking, truly wanting to know…. How badly do you want to be a saint?

Be honest….








67 comments:

  1. I want to be a saint enough to accept the crosses God has given me, offering my suffering in union with that of Jesus on the Cross. I want to confess regularly, to eradicate sins which have become habits and most of all to love the unlovable because that is the true measure of my holiness. AND I will make prayer my first priority in my day to hear from God.

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  2. Yes. With every fiber of my being.

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  3. I should want to much more, but it is not something I think about often. My answer is "yes," but do my actions say "yes," too? Maybe to the average viewer - I go to Mass, I say prayers before meals and bed, I have sacramentals in my house that I use...but I can approach my spiritual life in an all-too-formulaic way - just checking things off my to-do list for the day, so to speak, the same way I mentally check off "brushing my teeth." I'm sure it still does me some good, but am I embracing my spiritual life to the degree that I should?

    I am probably most aware of my desire to be a saint when I examine my conscience in preparation for confession. I go now about once a month, which is much more frequently than the "every other year" I used to go! In those moments, when I really look at how I've failed and how I'm not living up to what I should, I am aware of just how badly I want to get to heaven. Though sometimes, it's more that I really really don't want to go to Hell.

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    1. (I feel like I should add that this is something I am working on, not that I just feel doomed to accept as the status quo. I too am going to pray a daily Rosary this year. I also resolved to abstain from meat on all Fridays, which seems like such a small sacrifice but when I have tried to do it at other times it was amazing how hard I found it to 'just say so' - for something so little! I could use a little more spiritual discipline in my life and these seem like good places to start.)

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    2. Gah now I am spamming your combox...that should read, "just say no." :\

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  4. Yes. I'm learning to let go and let God, I'm learning to let my idols of needing to be liked and viewed positively go, and I'm learning to accept the cross I've been given (though I am grateful for all of the Simon's in my life).

    I agree so much with what you said about what we need - because as we all strive to be saints, we will see the humanity and the face of God in one another and this world will get better. I hope your spiritual director is as much a blessing to you as mine has been to me - he knows when to push me, even when I don't like it and that has truly made all the difference.

    I will keep you in my prayers as you work towards sainthood!

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  5. My question right now is am I courageous enough to even want it? My battle has been with discouragement and lethargy. Perhaps even sloth. I want to want to be a saint, but can I find the enthusiasm to try, and the faith to think it's even a remote possibility?? It's been a difficult and cold season. (That's from someone who loves winter, so it's not a reflection on the weather!) Jesus, please light the fire in my soul again, and give me courage and determination. Great post, Leila.

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    1. I love this answer. This could have been my answer almost word for word. Except that I've never described myself as someone who loves winter ;).

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  6. Oh Leila, I LOVE this question. I want to work to be a saint with everything I have, but it is work!!! I am doing my best to do everything I can, but I am human. My biggest issue is how the world looks at me and calls me out for things that they perceive as not "saintly". I was chastised for not being "nice" 24/7, no matter what is going on. I asked my spiritual director, yup, I finally have one. As Christians, we are not called to be nice, there is so much more and now is the time to STEP UP, we need to put on our big girl panties (my words, not his)!!! Fr. Lankeit, All Souls' Day 2011, said we should all strive to be saints, even himself. What a priest! Maybe the question should be "What do you think it is to be a saint?"

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    1. P.S. (pray for your enemies, it's difficult to start, really difficult; but it will skyrocket you!)

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  7. The truth is that I really, really want to be a saint. It would be SWEET to be the patron saint of something really awesome, and even more awesome to spend eternity in Heaven. The reality is that while I'm aware of my desire to be a saint, I'm also aware of my humanity and the ways that I sin and fall short on a daily basis. Thank God for grace!

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    1. (from a wonderful, obedient priest) that awareness is what has you on your path to becoming a saint. They are so close to God, that they see even the tiniest of faults in themselves. :)

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  8. Been working on it :) If you happen to be near a city that offers the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius I would highly recommend this retreat. You can check if Miles Christi preaches any near you at www.mileschristi.org. These are the mother of all retreats and will do incredible things with your spiritual life if you are willing! God Bless.

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    1. Hear that, Leila? Heh, heh, heh. :-)You know I'm going to keep bugging you until you go!

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    2. Hmm, so I'm not the first to suggest this??

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  9. Yes, I want to be a saint. Years ago though, I made a common mistake in thinking that wanting to become a saint is prideful. The mistaken thinking of "how can I, a sinful human being, become a saint?" was false humility that led me down and away from sanctity.

    As you said, we're all called to holiness and beyond; we're called to sainthood. I've often called purgatory a waste of time; this isn't to say that it's not needed, but purgatory is a time spent of which we wasted--it's the time that we should have used on earth to become holy; not in purgatory.

    So yes, I want to become a saint. God only wants my consent, but He does the work.

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  10. First time commenter, longtime reader! I think it's telling that I felt like I *should* comment on this one because it hit me over the head like a ton of bricks.

    I'm a faithful Catholic, but how infrequently do I even THINK about wanting to become a saint??? I mean, honestly...how can it ever leave my mind? And yet it does, lost in the daily shuffle of kid and family and life chaos... I'm embarrassed to even admit this. YES, I want to become a saint and YES, I want to will it, act it, pray for it, and live for it. Maybe this is the year that it will stay at the forefront of my mind and become a constant.

    In any case, sorry all for the babbling, especially for a first comment! Now I'm in, though, officially. ;-)

    Amanda

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  11. LOVING these answers so far, and welcome Amanda!

    And a clarification to non-Catholics… when I say "saint" I don't mean canonized, necessarily. Most saints are not canonized. We are all called to be saints, but very, very few will be canonized. Everyone in Heaven is a saint…Some become sanctified while still on earth...

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  12. I really did not EVER want to become a Saint. I don't really relate to saints, I know bad Catholic! I'm horrible! They seemed to unattainable and truthfully never took the time to really get to know any particular saints. No one has really captured me. I should be hung from a tree, I know, bad Catholic.

    But then, Megan and I, started reading You Can Become a Saint and it really made it attainable.

    The only problem with all of this that I am really trying to get over is how much it will cost me. Yup, that is the skinny low down on what hinders me in being a saint, the personal cost. Because it's so damn painful.

    There you go, you can delete me and never talk to me again!

    But I'm working on it and when I work on these things, I feel as though this painful process is so much easier to take. I.E. when the babies are screaming while I have hot pots on the stove and I want to die, instead of get angry and start screaming crying, I offer it up and WOW it makes such a big difference.

    Oh wait, is that just acting like an adult? LMBO! aaaaahhhhhh!!!!

    But I actually think I might have prayed this past week, Lord make me a Saint, but what I'm really asking is for help to get outside my miserable, sinful self. Release the beast, Lord!!! LOL

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  13. Oh and the closer to hell I feel...The more I want to be a Saint...Lord, save me! LOL

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  14. I really want to be a saint. Though not enough, because I fight every cross He hands me--and only reluctantly take on suffering out of love.

    I'm finding sainthood is about "3 degrees of incline"--slow and steady corrections in my life.

    I think sainthood is also "letting myself be loved" which is hard because I've got some deep seeded fears of intimacy.

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  15. I'm afraid to be a saint. I'm afraid not to be a saint. I know I want to continue in my Catholic faith. This does not answer your question. I guess I do. I want to live with myself and be good with God. I can't live with myself if I am off doing malicious things.

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  16. Short answer is that being a saint is my main goal in life. About 5 years ago while working at a Catholic summer camp, I realized that everyone is called to sainthood and I was no exception. It definitely lit a spark for me, but since then, my depression has clouded my desires to pursue it more. It is a challenge to understand practically what it means to be a saint while struggling with depression and anxiety.

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    1. Depression is so hard. At least the Catholic Faith, the Truth of God, can be your rock, an unchanging, guiding beacon as you struggle with the darkness and uncertainty of depression. I don't know what depression would be like without faith. Shudder.

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    2. Emily, I hear you about depression. 2 years ago I was hospitalized in the pysche Ward with a major depressive disorder. It almost killed me. The Psychiatrist found the right combination of drugs, and I'm now depression-free. PTL.

      I understand how depression derails you because it prevents you from thinking straight. I hope you can find a spiritual director, who knows the ins and outs of depression and would direct you according to your need. God bless you in your struggle.

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  17. Badly, since I was a little girl. Except, as I get older, it seems less and less attainable... Sigh.

    I like your plan for this year, though, and I will join you!

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  18. I want it more than anything, it is the only goal that keeps me calm, faithful, and motivates me to learn to love those souls that want to scream at you that they are unlovable and unworthy of love! I fail at all of this daily, but it is STILL to reason I drag my sorry butt out of bed each morning!
    I wondered out loud to my spiritual director on Sunday " I don't know how God loves unconditionally, I struggle with that everyday with certain souls!" I think my answer was right there in my own words, I still gtruggle to grow in love, I have not abandoned the race! So hard, ugliness has deep roots but God is a capable gardener in removing those things that try to keep us from blooming!!!

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  19. I would like to be a saint, but I'm a pessimist and realistic. At this point there is no way God would ever allow my sorry self to be a saint. I'm not even so sure that I can ever attain that level of perfection/discipline that is required ever. I consider myself a lowly sort of person digging around in the trenches and haven't the ability to do so. But that's why Grace is needed, right?

    We are called to sainthood, but can never do that on our own.

    So I shoot for purgatory. God will have to help me with the rest.

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  20. I want so much to be a saint, but I feel so horribly unworthy. I did get two really great insights out of reading the comments here though. The first is the idea of little "s" saint as opposed to capital "S" Saint who is sanctified on earth. That somehow makes it seem more possible. Also the need for a spiritual director jumps out at me. I started Fr. Michael Gaitley's book, "33 days to Morning Glory" in preparation for Marian consecration just this New Year's eve, and I think adding in a spiritual director might make that process even more fruitful. I listened to Fr. Gaitley's presentation on this book, and it reminded me of our call to sainthood and how Mary is able to help us find our way to her son when we are lost in our own willfulness. Excellent topic Leila!

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  21. Emily, I just wanted to encourage you! I struggle with anxiety and depression too. It's a hard cross. I always freak out when it shows up in my life--but I sometimes I can see that those twin struggles are so fruitful. Because of the Daily Stuggle I have a calmness when the big stuff hits, thought I wouldn't have if I didn't struggle practically daily with anxiety.

    Some good Saints to pray to are the Little Flower and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. More recently, Angela Faddis is a young mother who struggled with depression. (she's a little "s" saint who Leila can help you connect with). I also get really inspired reading about Lincoln. He had Depression. I'm pretty sure that he was able to handle all the horrors of leading a nation during the Civil War--because he struggled with Depression all his life. I don't know how to explain this but because he had practice functioning under great sadness, he was able to process his emotions and still make great leadership decisions under a terrible weight of war.

    Don't feel lonely or hopeless!

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  22. I WILL USE THE PRAYERS IN www.sacredspace.ie

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  23. Sew, I like that--the closer I feel to hell the more I want to be a saint!

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  24. Great ideas here, and yours Leila, about personal commitment to change. You can't grow a good crop without plowing the field. However, I offer another thing which may perhaps be harder, and that is to live like a saint. We are all called to be saints, but not alone, but with our human family.

    One way to try to live as saints is to resolve to love the unlovable. Give to the beggar who is probably "scamming" you; help the neighbor "who is lazy;" offer the always whining store clerk (or any sad person) a copy of Fr. Groeschel's booklet: You Are Not Alone -- Prayers in Dark Times; or engage in loving conversation with "idiots." These are the difficult acts which help us be -- and see -- saints in our midst. These are the acts of which people say: "See how much they love another." These are the really hard things to resolve to do.

    It is difficult to love sinners, but I like how Thomas Aquinas defines our task as ships in rough seas: "A ship is safe in the harbor, but that is not what ships are for."

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  25. Deltaflute, your comment struck me; I think we all feel the same way--who really "earns" the right to become a saint, to be in Heaven with God? However, God has bought us at a great price and He has done the work for us--what we need to do now is to bow down in obedience and humility and become the very best that we can for God. It's our duty to love God and our neighbor to the very best our ability--of course God gives us this grace if we pray for it, we're more inclined to evil than good and we will always struggle. I just want to encourage you not to be swayed by the feelings of unworthiness; it's not necessarily always from humility.

    As St.John the Baptist said of Jesus, "I'm not even worthy to untie his sandals", however, he baptized Jesus anyway because Jesus told him to.

    Becoming a saint I think, is about obedience and humility. If we truly love God with all of our minds and strength, then it will happen. Canonization is not necessarily what makes you a saint, (it makes you a "public saint", but becoming sanctified, a saint, is what we're all called to be.

    Hopefully I didn't come off condescending (it's difficult to express thoughts in a comment box), but I think your thoughts are so common for all of us to think.

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  26. This is a surprisingly difficult question. Because what if I say that I desperately want to be a saint? Then what? Do I really want that on record? If I admit that it is, indeed, the most important thing in my life, my ultimate goal (and rightly so), then I must seek it wholeheartedly. It is a statement that demands follow through, dedication, to be a priority.

    I suppose, for me, it's scary to want it and to say that out loud. Though that is silly, because God already knows. He knows that I do want to be a saint, and He knows how often I fail at making that the most important thing in my life.

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  27. Badly...and that scares me because I'm a big sissy when it comes to suffering. And sanctity doesn't come with a small price tag. But you know what? He'll give us the grace we need at the moment we need it.

    I'm with you on watching the moral decline of our country and wondering when the final blow will be dealt to the American Empire...in what was once the land of the free and home of the brave. My lifetime? My kids lifetime? It's almost too much for my mind and heart to fathom but I keep remembering that article someone posted on Election Night in your FB feed...that the Church thrives under persecution.

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  28. The Lord wants us to be saints more than we can imagine desiring to be, and he will bring us to that place if we consent. But, on His time not ours I believe. I could do so much better with praying, going to confession more often, and "praying always" during the day. Right after my conversion I spent a lot of time reading about lives of some of the Saints, and it was so inspiring; these are ordinary people with unique personalities and gifts, but they all by God's Grace were given as examples to us of what we should be aspiring to. What a great way to start 2013, Leila. How does a person find a spiritual director?

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  29. Badly enough to order the Thomas Richard book and read it before the other six books I've been planning to read!

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  30. I thought I wanted it more than anything. Then tonight I read this: "If you will examine your heart once honestly and without excuse, you will clearly see that there is one and only one reason why you are even now not a saint: because you do not wholly want to be" (William Law). So apparently, I don't want it terribly much.

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  31. Amanda, that's a tough one. I actually have a lay person as a trained spiritual director. Most people find a priest, but they are busy and not all are good at direction. I would recommend reading some of Fr. Thomas Dubay's books on spirituality and direction, to get a feel for what you would be looking for.

    Meg, that quote cuts to the heart of it. Wow.

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  32. To answer your question. Becoming a Saint is first and foremost for me. I've been working on it for a long time, and I think about it daily. I don't know how I'm doing in the pursuit; It's God's work, so I just try to stay out of his way and stay in the center of His holy Will.

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  33. yes. I do. with every fiber of my being as well. Maybe I am being presumptious but I WILL be a saint. think positively! Have faith. Why feel so lowly? God calls lowly people. He calls everyone. Lowly or not. years ago I came to the conclusion that we are all called to be saints.

    think of the saints in heaven, they were all sinners. Not one was born without sin. they all struggled. They all were everyday people like you and me, no different. God expects the same from all of us.

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  34. Hi Leila! What a great question. I want to be a Saint desperately. But I feel like I am always chasing sainthood. I honestly don't know that I can be good enough, holy enough, kind enough, disciplined enough, etc. But I'll die trying. Sometimes I think- Had I not gotten married and had children and I was a cloistered nun or a missionary somewhere- THEN I could really achieve sainthood. But then I realize that the Lord has asked me to be a saint right here and right now- in the vocation that I have. I don't get to say "Gosh if I had this OTHER life then I could be really holy." I have to learn to be a saint in my life, as plain, old, sinful me.... and geesh... that is difficult.

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  35. I have always wanted to become a saint. I have analyzed this from childhood, and made lists in my mind and in my soul of what I can do to become one. The more I do, the more I commit, the worse I am. Sure, I pray daily for people I don't care for, and some I have grown to love in ways I thought were impossible. I pray to be humbled. God delivers that opportunity frequently... I attend daily mass, almost daily... Frequent confession... meditative prayer... meditating on the words of saints I am devoted to... retreats, serving others... I see a spiritual director... Hoewever, during this Christmas season, it really hit me how bad a Catholic "I" really am: how I am not a saint, and I can only hope to be a saint in the making. It came to me like a slap in the face that there was too much of "me" in the mix, and not enough surrender. Only God can do this, not me. No matter how much I "will it", only God can do it. And so the "I" here, is a complete surrender to His grace...and His will. May we desire to love Him more and all the lists will easily and freely be accomplished, even in times of aridity and desolation. If we love Him, all the lists, all the commitments become our desperate desire!

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  36. Want to be a saint desperately! The longer I live, the further away I sometimes feel I'm getting. But I live in gratefulness to the Lord for bringing me to the Holy Catholic Church, as in my travels through all the other denominations (and there were many!) the true Church is the ONLY ONE that not only encourages me into a life of holiness, but gives me the equipment I need! One thing I have found though, is that so often I slip into really 'striving' to attain everything in one go on my own, and have to keep backing up and coming back to the Lord for more insight, and to remember it's only by His grace I can do anything anyway.

    Your book on holiness, Leila, was a Godsend. I have been reading (for about a year now as it's so deep!) Interior Castle, and actually the two side by side shed more light for me than just the one. I love that little book you recommended. Thanks again.

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  37. I had a moment a couple of years ago where I thought, "It would be AWESOME to be a martyr!!!" I still sometimes think that, but am more scared that we all actually could end up being martyrs in a more modern sense... kind of terrifies me.

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  38. You've sparked a lot of introspection with your question! For a long time I've had a deep longing - an ache - to be at home with the LORD. I suppose that means I've longed to be a saint, though I've never framed it that way in my mind? But saying that out loud sounds somewhat prideful to me ... me? a saint? I just want to be at His feet.

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  39. In my case, your question is a bit like asking someone who just started running how badly they want to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Let me run a 5K first! :-) Not even 100% Catholic yet! Best answer I can give you is this: My prayer for now is that if I am ever asked to endure torture or death for the sake of Christ, that my faith will be strong enough to see me through.

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  40. How does one become a "saint"?

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  41. Johanne, in basic terms, one becomes a saint by dying to self and conforming one's will to the will of God. Total abandonment to God, no matter the cost. Becoming holy and pure, and loving God and neighbor without thought to one's self. Living a virtuous life (rejecting every vice and sin). In fact, one of the marks of a canonized saint that the Church looks for is living a life of "heroic virtue". The great thing is, we not only have Church teaching and the words of Jesus to guide us there, but we can witness the lives of the canonized saints to see how it's lived out in real and practical terms.

    Essentially, a saint is one who has learned to love perfectly (keep in mind that love is not an emotion, but an act of the will, a choice). Thus, you have saints who were able to love and forgive and bless their executioners, even as they were tortured to death. Yes, it's that deep and profound.

    And none of this, ever, can be accomplished without the grace of God. No good at all (not even the tiniest bit) can occur outside of God's grace. So, we repent of our sins, we pray for God's grace, and we access God's grace in the surest way that He left us: The Sacraments of Christ. The Sacraments are God's gift to all of us, and the channels of grace to the world. It's like opening a fountain of grace, which flows directly into the soul for our sanctification. As Mother Teresa and so many others said, they could not do what they did without the Eucharist, which was the very center of their lives.

    Okay, it's early, and I'm getting ready for Mass, so I'm still a little slow… it's the best answer I can give at the moment, and if others want to pipe in with better answers, please do!

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  42. What if my work with children, which I feel called to do, gets in the way of sacraments, and takes all my time and energy? I want to love perfectly. I feel like I could never be a saint...so far from it...to be a saint is a dream. What is the next step? How do I get clarity as to my path?

    You are a Godsend, Leila - bless you.


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  43. Lollyg, could you clarify? Do you mean you can't get to mass? God wouldn't call you to a ministry or work that would make it so that you could not get to Mass, or that you have no energy or time to pray or have time with him. Even Mother Teresa's sisters spent plenty of time in their enormously busy days to pray and attend mass and adore the Blessed Sacrament. The first step on the road to sanctity is always to make sure that you are not in mortal sin. Then, growth in holiness can occur, through much discipline, prayer, obedience to Church teaching, and frequent reception of the sacraments. Every individual has a unique path, and it won't look the same as someone else's, but all Catholics are required to attend Sunday mass (or Saturday vigil) and Holy Days of Obligation, as well as live according to the Ten Commandments and the moral law. That's sort of "bare minimum" to be on the path to holiness. Hope that helps, but let me know if I am not understanding your question or situation.

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  44. Great post, Leila. These were also my thoughts following the recent election. Yes! Let's all be saints! We may not be able to save our country, but there is a higher calling. We can succeed at the only thing that matters--doing God's will. It's so encouraging to see all the other people who feel the same way. Keep challenging and encouraging us.

    http://contemplativehomeschool.wordpress.com
    Faith-based education, Carmelite spirituality

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  45. Leila,
    After I commented, I realized I should clarify: I do get to weekly Mass, Holy days, confession, have prayer time daily, etc.
    I dream of being able to attend more than just one Mass per week, but my work (and Mass schedules locally) do not allow for this, as they occur during my working hours.

    The value of Mass and the sacraments is just priceless to me. I do feel starved for more! This post of yours actually touched on something on my mind a lot lately - work, as blessed as I feel it is, seems to take precedence over everything, and I would like to find a way to be able to spend more time developing spiritually.

    Thanks so much for your reply, God bless you in all you do.



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  46. Connie, agreed! It helps that so many of us will be in solidarity on this. Small but strong! :)

    Lollyg, oh, good, ha ha! I just wanted to make sure. It sounds like you are well on your way. ;) I'll be a very holy and wise spiritual director or priest would be able to help you discern. I love that God has given you such a deep desire for the sacraments!

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  47. As a convert of one year, the idea of becoming a saint is still new to me. I do want to be a saint, but not badly enough... I'm scared of what I might have to go through to become one. (I'm a wimp, I guess.) I know this is not where I want my soul to be... I hope and pray that God will remove this fear from my heart and increase my desire to be a saint.

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  48. The sad answer to your question is that, I feel, not many people truly want to be Saints. The lure of modern life's comforts is far too tempting.

    As for me, like St Peter, I try but my Faith often falters.

    God bless.

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  49. Thank you for this post. There are so many people complaining about the current state of affairs in our country and world, but no one has a plan on what to do about it. As Chesteton said:Dear Sir: Regarding your article 'What's Wrong with the World?' I am.

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  50. http://deltaflute.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-call-to-holiness.html

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    1. Just thought that I would clarify a bit more...Didn't want to take up all the space in your com box. Hope the links don't annoy you....

      http://deltaflute.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-little-bit-of-clarification.html

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  51. The links don't annoy me at all! No worries! I hope my comments on your blog don't annoy you, ha ha. I think it's a good discussion. Blessings!

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  52. Deltaflute, I think a lightbulb just went off in my head, about why my post might have caused you to have those reflections! I just clarified for you, I hope (my second comment under your latest post). When I do a "Just Curious", it's never meant to go too deep, so it may have sounded to you like I was equating holiness to a check list! I promise you, that's not how I approach it, nor how I think of it. :)

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  53. When I was little, I couldn't get enough of saint storybooks. The stories of the saints are so wonderful, and the saints themselves are so diverse; they're not only priests and nuns, but also soldiers, farmers, royalties, virgins. It made me believe that sainthood is for everyone. Then there was a long period in my life when I was made to believe that the desire to be a saint is absurd and arrogant, that it is a medieval idea. When I finally re-discovered the Faith of my childhood, I also re-discovered this old dream, and now I believe in it, I will it even more.

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  54. Leila, I adopted "self-discipline" as my one word for 2013. I'm amazed at how that theme now seems to be running through every blog post I read and homiliy I listen to. I took that word because I felt that self-disciline was the building block I was missing in attaining many goals in my life - most importantly, my own sanctification. In my new self-discipline, I am committing to regular personal development reading, and started with your recommendation, "The Ordinary Path to Holiness." That book has sainthood ever-present on my mind. "What you think about, you bring about," and I'm awed to see the difference that thinking about sainthood is making in my life. Thanks for the recommendation. How badly do I want to be a saint? Words can't express it. Now to live it...

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  55. Stephanie, I am so glad to hear it! It's amazing how many lives that little book changes. And still very few know about it (or the stages).

    Discipline. I can't read it or say it without remembering that it's the same root as disciple. Amen.

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  56. You are a saint, Leila. All of God's children are saints...and sinners, at the same time.

    Keep up the good work, friend.

    theoldadam

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