Throughout the month of November we remember all our loved ones that have passed, but we also turn our focus to the saints. If you think about it, there is something uniquely fascinating about the saints. They ran the same race that we are still running, they are just as human as we are, and they are living examples of how to make it to the final destination which is Heaven. Many times we look at the saints and think that they are completely unrelatable. We feel that in order to become a saint we need to be older, wiser, and establish 10 different convents or feed all the children in a third world country. It sounds funny when put that way, but how many times do we honestly think that? “I can’t be a saint, I can’t do something like St. Mother Teresa” or “I’m not a religious sister or a priest and only those become saints.”
As I was preparing a talk I stumbled on this one quote by Thomas Merton that really struck my heart and made me pause. “For me to be a saint, means to be myself.” No way. It can’t be that simple. As I looked deeper into other saints, they continued to say that same message over and over again. St. Catherine of Sienna says “be who God created you to be and you will set the world on fire.” St. Therese of Lisieux also prayed “Jesus help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be and becoming that person.” It really IS that simple.
Go back to the story of creation for a moment. God created us in HIS image and likeness (Genesis 1:27). However, this isn’t just already in us, but it is something we have to become. God is constantly making us in His image, and re-creating us to His image since the fall. If the image of God is so central to our purpose and being, it essentially means that to live and be as images of God we are to live and be as our true selves.
We fall into all these patterns of overcomplicating things, especially when it comes to our faith. If we take a look at the saints, they all have one thing in common. They SIMPLY lived their life as the person God created them to be, and they truly embraced what that meant. We don’t need to become someone else in order to reach sainthood. We all were given different strengths and qualities which are unique to us, and God wants to use those in different ways. This is why you didn’t see St. Augustine fulfilling the same mission as St. Mother Teresa. They were different persons with two different missions, but they both lived a life of sainthood when they embraced who they truly were and the mission God called them to.
When we align our will with God’s will, we are able to become our true selves and live a life…as a saint. It’s as simple as that.
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