We Are All Called to Be Saints!
For as long as I can remember every year that I was in church ministry there would be a young child in the front pew at church for All Saints Day Mass who would get sick in front of the entire congregation because they indulged in too much Halloween candy the night before. The janitor would always be on standby in the wings with their gloves, mop, and cleaning supplies. All Saint’s Day is one of my favorite Holy Days in our church. Saints are the spiritual superheroes of our faith. The communion of saints provides us with access to a massive list of men and women who we can look up to, and men and women who become our prayer partners in life that can pray with us and for us. We all have our favorite saints we can relate to and who inspire us, but the truth is, we are all called to be saints.
You don’t have to be gone from this earthly life to be considered a saint. Yes, we need these heavenly models of holiness, but we also need earthly models of holiness as well. Saints are all around us. Men and women whose generous spirit reflects the Gospel call to love and serve God and others. Their lives flow seamlessly from prayer to action through a spirit of simplicity and humility, extraordinary courage in sickness and adversity, and those who rail against injustice to bring equality and dignity to all. My best friend, Jen, is one of these Saints. Along with my Aunt Theresa, Aunt Maryellen, and my own mother.
Because I work with teenagers, my favorite lesson/topic to talk to them about is sainthood. What God has called them to do in their earthly life and how to execute that call, and as St. Catherine says it best, “If you are who God made you to be, you will set the world on fire.” We need not only young men and women but men and women in general to set the world on fire with their journey towards sainthood. Living in a society where God is not the norm, we need fearless saints now more than ever. We need saints past and present who we can look up to as role models, so that we can bring about change through the Gospel of Jesus. God calls us by name to be Saints of Him. In the famous last sentence of one of the Batman movies, Batman says “everybody needs a hero.” God is the greatest hero of all, and provides the greatest example of how together we can become the communion of saints here on earth.
Lastly, one of my favorite writings to youth was from Saint John Paul II, and I think it can beautifully pertain to all of us.
“We need saints without cassocks, without veils – we need saints with jeans and tennis shoes. We need saints that go to the movies that listen to music that hang out with their friends. We need saints that place God in first place ahead of succeeding in any career. We need saints that look for time to pray every day and who know how to be in love with purity, chastity and all good things. We need saints – saints for the 21st century with a spirituality appropriate to our new time. We need saints that have a commitment to helping the poor and to make the needed social change. We need saints to live in the world, to sanctify the world and to not be afraid of living in the world by their presence in it. We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs, that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. We need saints that love the Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with their friends. We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, and theater. We need saints that are open to sociable normal happy companions. We need saints who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without being callous or mundane. We need saints.” - St. John Paul II
From one Saint in training to another, God Bless you!