Sometimes, we need to know when to say, "No." More often, we need to know when to say, "Yes."
Last night at CCD, I had the kids playing games for All Saints and All Souls day to learn more about the saints as well as Church tradition and teaching. The night went really well. One thought kept popping into my head: saying "yes" to God.
For some, I think it is all too easy to think of the saints as "other" and not as real people, with real difficulties, and to feel as if they could never, ever be a saint as holy or patience or helpful as a particular saint was.
Mostly, I believe this comes from a young faith, and from not studying the saints. It was certainly a feeling I shared when I first joined the Church. I did not understand who the saints were or how they could be so very useful in our own path to holiness.
But we are all called to be saints. As our own Pope Francis said:
"To be saints is not a privilege for the few, but a vocation for everyone."
All of us are on the path - or not - to sainthood. We can look to the saints, not to copy their life, but for guidance in how to pursue our own path, our own conversion. We should help each other to achieve sainthood.
When you read of the saints, you hear their "YES!" to God. Sometimes it is a very quiet, almost reluctant yes, but you hear it nonetheless.
It took many years for St. Augustine to convert, but when he did, watch out!
St. Martin only wanted to live a monastic life, but ended up as Bishop of Tours.
Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, initially wanted to pursue religious life, but ended up married with nine children (5 to survive to adulthood, all girls, all who entered religious life).
St. Paul the Apostle actively persecuted Christians until his conversion. Imagine if he had said no?
All the saints were human. All had their struggles, their own paths to holiness. So do we all. We must keep our eyes focused on God, keep putting one step in front of the other. Here are two articles that may help you along your path:
This post is part of my 31 day blogging challenge: