For all the saints who from their labors rest, who Thee by faith before the world confessed; Thy name, Jesus, be forever blest. Alleluia, Alleluia!
Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress, and their Might;Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight; Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light. Alleluia, Alleluia!
“Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able.” Luke 13:24
“Jesus, I pray that you may give us the people and the things in our lives that will shape us into who you have created us to be, as well as the grace to choose you in every moment. I ask that you would increase our love for you and give us a desire to become little. Give us the hope that you will continually supply us with the grace that we need to become the saints that you have created us to be. Amen”
It was in my high school youth group when I first heard that we were all called to be saints. This idea gave me hope at first, however, I also felt like it raised the expectations that God was holding me to. Just ‘getting by’ was no longer good enough, but, as I started to learn more about the saints, they seemed so perfect and so big, so I, too, felt like I needed to strive for perfection. I began to make a whole list of all of the things that I wanted to do that seemed ‘holy’. After a few days or weeks of trying to do all of the things on my list, I would get so angry the first time that I slipped up, falling into despair. I would just give up totally until another retreat, public speaker, or book convinced me otherwise. The sad part is that I truly desired to please the Lord, but I just didn’t understand what he was asking of me.
Finally, I learned that the secret to becoming a saint is actually very simple. It’s love. Our true vocation is to love God and to receive His love.
That’s it. That’s all He is asking of us.
Sit and pray with that and ask God to reveal that to you, because it is so freeing.
It’s not about finding the perfect path, the perfect way, or becoming the perfect person. It’s simply recognizing that we are broken sinners in need of Jesus and His merciful love.
So, I try to love the Lord more each day simply by begging for the grace to do so along with daily prayer and frequenting mass and confession often. That’s how I’m striving for sainthood.
To Jesus Through Mary-Alyssa Schimmoeller
Note: I discovered this simple path through a beautiful saint whom I love dearly, St. Therese of Lisieux. Before you write her off for being too popular or too holy, I beg you to give her a small chance. Her spirituality is beautiful and fits well into this time of Mercy that God is allowing us to live in!
Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux
I Believe in Love by Jean d' Elbée
33 Days to Merciful Love by Fr. Michael Gaitley