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
There’s a quote from Pope St. John Paul II that I keep on my desk at work -
“I plead with you, never give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged.”
These words have meant different things for me at different times, but they have always remained steady and true on this walk we call life.
Sometimes I’m despairing. Sometimes I’m doubting. Sometimes I’m just simply exhausted. (Ok, most times I’m exhausted.) It feels like I’m walking up a mountain with no end in sight. And I’m sure you’ve felt that way too. The good news, sisters, is that there are a bunch of people in heaven who are cheering you on, who have walked the same path you have.
I’ve realized that to be a saint, we don’t have to be perfect. We just simply have to be who He created us to be, and be open to His love. It doesn’t mean we have to reach the absolute heights of holiness, but instead humbly know the profound depth of His mercy and love. St. Catherine of Sienna said to “Be who you were meant to be and you will set the world on fire.” She didn’t say you’ll set the world on fire if you’re like that girl next to you who seems to have it all figured out. She said to be you. We all have different gifts, and you have a specific purpose that God put you on this earth for.
For me, it’s not so much learning who I’m meant to be, but remembering who I’m meant to be, and allowing myself to be that person. Many times I think she isn’t good enough, isn’t gifted enough, isn’t doing enough. But the only times in my life where I’ve felt complete peace and grace running through my veins (and not worry, exhaustion, and frustration) are the times I’m being myself, before the Lord and before others, whether or not that’s enough.
To be a saint also means never to give up, like the quote on my desk. No matter how many times we fall or feel discouraged, we need to continue on our walk with the Lord. To especially never give up living who we were meant to be, or discovering who we were meant to be, even when it’s hard to break past the lies or scar tissue around your heart. Once we begin to tear down the walls in our hearts, His grace can begin to flow through us.
Reflection: Do you know who you’re meant to be? Spend some time with Jesus and sit with that question, and ask for the grace to see the answer and believe it in your own heart. Then go set the world on fire with His love!
To Jesus through Mary-Emily Naylor