Sainthood. This word is everywhere in our Church and yet for being so prevalent, it is so lacking in our current generation. When I think about saints, I imagine St. Maria Goretti getting her eyes plucked out or St. Joan of Arc being burned at the stake.
“Sainthood” seems to carry a connotation of the past, partly because of the lack of canonized saints among the most recent generations. Why is this? Many chalk it up to the increase in distractions and near occasion of sin, while other say it’s because we lack situations where we could have our eyes plucked out for God’s glory (what a shame). And while both of these are valid points, I think it’s because of the focus we have placed upon worldly prestige as opposed to eternal happiness. I know for me; I have not been actively striving to be a saint.
While the word “saint” makes me think of the 1500’s, it also seems like something that can only be accomplished by someone extraordinary and someone older. I am 18 years old, and I spend my days at a coffeeshop or putzing around with friends. And while these routine actions are not in opposition of saintly behavior, they are not exactly ordered towards God’s throne. I’m not saying that we have to spend every hour of every day on our knees in a potato sack praying (nor should we do this), but we should maintain in the forefront of our minds the goal: Heaven. God provided us this wonderful world and the many companions with which we spend our days with, but that provision seems to earn an attitude of gratitude.
Back to the saintly drought of our century, I was meditating on St. Therese of Lisieux and her little way, and it still just seems too big for me. It seems to me that she must have possessed something already saintly to even approach the little way. It can seem a discouraging task to pursue sainthood, especially in this day and age, and the evidence is in the lack of saints in the past century.
I was recently in adoration, hanging out with God and meditating on the general vocation of humankind. I was voicing my frustrations with the difficulty of this vocation, when suddenly He made things very clear. God doesn’t want us to be a saint in 5 years, or to next week to be burned at the stake, He simply wants us to love Him today. Too often mankind gets frightened by the thought of pursuing a sainthood for our whole life, and this fear can lead a lack of pursuit.
The Simple Way: When you wake up in the morning, before indulging in your coffee fix or snoozing your alarm, thank God for the day and ask for the graces to be a saint for today. I’ll close off this article with a quote:
“You cannot be half a saint; You must be a whole saint or none at all.”St. Therese of Liseiux