You might think that you have a better chance of becoming a professional athlete than a saint, but in reality the opposite is true. Today as we celebrate the feast of All Saints, I wanted to stop and reflect on the crazy reality that God calls each one of us to be a saint.
Too often we define holiness as a contrast to our own lives, but by it’s definition holiness is being who God made us to be. Here are five lessons from the Saints each one of us can learn:
1. You can be a saint.
“I have been all things unholy. If God can work through me, He can work through anyone.” St. Francis of Assisi
We believe too many lies. I’m too far from God. There’s no way God loves me perfectly. I’m not gifted. God doesn’t have a calling for me in my life.
The quote from St. Francis reminds us these are lies. You are called to be who God made you to be and you can be a saint. Ultimately being a saint means being in heaven and bringing a bit of heaven to earth while we are living.
You are not too far from God. He loves you perfectly and completely. St. Francis reminds us God can use anyone. Saint Paul persecuted and killed Christians before he encountered Christ. Because Jesus loves you he calls you to greatness, not to a life of mediocrity.
2. Allow yourself to encounter God regularly.
If you’ve been a Christian for longer than a week, it can be easy to start to view prayer as a regular required chore.
Our prayer is meant to be our place of encounter not merely a routine.
When you read the stories of people who would encounter Jesus in the Scriptures, you see that the early disciples leave everything to follow Jesus. This is pretty amazing and kind of scary. Sometimes we want to psych ourselves up enough that through our own sheer will and determination we will make a more firm resolution to follow Jesus. This approach is missing the element of encounter. The disciples leave everything not only because of what Jesus offers them in following him, but precisely because they have had a living encounter with God
3. Surrender control to God.
“You cannot be half a saint; you must be a whole saint or no saint at all.” -St. Therese of Lisieux (TWEET THIS)
This awesome quote reminds us that you can’t hold back. Again, being holy isn’t about your decision or resolve. It’s about your surrender. Being a whole saint is about surrendering completely to God. Don’t hold back.
What’s one area of your life you need to surrender to God? Ask God for the grace you need to trust in him more and surrender control to him.
4. Be the saint God created you to be.
“If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze!” -St. Catherine of Sienna (TWEET THIS)
There’s no cookie cutter mold for saints. Each one of us is created differently precisely because God intended it that way. We don’t need another St. Francis, St. Peter, or St. Therese. We need you to be a saint.
Each of us has a unique calling and gifting. I think too often men and women don’t see how their individual gifts can be used to build up the church and God’s kingdom. Instead they only see how their gifts and talents can be used in work outside of the church. There’s a place for you in the walls of the church even if you feel out of place sometimes (tweet this.)
Set the world ablaze both in the world and through the church. If you are striving to be a saint but aren’t involved locally in your parish, get involved. I have never been to a church that wasn’t looking for people who were striving to be saints to get involved in ministry.
5. Being a Saint is about being loved and being love.
“We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.” St. John Paul II
Jesus knew who he was and his mission in the world. “You are my beloved son with whom I well pleased” Mark 1:11.
Being a saint is no different. Sainthood doesn’t start with walking on water. It starts with knowing your identity as God’s beloved son or daughter. It’s knowing you are loved more than you could ever fathom.
Today take a few minutes to reflect on how much God loves you. He invites you deeper into that love and to share that love with others.
Got a favorite saint story? Or favorite saint quote? Any inspiration you would like to share on this Feast of All Saints? Share below!