Growing up I was always fascinated with the lives of the Saints. They were courageous, selfless and all let interesting lives. Flash forward a few years later when I hit my teens and gradually fell away from the Saints. Why? Simple. I thought that to be a Saint meant you had to be a priest or religious and that was the last thing I wanted to be. Because I was not interested in that aspect and I felt called more to the married life, I did see the need for the Saints (other than St. Anthony when I lost something). They were amazing people, who loved God dearly, but whose lives I could not copy and thus spent little time dwelling on them.
Flash forward a few more years and here I am in my twenties, married, and reintroducing myself to the lives of the Saints. I owe a lot of that to my trip to the Catholic Religious Education Conference in Anaheim this past year. While I was there I came across two books one by James Martin SJ and author of My Life With the Saints and the other was a motivational book for teens by Justin Fatica called Win It All. With both these books I was struck by the message that we are ALL called to be Saints, not just priests and religious. While in the back of my mind, I think I knew that everyone could be a saint, I was just never convinced by it. Both these books really touched on how important it is for all of us to really know and believe that, not only are you called to be a saint, but that it is actually attainable. I think that as long as you are living out your vocation to the fullest, and always discerning what God wants of you, then you are, in your own way, living out your calling to be a saint.
Now I myself would hardly call myself a saint, and when I read or hear about Mother Theresa and others, it becomes even harder to strive to that goal. Yet, I can draw strength from other Saints and their examples and with God’s grace, it is possible.
This has also inspired me to make this one of the main themes in my Religion 9 class next September. The idea that they are called to be saints no matter their vocation, and to help them to really believe that they can. Imagine what the world would be like if we ALL at least tried to be saints? Even though many of us, myself especially, would fall daily, the attempt is a still positive and thus trying is a much better alternative, than doing nothing at all.