Nov. 11, 2015
By Father William Muench
November is about saints. It’s also the month that the Catholic Church remembers and celebrates all the faithful departed. During November, there are many services and Masses in honor of the deceased – our loved ones who have gone on before us.
The Catholic Church has a complicated process to decide that a person is definitely in Heaven with the Lord and deserves to be canonized a saint.
Each of us have many loves ones, deceased friends – who we believe deserve to be saints. In all honestly we wonder a bit. Yet, it just seems that they definitely should be considered saints – in Heaven with the Lord.
I like to call these people our personal saints. I think it is truly good that we remember among all the canonized saints in the books those special people who profoundly influenced our lives. These are our personal saints who we should continue to remember; we should pray to them – even now seeking their guidance and support.
I bring this up to remind you that our life is all about becoming a saint. I have a friend who usually begins his confession by saying to me – “Well, Father, I am no saint.” My response is, “Well, you better get busy.” There is nothing more about life that matters.
I always tell young people that, when someone asks them what they want to be with they grow up, they should answer “a saint.”
Too many people think it is almost impossible to become a saint. I want to use this opportunity to tell you it is not that complicated. Jesus taught us as we read in the Gospels that with the Lord it is possible – it is not difficult.
So, the first step is to establish a close relationship with Jesus. Jesus invites us to become his friend. With this friend that is our Lord, Jesus we will find the guide and support who leads us to sanctity.
We all have numerous opportunities to draw close to the Lord. In prayer, we can find a new and deeper relationship – a friendship – with Jesus. This friendship truly leads us with the Lord’s help to find the path to love and peace that comes on the road to sanctity.
The Mass – the Eucharistic celebration – is a perfect way to bring Jesus into our lives, a perfect way to let Jesus become our guide. Eucharist means gratitude. Gratitude is such an important part of this friendship with Jesus. Our Lord fill our life with innumerable opportunities to make our life better, in the spirit of Our Savior, Jesus, in the spirit of the saints so we also become saints.
Many will respond to me that they are not perfect. They have sinned and remember times in their lives when they are truly unsaintly. I point out to them that we know in the lives of so many of the great saints a time when they were definitely not very saintly. They understood with the help of the Lord that there must be conversion; changes had to be made.
So, the road to sanctity for all of us must be filled with conversion – in reality, daily conversion. The challenge that comes up over and over again in life is whether we have the courage to change, to find the Lord’s help through conversion.
The way to discover this conversion comes through prayer, stopping to take some time to realize that things have change. Often, the Lord sends someone to point us in the right direction. The path to sanctity often demands that we fill our life with the right people, the great people who become good guides. The Lord places these important guides in our path to sanctity.
What are your goals in life? How do you want to be remembered?
Will someone put your name in their list of their own personal saints?