01 November 2010

SAINTHOOD: POSSIBLE, ORDINARY, NORMAL

1 November 2010
Mt 5:1-12

When we think of saints, we usually think of miracles. When we think of miracles we imagine the impossible, the extraordinary, the absurd.

Sainthood is not an impossibility. On the contrary, saints are who each of us are meant to be. We are destined to become saints because God created us in His own image and likeness (Cf. Gen 1:26-27). Even now we are already saints with a small “s”. Right now, we are in the process of becoming saints with a capital “S”. God makes saints out of sinners like you and me. For nothing is impossible with God.

The qualities of those whom the Gospel today considers blessed may be quite difficult for us to have. But difficulty is never an impossibility. Sanctity may be difficult but, the saints we honor today are living proofs that holiness is not impossible for us.

Saints are not extraordinary. Saints are ordinary people with extraordinary love. They live ordinary lives extraordinarily well for love of God. They are never settle for mediocrity. The greater glory of God is always their aim. St. Therese of the Child Jesus did nothing extraordinary in her lifetime, except one: she did every ordinary thing extraordinarily well for love of God. Thus, St. Therese has been given the title “Doctor Amoris Divina” (Doctor of Divine Love). By her example of extraordinary love through ordinary living, she teaches us that the way to holiness is the ordinary route. Sainthood is the road less traveled not because it is extraordinary but because many people rather take the path that leads elsewhere except to holiness.

The kind of people referred to in the Gospel today are not exceptions to the rule. Neither are we. We are all poor in one way or another. We all are capable of gentleness, of purity of heart, and of being merciful. All of us experience mourning and persecutions in some form or another. In the imperfect world that we have, we all hunger and thirst for what is right. What makes the kind of people listed in the Gospel today blessed is their going through our common experience with extraordinary love. They are blessed, they are saints, for as St. John of the Cross said, “At the twilight of life, we shall be judged on love.” They have been judged and have been found loving.

Sanctity is not absurdity. Saints are not weirdoes. Although sometimes we do make them appear like one. But sainthood is not an abnormality. It is not abnormal to be ecstatic in prayer. That is deep communing with God. It is not weird to care for the other man even to the point of giving your life for him. Do we not call that heroism? It is not absurd to do live on earth with your mind set on heaven. Even experts call that long-term planning and the contrary, shortsightedness.

Choosing evil over good is what is truly absurd. Refusing to accept the unconditional love of Jesus is what is really weird. Not loving is what is truly not normal. But dreaming to become a saint, striving to become a saint, and actually living like one is not bizarre. It should rather be the usual for us who came from God and will return to God.

Sanctity is not impossible. Sainthood is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well for God. Saints are normal people, not weirdoes.

One is not canonized because of his or her great achievements but because of his or her great love. One is not a saint because of his or her success but because of his or her fidelity. Saints were sinners, like you and me, and, like you and me, they were unconditionally loved by God, destined by Him to live with Him in glory forever. Like you and me, saints were sinners who committed blunders, mistakes, and sins, but unlike many of us, they rose each time they fall and, believing in God’s mercy, moved on. Like you and me, saints had been hurt by other people – many of them were even brutally murdered – but, with God’s strength, not their own alone, struggled to forgive those who wronged them. Saints are not demi-gods. Saints are people – ordinary, normal, like you and me.

As we celebrate today the Solemnity of All Saints, let us never be mistaken to remember only the canonized saints, the saints with capital “S”. There are still many others whose names may not even reach the ears of the pope. And not all of them are in the afterlife. Still many of them are living with us, living saintly lives. They are ordinary people. They are normal people. They are loving people, not only lovely people. They can be you and me.

Let us wage a campaign beginning today. We will flood the world with the odor of holiness. We will make sanctity a normal option for all. We will show the world that saints are not weirdoes. We will make the impossible possible. Yes, we can. By loving like Jesus.

3 Comments:

At 4:26 PM , Blogger talkneneng said...

Why is it that most people find it wierd and difficult to be like the image of Jesus?

Dahil sa panahon ngaun, iilan na lang ang tunay na "saints" o ang tinatawag nilang "wierdoes". Sinasabi nga nila na madaling mamatay ang mabubuti. Ito marahil ay sa kadahilanang iilan na lamang ang nabubuhay na matuwid at nagkalat ang mga napasailalim sa makamundong gawain. Mahirap, dahil nagsisimula ka pa lang sa paglapit sa Diyos, binubuyo ka naman ni Satanas para sundin ang maling gawa n'ya.

But if we persistently choose to follow Christ and do His Holy will, we will be able to overcome temptation and evil works of Satan. Ang mabisang pananggalang ay ang palagiang pagdarasal ng Santo Rosaryo, short way of the Cross prayer, attending mass, read/listen to the Word of God, and receive the Holy Eucarist. Just like the Saints, they preoccupied themselves with the Lord and not with this temporary world. As Fr. Bob said, we can be saints, and it's ordinary. If we do, we will be able to find our true happiness, our heaven in this earth..

 
At 8:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

God is good all the time. God is patient and God is also just.

Lord God,Father of all, You have given us the world to take care of.
You have entrusted it to us to make it useful, productive and fruitful. You also remind us that the fruits of the earth has to be shared with one another by living ordinarily and not busy enriching ourselves .

Make us just relying our sustenance from Your day to day grace as You fill our cup.
Amen.


-rory

 
At 8:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

God is good all the time. God is patient and God is also just.

Lord God,Father of all, You have given us the world to take care of.
You have entrusted it to us to make it useful, productive and fruitful. You also remind us that the fruits of the earth has to be shared with one another by living ordinarily and not busy enriching ourselves .

Make us just relying our sustenance from Your day to day grace as You fill our cup.
Amen.


-rory

 

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