Let Me See Your Halo

So, recently I’ve been thinking about sainthood. I know that we’re all called to be saints, but do I realistically think I can be one? Many times, I don’t. Have you heard of the universal call to holiness? I was introduced to the idea a few years ago, yet, despite my acceptance of the teaching, I think that the default settings in my brain tell me that it’s just for religious and priests. Then, occasionally, something stirs inside of me and reminds me that I’m supposed to become a saint too. I’m supposed to strive for holiness in the everyday. I’m supposed to fully live out my baptismal call as a priest, prophet, and king.

I know all of those things, but I think one of my biggest hang-ups is thinking that there’s no way I’m ever going to be as holy and great as the saints. When you read those paragraph summaries of them, you hear about all of the heroic things they said and did and how they remained faithful in the face of many sufferings, trials and even in the face of death. I read those little blurbs, take a moment to do some introspection, and the two glances don’t have a whole lot in common. Recently, though, I came to a fairly obvious realization that’s been huge for me. Saints—while they walked this earth—were not perfect; they were not sinless; they didn’t always do the right thing and they didn’t walk around with halos on their heads. If there’s one thing I learned from reading St. Thérèse’s autobiography, it was that saints (while they were still alive) shared the same struggles that we do. St. Thérèse annoyed people and was annoyed by them. Saints, also, never thought of themselves as saintly people—they were keenly aware of how sinful they were and how much they fell short of their call to holiness.

The difference between those who become saints and those who don’t is simple: their determination to become one. They strive to be perfect. They strive to be sinless. They strive to do the right thing and eventually, by God’s grace, they become a part of the communion of saints—halo and all. The beautiful thing is that it’s not something in their blood or because of how or where they were raised, it’s because they choose to say, “Yes” everyday and that’s something that I can do too. The Lord is calling and He will lead the way, all I have to do is step up. Lord, grant me the grace.

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