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Saints and The Church

We had formation yesterday with Michelle to begin our study on St. Therese, the patron saint of missions. We began by talking about saints and how we are all called to be saints at our baptism. Then we began discussing the tools that St. Therese used to further her love and commitment to Christ through her twenty four years of life. These topics really struck me and gave me a completely knew perspective on saints and the Church.

Our deepest call as Christians is to be a saint. But what does that really mean? I often think that the term is used for people of the past and that I don’t really think of it as a modern day term but what about Pope John Paul II and Mother Theresa? Those are some modern day saints who truly understood that we are called to be Holy as Jesus is Holy. Today in formation, Michelle asked us where our heart is when we hear that we are called to be a saint. Give was the first word that came to my mind. I should be giving all I have to God and in return He will give me all I need in order to give my all to other people. “Love one another as I have loved you” John 15:12. God has filled me with His love and I should in return be showing that love to other people. In the past few days I have been receiving phone calls from friends who I have no talked to in a while but were really struggling with some things. I figured I could give them lots of words that will eventually fade or I could just show them Christ’s love to let them know that I care and so does God. I just have to be GIVING!

Not all of us will be canonized one day but we are still called to be saints. When we recognize His gifts and rely on Gods providence to supply us with our abilities to be saints, then we will have full capabilities of being one. Many times my emotions, weaknesses, and desires get in the way and that’s when I need to remember to “be little” as St. Therese so often resembled. By being little I am aware of who I am in God and letting God show His glory through me. The same glorious power that raised Jesus from the dead can work in us if we let it. We need to stop putting God in a box. God is a “both, and” God not an “either, or” God. He CAN do it ALL! We must remember to be little but that does not always mean to act little. We may be called to big things like spreading the gospel to remote villages in Africa or we may be called to spread the gospel to our kids. They are both big acts that require us to be little and let Gods glory show through no matter what. We are called to embrace are weaknesses and allow God to work through them instead of wallowing in them. Michelle says “No pity parties” or “I will Never”. A saint allows Gods glory to work through them, EVERYDAY!

Ephesians 1:18-21 “ So that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints.”

Then we began our discussion on the Church. The Church is the body of Christ on earth. We make up the body which therefore makes the church human but since it is also the spouse of the Holy Spirit, the church is mystical. We discussed how we felt about the Catholic church and what our responsibilities were to the church. My heart was completely opened to a new way of looking at the Catholic church as a Universal body of Christ and also as a more beautiful and mystical and spirit filled Church. We spoke about things we loved and some of our frustrations within the Church and we can list our frustrations all day but when it comes down to it, our church is where we receive Jesus, in the Eucharist, and where our soul is nourished. We are completely receiving all the gifts God longed for us to have in the Church so do the little frustrations lead to anything? We are broken human beings making up the body of the church, but because we recognize that it is led by Holy Spirit in line with the Trinity, we know that God can and will redeem and renew the brokenness. If a Church is having problems it is because it is not listening to God and allowing Him to work in it to reach out to people.

Wow these ideas completely opened my eyes and heart to a new love for the Catholic Church. A Protestant once said, “If the Catholic Church was not a movement of the Holy Spirit then I am not sure it could have survived 2000 years.” We need to recognize in our hearts that The Church is a way of life that we are called to live out daily. The Church is not a building, The church is not an obligation, being a part of the Church is a choice to except Christ, His Gifts, community, and the brokenness of humans with the knowledge that God will redeem it and give us all we need to prosper in faith.

Ephesians 2:19-22 “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. In Him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.” Ah I love formation! God is so simple and yet complex. He always has something to teach us and ways to enlighten us so be open and listen to His desires for you! Rely on Him and the movement of the Holy Spirit to work in you 

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