Christina Mead

What Makes A Saint

Happy Feast of All Saints!

Let's be honest, 'All Saints Day' does not refer to me. I have more in common with popcorn appreciation day. Or Taylor Swift fan club Mondays.

This feast commemorates all the saints in heaven and I feel like I'm so far away from being a saint. I want to be a saint though! I try really hard to not sin. In fact, I know the Ten Commandments about as well as I know the lyrics to 'As Long As You Love Me.' So . . . very well.

But something has been bothering me lately. Sainthood is difficult. I keep thinking about how if we only avoid the obvious sins, we're just 'good' people. I think if you only follow the 'don't' list you stay on the 'lukewarm and mediocre' list.

The other day I was commiserating with my roommate Jessie about . . . (ugh, I don't want to tell you) . . . okay, we were complaining about boys . . . but mostly about the challenges of choosing virtue in relationships. She said something that immediately got written on the kitchen whiteboard to be seen and remembered multiple times a day (until a grocery list is more important for the whiteboard).

She said, 'These are the moments that make us saints.'

It's radical to decide to act out of virtue and not simply avoid big sins. It's also about as fun and as difficult as texting on a phone with a busted screen.

There are a lot of things that aren't sins . . . but aren't the best idea either. I, as well as the Catholic Church, do not particularly care if you want to pour syrup on your spaghetti. It's a sin to neglect taking care of your body but where's the line? Three cups of coffee can be balanced by six cups of water right? I'm referring to . . . a friend.

The saints didn't just avoid sin; they chose virtue.

Maybe you're committed to purity and you're not going have sex with your girlfriend or boyfriend – but don't even sleep in the same bed! Don't sleep in the same bedroom or under the same roof!

Maybe you're not going to drink underage – but don't even go to a party with underage drinking!

Maybe you're not going to make out with a stranger – but don't text someone just for attention!

Maybe you're not going to run around in a bikini – but don't wear booty shorts either! (Guys, this will be easy for you.)

These are the moments that make us saints. These are the difficult decisions that separate a good person, from a heroic person.

What will you choose?

All Saints, pray for us.

Christina Mead

About the Author

I'm just trying to figure out how to be holy so I can get to heaven, where I want to be the patron saint of lifeguards. My perfect day includes a nap, my gold shoes, a game of scrabble, gluten free brownies, absolutely no surprises, and a great phone conversation. If you want, you can email me at [email protected], or follow me on Twitter at LT_Christina.