Christina Mead

How to Be a Saint

Happy Feast of All Saints!

In all honesty, “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 “Shake it Off.” So… very well.

But something has been bothering me lately. Sainthood is difficult. I keep thinking about how if I only avoid sin, that only makes me a moderately good person. I think if I only follow the “don’t” list I stay on the “lukewarm and mediocre” list.

The other day I was commiserating with my friend about relationships and purity and the difficulty of choosing virtue. It’s that moment when you know what you have to do to avoid sin, and what you could do to go the extra mile and practice virtue. My friend said something that really struck me (this is why you need friends who are trying to get to heaven too).

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

The saints didn’t just avoid sin; they chose virtue. That’s the radical difference that made them holy people. But it’s not easy. It’s 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.

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

Maybe you’re not going to drink underage — but what if you decide to not even attend a party with underage drinking!

Maybe you’re not going to make out with a stranger — but don’t even flirt-text someone just for attention!

Maybe you’re not going to dress immodestly — but don’t carry yourself immodestly either, or say things that are suggestive, or make dirty jokes!

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

What will you choose?

All Saints, pray for us.

Christina Mead

About the Author

I'm just striving for sainthood through lots of imperfect ways. I daydream about heaven, where I want to be the patron saint of lifeguards. I think I might paint my nails just so I can pick it off. I wrote a book about Mary and what she taught us about being a Catholic girl. It's called "That One Girl" and I think you'd like it! You can email me at [email protected], or follow me on Twitter @LT_Christina.