My Faith

Saints — They’re Just Like Us!!

I love learning about the saints. Their love of Jesus and the way they radically lived it out inspires me. I want to be like them… but that often means I’m easily discouraged. Just look at St. Joseph of Cupertino. He would often levitate when thinking of God. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never started flying during prayer.

Or there’s St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Her big regret was that she used to cry all the time. For me, that’s just an average Tuesday.

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Sometimes the saints are talked about in such a way that we forget they were human too. Or we forget that we have the same call to actually be saints ourselves.
I know what most of you are thinking, even if you’ve heard that call before: “I could never be a saint, not someone like me.” Maybe you’re even thinking, “Nope, you don’t know the things I’ve done.”

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So you have a past.

My favorite comeback kid is St. Augustine. Let’s just say he didn’t always have “Saint” in front of his name. He was a biiiig party guy. I don’t think I have to paint the picture for you to know he was living it up, even back in the fourth century. He used to say, “Give me chastity…but not yet.” I wish that wasn’t so relatable.

As I’m sure you guessed, he eventually converted. I think it’s important to note that the former party guy wasn’t just miserable after his conversion. In fact, quite the opposite. One of my favorite quotes of his is “You have made us for Yourself, Oh Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” He finally found that lasting peace and joy that the things of the world can never give, no matter how much pleasure they provide in the moment.

Maybe you’ve heard his story before. He tends to be the go-to for a good conversion story, but he’s just one guy. The Church is filled with saints with messy pasts. Believe it or not: many have even messier pasts than you.

St. Mary of Egypt? She was a prostitute for 17 years. She converted during a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. “Oh that’s nice,” you might think. Hold up. She only attended this pilgrimage to get more customers. But Jesus was able to work with that and in her heart still, and she’s now a patron saint against sexual temptations.

Blessed Bartolo Longo doesn’t have the “saint” title yet, but he’s on his way. Before clinging to the faith, he became interested in the occult. He didn’t stop there though. He even went so far to become a satanic priest. Even he received God’s mercy upon coming back to the Church.

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Maybe St. Angela of Foligno is more relatable. For 40 years, she cared more about wealth, material goods, and other luxuries than pretty much anything. And you guessed it, only found true meaning in God. Whatever your story is, just know that God can work with pretty much anything. Not just that- He longs to work in your life, to heal your wounds, and give you life abundant in Him. But what if your struggles aren’t just a thing of the past?

So you have a present.

Sometimes, your current struggles are harder to deal with than your former, especially if you’ve been striving to live out a life of faith. This always got me, sometimes it still gets me. For so long, I wanted to give myself to Jesus and be basically perfect from there on out. And I thought that’s how Christianity had to be. I wanted that “Saul to Paul” conversion story that all the saints and many of the people in youth group seemed to have. But I seemed to keep falling into the “Saul” category even though I’d been going to the retreats, made commitments in prayer, and genuinely loved Jesus.

But here’s the deal: even Paul himself struggled to live out a life of faith. In his letter to the Romans, he admits this, saying, “For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.” (Romans 7:18).

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Then there’s St. Mark Ji Tianxiang. He was an opium addict…even till the point of his death. He wasn’t able to receive the sacraments for thirty years, and he prayed for martyrdom, so that he could be holy yet. God answered his prayer. His family was captured by rebels, and he even begged them to kill him last, so none of his family members would have to die alone.

Don’t forget about St. Peter either. He was literally one of Jesus’s best friends and still denied him THREE times, not counting other faults explicitly mentioned throughout the Gospels.

But you have a future.

What do all these saints have in common? Their boundless trust in God’s mercy. They didn’t let discouragement overwhelm them. Instead, they turned their trust to the boundless mercy of God.

Here’s the thing…anyone can be a saint. No matter weaknesses, brokenness, flaws, or sins. No matter what you’ve gone through or what you’re going through…you too can join this higher call. You were created for greatness. You were created for the love and joy that can only be found in God. So seek after Him, with everything you have, striving after this goal. If (and when) you fall, get right back up and run straight to His mercy. He’ll be waiting for you with open arms.

Don’t live a boring, mediocre life. Live a full, meaningful, exciting life. Be a saint. It’s what you were made for.

About the Author

Cassie Sadie

Hi! I’m Cassie. I’m from Sweet Home Alabama, discovering how fun it actually is to be Catholic in Bible Belt Central. I’m a mama’s girl (@Mary) who functions off a whole lotta Divine Mercy and chocolate. I’m also a wannabe runner, but really it’s more of a penitential experience. Keep up with me on Instagram @cassopatra and Twitter @comcatholicgrl.