March 2, 2015
You were made to be a saint. Do you believe that? Do you think you can do it?
I want to remind you that there’s no doubt in God’s mind that you CAN do it! He made you for it. The only way you can get to heaven is if you are a saint.
But, isn’t it true that at times when we read some of the stories of the saints, we can get a bit discouraged thinking we have to be just like them and do the things they did in order to be among the favored ones of God? Take St Joseph of Cupertino, for example. He levitated. I don’t know about you, but I can’t mark that one off my bucket list yet! St. Rose of Lima survived on only a couple hours of sleep a night. St. Francis of Assisi gave up all the wealth he had to the point of taking off the very clothes he was wearing.
My point is that sometimes I think we can get caught up in thinking that holiness is imitating everything the saints did, and we forget that God is calling each of us to follow Him and carry out the mission He gives us in a unique way. We shouldn’t and can’t judge our holiness by comparing ourselves to others, whether they’re the saints in heaven or our neighbors here on earth.
God is giving each of us the grace we need to be holy in the everyday, ordinary tasks of our lives. Not all of us are called to move to China to be missionaries. Some are given this call. But, all Christians are called to be missionaries where we are at and to share God’s love with the people He puts in our path each day. This is something we all have the capability of doing with God’s grace.
When I was beginning college, I was struck by the story of a young man from Italy named Pier Giorgio Frassati who died in 1925 and was raised by the Church to the rank of “Blessed” in 1990. Blessed Pier Giorgio lived a very ordinary life to which most of us can relate. He loved the outdoors, sports, hiking, swimming, riding bike, being with friends, playing practical jokes, laughing, photography, studying engineering, etc. Sound like someone you’d like to have as a friend?
Pier Giorgio grew up in a family where the faith was not openly practiced and his family relationships were strained to the point where his parents were considering a divorce, which was unheard of at that time. In spite of this, Pier Giorgio, even as a young child, embraced his Catholic faith and desired to be as close to Jesus as possible. His heart was enflamed with a love for others, especially the poor and sick, so he spent much of his free time visiting and serving them. He contracted polio from the poor he worked with and died during finals week of his last semester of college at the age of 24. When he was beatified, St. John Paul II gave him the title “Man of the Beatitudes.”
Why do I share his story? Well, reading about Pier Giorgio’s life made holiness seem so practical, so attainable. He was an ordinary young person who loved Jesus and allowed this love to pour forth into his relationships with others. He embodied what Jesus taught in the eight beatitudes (Mt. 5:3-10). He’s a hero to me; and I want to be like him.
When I found out that I had cancer, I knew I wanted to pray through Pier Giorgio’s intercession. I want him to go before the throne of God on my behalf to ask for a miracle. I want to be the miracle that helps him get canonized a saint so that the whole world can see through Pier Giorgio’s story that we all can be saints—that we all have what it takes. But, we just need to say “yes” to the Father’s will for us
today. He knows what is best for us. Let’s trust Him.