Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus,
This Sunday (1 Nov) we celebrate All Saints Day. Saints are many and there is a multitude of them. This explains that holiness is not for a few but for many and we should say that it is for all, because all of us are called to holiness.
By the way: Who are the saints? How does one become a saint?
More importantly, can I become a saint?
The saints are those who let God act in their lives, who have chosen Jesus as their friend. Saints are those who have lived close to Jesus in everything in their life, who have trusted Him even when things seemed difficult, unfair. Some of these people, after they died, are indicated by the Church even as examples to be imitated. So, we have St Dominic Savio, St Francis of Assisi, St Marguerite d’Youville, St Teresa of Jesus, St Kateri Tekakwitha , St Josephine Bakhita, St John Bosco and so on. Saints were people of great faith, many in number and of all ages. Reading their life is beautiful, exciting and full of teachings …. And yet, one may tend to think:
Oh! I may never be able to be like them … holiness is not for me … It is for strong people …
for God’s favourites … I’ll think about it tomorrow or when I’ll be big… etc.
We don’t need super-powers in order to be saints. Let us look at the life and experience of our Patron Saint Dominic Savio. He lived in Don Bosco’s oratory. One day he heard a sermon of Don Bosco on the easy way to become a saint. Don Bosco particularly developed three thoughts that made a profound impression on Dominic’s soul, namely: First, it is God’s will that we all become saints. Secondly, it is easy to succeed in becoming saints. Thirdly, a great prize is prepared in heaven for those who live a holy life. For Dominic that sermon was like a spark that inflamed his heart with God’s love. For a few days he said nothing, but he was less cheerful than usual, so his companions noticed it and therefore Savio was asked if he was suffering from anything. He replied saying that he was affected by something good. He then added that he felt a desire and need to become a saint. He carried on saying: Before I didn’t think I could become a saint so easily, but now I have understood that I can do this by being happy. He said that he absolutely wanted and needed to become a saint. Later, Savio summarized his experience saying: Here at the oratory we live happily and holiness consists in being cheerful. How beautiful! Domenic Savio understood that being cheerful was a holy thing! Let us just imagine:
if there were to be at least one person in every family who lives his/her holiness by being happy and cheerful, even when there are difficulties! Oh! What a lucky family that would be!
Well, we all can do this …
Dear brethren, let us keep this in mind: a Saint is not a super-hero. She/he is only a fragile, insignificant being, but with the strength and trust in God, she/he becomes great and very strong. This helps us to understand that the first and fundamental question with respect to holiness is not whether I can do it, but rather am I interested in it. Secondly, the path to holiness is not driven by the calculation of one’s strength, but by amazement at the beauty of the encounter with God, by really entrusting oneself to Him, to whom nothing is impossible. The Beatitudes, mentioned in today’s Gospel, are the pathways to holiness which will make us truly happy and blessed. So, let us follow these Path ways and be Happy always. Happy feast of All Saints!