For as long as I can remember, I’ve been captivated by the saints. Even as a little 2nd grader, my favorite, most treasured book was one that had dozens of pictures and stories of saints. Their lives seemed almost like fairytales, except better, because the hero of these fairytales, time and time again, was Jesus.
While I definitely have always been interested in and have looked up to the saints, they still seemed almost untouchable, as if their beautiful holiness and witness to the faith was obviously an incredible example, but that it was simply that – an example.
As I have grown, matured, and learned more about our beautiful faith, I have learned that the saints are here to guide, to protect, to inspire, and to lead us to the Lord. The saints are our links between Heaven and Earth because they know exactly what it is like to live here. They have experienced the same moments of joy, the same heartbreaks, the same temptations of sin, the same overflowing mercy of God.
They, quite frankly, get it.
This is not to say that God doesn’t get it, of course, but just to say that the saints are yet another example of God’s countless blessings to us! Each and every saint has a story: a story that includes a revelation about the Father’s goodness, surrender to His holy will, and active devotion to bringing Christ to others. There is something to be learned from each and every saint. The saints want to help us; they want to show us the beauty of our faith; they want to be our friends! They want to intercede for us to the Father and they want to help us recognize the Lord’s presence in our lives and inspire us, too, to lead lives of holiness, dedicated to our Father, because God calls us – God wants us – all to be saints!
Now, you might be thinking: “The saints are cool and all, but where does Confirmation come into play?” Well, Confirmation calls us into a more active pursuit of sainthood! What’s so inspiring about the saints, in my opinion, is that none of them did anything alone. They all surrendered their lives to God, and they allowed the Holy Spirit to breathe life into their hearts and absolutely transform them. The Holy Spirit was the driving factor in all the stories we hear of saints!
The Holy Spirit is given to us as an advocate, a helper, and a constant reminder of Christ’s teachings and the way we are called to live. This very Spirit that dwells within you is the same Spirit that dwelled in the saints, and it is the same Spirit that dwelled in Jesus. The Holy Spirit gives us the courage to stand up for our faith and share Christ with others. It is the seal to your life as a believer, marking you as a beloved daughter/son of God and equipping you with all you need to live as a faithful disciple.
To be a saint, you do not have to write dozens of letters proving God’s existence, defending Church teachings, or addressing the evils surrounding us. You do not have to save your country from impending doom. You do not have to change the world in some huge way. While reading about the saints, it may sometimes seem like sainthood requires momentous worldly changes from us, but that is by no means the case!
St. Thérèse of Lisieux, for example, surrendered to God and lived a life of quiet love, doing her chores, instructing other nuns, and adorning Jesus’ altar with flowers. Thérèse’s mother, Zélie, became a saint because of the way she patiently raised her daughters and taught them the beauty of quiet, simple devotion to the Lord.
St. Zita, another good example, was a maid who lived out her faith by performing every household duty as perfectly as possible, going to Mass and praying every day, and giving generously to the poor, despite the fact that she herself didn’t have much.
As you can see, sainthood is defined by a simple “Yes” to God. We, too, can become saints by surrendering ourselves to Him, by trusting in the beautiful plans and amazing possibilities He has for us, and by living our lives on the basis of love. Let the Holy Spirit fill your mind, your heart, and your soul. Let the Holy Spirit guide you on the path to sainthood. Let the Holy Spirit transform you into a living, breathing witness to God’s endless love and mercy.
We here at INFLAME are always, always praying for you! God bless!