By: Sarah D.
Date: October 11, 2023
The month of October is full of feast days of very prominent saints: Sts. Therese of Lisieux, Teresa of Avila, John Henry Newman, Faustina, Francis of Assisi, Boniface, Ambrose, Blessed Carlos Acutis and even Pope Saint JPII. These incredible saints and the hundreds more we remember in the month of October all share something deeply profound and beautiful: they are all in heaven with our Lord and they all deeply loved Him while on earth.
I had my conversion to become Catholic when I was in college. As a young adult,
I learned of all the richness found in the Catholic faith, and there were two things that really peaked my interest: Saints and Angels. Both of which weren’t ever talked about in my faith.
Angels to my understanding before my conversion were people who died and are now in heaven. Saints were simply another word for nuns and priests. When I learnt that angels are entire spirits created by God, I had a deeper peace about angels and sought more information about them. Learning that they were given a moment of free will and in that we see the fall of Lucifer and his minions. However, we also see the goodness and completeness of God’s joy and love for us through our guardian angels. To think that there is an angel who made a choice to love the Lord with their entire entity by guiding and nurturing my irrational self here on earth. This peace I felt knowing the truth about who angels are left me with a question: "If we don’t become angels when we die, what does happen?”
Saints! Religious nuns and priests are not the only ones called to be saints, and saints are not just the people recognized by the church as such. Truly and completely a saint is someone who is in heaven with God. Something we are all called to be. We are all called to be saints, we are all called to an eternity with God. What a joyous and incredible invitation. So what does this mean for us on earth? What does this mean for us as we are living our daily life?
I often thought that to be a saint meant I was called to live a heroic life, like Saint Joan of Arc. That I was called to be a missionary and risk my life for the Lord. While talking with a friend, I discussed how we often want to choose our crosses. Christ tells us to pick up our cross and carry it, not to make a cross for ourselves, not to create a cross, or go and find one, but truly Christ tells us to pick up our cross and carry it. The cross of my daily life is the most undesirable one, it is the one that is familiar and annoying, the one that looks heavier than others. I see my cross and I see co-workers that frustrate me, I see moments of patience I always struggle with, the temptations of pride, the fears and crushing weight that I’ll fail those I love, especially God. And yet that is the cross I am called to embrace. That is the cross that I am called to pick up as Christ did. So although it is not the cross I want, it is the cross Christ has prepared me for. It is the cross that Christ has set on my path, knowing not only my weaknesses but also my strengths. That God has truly chosen me to be in the city, the country, the era I am called in. To work with the people I’m called to, and to be a part of the family I have. I pray that in this month you will grow to embrace your cross out of love for Christ, and in doing so embrace the sainthood you are called to.
I want to end with this beautiful quote from a saint we celebrate this month of October:
“You cannot be half a saint; you must be a whole saint, or no saint at all.”
-St Therese of Lisieux