Ordinary People - that is Precisely what Saints Are!

Clergy Corner by Fr. Ray

Ordinary people - that is precisely what saints are! Saints are ordinary persons like you and me. They too had sinned and had their share of human imperfections. But they struggled to rise each time they fell. They strove to live as Jesus lived and to love as Jesus loved. That is why it is very important that we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints. Celebrating the Solemnity of All Saints reminds us that while not all of us may die for the faith, we are nonetheless challenged to die to ourselves -- to our selfishness, pride, greed, laziness, lust, anger, envy, gluttony -- in a word, to our sins. The path to holiness is not always covered with blood, but it always passes through the Way of the Cross, the way of dying to one’s self and rising to new life. By this, the Christian participates in the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ.

The ultimate joy of any disciple is to become like His Master. Jesus is our Master; our ultimate joy is to become like Him. And the saints are models for us to persevere and not to lose hope despite our weaknesses. St. Bernard of Clairvaux wrote: "When I think of the Saints, I feel the desire to be like them is ignited in me." The more we look at the Saints, the more we grow in the longing to live in God and with God. Holiness is contagious.

Let us be saints together. Let us help one another to be holy. Let us contaminate one another with holiness.

What then is holiness? Holiness is the perfection of charity. The more loving you are the more holy you are. When we strive to love as Jesus loves, we are giving witness to the Kingdom of God; we are saints. If to be a saint means to belong to God, then indeed, it means to love. If to be a Saint means to know God, then, indeed, it means to love. As Jesus Himself exemplified to us, our love must be seen in the good deeds of our day-to-day living. And “good” here means sacrificial and life-giving, as Jesus showed us by putting His life on the line, dying for us so that we may live truly and fully.

There is a long queue of celebrity wannabes today, but the line of aspiring saints is short. There is a fierce fight for power today in all its forms, but outdoing one another in love is lukewarm on many counts. There is a consuming enthusiasm for changing trends, but the unchanging call to holiness is ignored by not a few. The Solemnity of All Saints gives us a lesson we must not forget in the midst of all the ironies of life: as St. John of the Cross said, “At the twilight of life, we shall be judged on love.” 

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