Many believe that the saints are holy people who lived only holy lives here on earth, and therefore they are the only ones allowed in Heaven, and in today’s society, there is NO WAY anyone today can become a saint, let alone live up to their holy, pure example.
The more you read about the saints, the more you will learn, they are just like you and me.
- They are not perfect.
- They have lived sinful lives
- They have committed murder, adultery, lie, cheat and are downright, wholehearted sinners
- They have faith in God
- They learned, through their trials, to turn towards Him
- They learned to pray and ask for forgiveness
- They turned their lives around and gave it all back to God
We are not perfect, and neither were the saints (with the exception of one, Our Mother, Mary). The difference between us and the saints is that during their lifetimes, they turned away from their sinful self, and instead lived a life dedicated to God alone.
- Was it easy? Most would say no.
- Were they persecuted? Most would say yes.
- But, did they live a life according to God’s will and now enjoying eternity in Heaven? YES!!!
We are called to be living saints here on earth, which will make going to Heaven after death much easier and quicker. Yes, we will have to still spend some time in Purgatory (here is a great post on that!), but the more we sacrifice and suffer for our Lord here, the less time we will need for purification.
So what do we do to upgrade our relationship with the saints?
Find a patron saint and pray! Here are some resources:
- Catholic Online Saints
- Saints Alive
- pdf table of Patron Saints – this is what I share with my Rel Ed kids
Read more about the daily lives of the saints and how they overcame sin, especially read about saints who struggled with the same sins as you.
Use icons to help you remember to pray – not worship them! We are to pray for the saint’s intercession, not worship of the saint. Only God is to be worshiped, but the saints are allowed to go to God on your behalf and God will then decide if He will allow the saint to help you or how to best help you in your struggles.
Prayer cards are also a great way to remember the saints. I actually scatter them around the house, placing them on my desk, in light switches around the kitchen, on my nightstand. They are a great way to remember to pray, and on the back of many of them are prayers for that saint’s intercession.
Make More Saints!
Yes, you can help make more saints! I received this prayer card from a man at adoration and I try to pray it 5 times every time I read it. In many of the visions of Mary, the saints have repeated Mary’s plea to pray for the holy souls in purgatory, so that they can be made saints. Nothing pains her more than the suffering of souls and separation from her Son. According to St. Gertrude the Great, every time you say this prayer, 1000 souls will be released from purgatory. And guess what? Those souls will be so grateful for your prayers, they will in turn pray for you! Just imagine: One thousand new saints praying for you every time you say the prayer! So cool! Now, its not a “get out of jail free” card for you, but why not sacrifice a few seconds of your day to relive the pain of 1000 souls?
Sacrifice and Offer up Suffering
Sacrifice and suffering sounds like lots of fun, huh? *Upgrade Alert* This is going to be painful!
If you’ve ever actually went through a full upgrade to a whole new version, you know and understand how horrible it can be. If not, here’s just a snip-it of the pain:
- Research – is your PC compatible, or would it be easier for a whole new one
- Prepare – Get the documentation, read all the steps, get the phone numbers of support
- Pre-upgrade steps – remove old files, set up patches, go through your checklist one more time
- Backup – make sure you are able to get back to a point where you can start over and try again
- Upgrade – most dangerous and slow step – will seem to take forever and you might even question its actually working. It may fail, and you’ll have to start the upgrade again. Will be frustrating!
- Check the logs – see if there was anything that failed, see if it can be fixed or need to roll back to a previous version
- Evaluate the upgrade – did it actually work? What is working and what isn’t? Are there any bugs or patches that need to be applied
- Move forward – keep an eye out for the next opportunity for upgrade! It might be hard to learn a new program after using the old one for so long, but after using the new version, you will come to like it better.
OK, so that is a software upgrade – what about suffering?
- Research – what in your life is incompatible with God? Can it be removed, or would it be easier just to completely start over?
- Prepare – It may be painful breaking away from a sinful relationship, or stopping a sinful habit, but find support in your circle of friends or your local parish. Find a saint who struggled with the same sin, and pray for their intercession.
- Pre-upgrade steps – remove the things or people who cause you to sin. “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” Mathew 5:30
- Backup – Go to Reconciliation and ask for forgiveness. This is your start over point!
- Upgrade – most dangerous and slow step – will seem to take forever and you might even question its actually working. You may fail, and fall back into sin. Go back to your backup, and start over! That is the blessing of God, He always let’s you start over, especially if you are really trying to turn away from your sin.
- Check the logs – check in with your support system to see if they see an improvement. If you are still failing, check out why and what happened, and try again.
- Evaluate the upgrade – did it actually work? What is working and what isn’t? Is there something else that needs to be done to keep moving the upgrade forward? Is there someone else you can turn to? Do you need to ask forgiveness, not just of God, but from someone else, who may be causing the upgrade to fail?
- Move forward – keep an eye out for the next opportunity for upgrade! There might always be the temptation to go back to an earlier release of yourself, but keep your eye on God!
This is not an instant process and it takes time – but if you keep working, keep praying to God and the intercession of the saints, keep asking for forgiveness, keep close to God, you too can become a saint! Believe it!!!!