I’ve been re-reading St. Therese’s autobiography, The Story of a Soul. Almost at the beginning she writes about her view of the “world of souls” as a flower garden. She is one little flower in it, surrounded by others. Each has its own size, color, strength, and beauty.
“[God] has created the great saints who are like the lilies and the roses, but He has also created much lesser saints and they must be content to be the daisies or the violets which rejoice His eyes whenever He glances down. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being that which He wants us to be.”
It’s easy to have spiritual envy. We read about the graces God gave St. Therese and think, “That’s not fair. Why didn’t He give such graces to me? I’d like to be a saint too.”
But notice that Therese does not mention any soul in God’s garden who was not made to be a saint–just greater and lesser saints. We all have different graces, but we are all called to be saints.
St. Paul wrote:
“If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single organ, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable…” (1 Corinthians 12:17-22).
Are you weak? You are indispensable to God’s plan for the Church!
God made you to be a saint, whether you are laid back or aggressive, spontaneous or practical;
whether you make friends easily, or find yourself often alone;
whether everyone or no one listens to you;
whether you are successful or an apparent failure;
whether you are a priest, religious, married, or single person;
whether you are old or young;
whether you are healthy or bedridden;
whether you are physically beautiful or plain or even deformed.
Since nothing but sin can separate us from the love of Christ (see Romans 8:35-39), only one thing can keep you from being a saint–refusal to do God’s will.
Being a saint is not glamorous. It means embracing God’s will right where you are today. Right where life is difficult or dull, where people misunderstand you or overlook your needs. It means a constant battle against yourself. It means more love and goodness than you can imagine.
Let us pray that all of us will open our hearts to embrace God’s will. God is ready for you to be a saint. Are you?
Note: My short e-book can give you some ideas about where to begin. It’s now free in most digital formats. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, you can read more about it here.