“There are more people converted from mortal sin to grace, than there are religious converted from good to better.” St Bernard of Clairvaux
How does one become a saint? That is to say, a real saint - one with St. in front of one’s name and properly canonised by Pope and Church? What does one have to do? How does one go about it?
Of course many real saints have lived who never got canonised. Seeking publicity has never been part of being a saint. So there are many, many unrecognised saints, some maybe even greater than the recognised ones. But all are known to God.
So if I set out on the path of sanctity, what do I do? Well, first you should know that this is something that every Christian is called to. We are all called to be saints. Whether we get recognised on earth as such is beside the point. The quality of sainthood is the same for all. All are called to it, and what is more all must reach it in this life or the next.
There is a sense of course in which we are already saints - we are part of God’s holy people. We have been set apart from the world. But there is still a long road to travel to become what God desires us to be. When we are taken into God’s people, we are only at the gate. We have to push on to the end.
So, again, what do I have to do to become a saint?
There is no mystery about it. It is the same for everyone. The results will be different. There is little apparent resemblance between St Paul and St Louis of France, or St Therese of Lisieux and her heroine Joan of Arc. The lives of Francis Xavier and Catherine of Siena were wildly different. But they all were doing the same thing. They were obeying the will of God as it presented itself to them moment by moment in their circumstances. That is the secret and the only secret. It is the way that Our Lord himself lived, Abraham and Moses before him, and Peter and Paul after him. How did the apostles evangelise the world? By obeying the will of God as revealed to them by the Holy Spirit moment by moment.
That is the path that I have set out upon. This is the record of that path.
“Almighty and ever-living God, just and merciful Lord, grant to us miserable creatures, for your own sake, that we may know what you will, and that we may always will what pleases you; so that, externally purified and illumined within and inflamed with the fire of the Holy Spirit, we may follow in the footsteps of your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and by your grace alone may arrive at our destination in you, O Most High, who in perfect Trinity and utterly simple Unity live and reign and are glorified, Almighty God, unto ages of ages. Amen.” St Francis of Assissi: From the Letter to the General Chapter
Pray for Pope Benedict
The Lord preserve him and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth; and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.
Omnia Christus est nobis