Today we celebrate the feast of All Saints Day, a day when we remember all of the saints in our Church. The saints are our friends and ancestors who, in their lives, accepted God in their own lives and brought him to others on Earth and who continue to do so in Heaven. On this feast day, we especially ask them to intercede for us as we continue to strive for sainthood here on Earth.
As a young Catholic in college I always would hear the phrase “Striving for Sainthood,” but what does this really mean? How do we strive for sainthood with all the distractions and temptations that exist in our world?
A person doesn’t have to live a perfect life to become a saint. Just look at some of the lives of the saints that we have in the Catholic Church today.
St. Augustine of Hippo lived a life that included parties, entertainment, and worldly ambitions. Many young people, especially those in the college scene get caught up in the temptations of partying and excessive drinking.
Through the prayers of his mother, St. Monica, and the preaching of St. Ambrose, he was convinced that Christianity was the one true religion. Augustine did not become a Christian right away, but after crying out to God in a garden, Augustine heard a child say “Take up and read.” He then picked up the Letters of St. Paul where Paul said “to put away all impurity and to live in imitation of Jesus.” After reading this Augustine began a new life and was baptized. He became a priest and eventually a bishop who founded an order of religious priests while living a life of poverty and giving to the poor.
St. Paul, originally known as Saul, was a Pharisee and presided over the persecutions of the early Christians. After a powerful vision, he converted to Christianity while on the road to Damascus. When he was baptized, he took the name Paul. For many years, he was a follower of Christ and he was eventually persecuted and was imprisoned himself for his beliefs.
In his Angelus address on All Saints Day in 2017, Pope Francis gave us some insights of how to view our many saints. He said “Saints are not perfect models, but are people whose lives God has crossed,” and can be compared with the stained-glass windows of a church, “which allow light to enter in different shades of color.”
Pope Francis had many quotes from this address, I chose this one because it shows us that any person, no matter what culture or ethnic background they come from, can become saints. We just have to let God touch our lives and help us to live a life that is striving for sainthood.
On this feast of All Saints Day I want to challenge everyone to take some time and pray for the intercession of all of our saints to help you to live a life that is striving for sainthood.
Written by Carissa Kulpa, Prepostulant