There can be no greater plan for you than sainthood, sharing in the life of God as a member of the divine family, since there can be no other alternative outcome in your life exceeding the beauty and magnificence of the salvific plan of God's loving goodness.
Who and what is a saint, and why should anyone want to be one? Is it in any way important to think about the saints? What do their lives mean for our lives? Given the nature of our modern, hyper-energized and technologically advanced world, are they still relevant today? On the other hand, could sainthood be the path to true, unending happiness in the here and now, as well as the next life? Is becoming a saint the solution to our deepest longings?
When God takes possession of the soul, it knows it has found something great, something worth dying for, although this possession at the same time remains shrouded in mystery. It is as if a great Light floods in, enabling the soul to finally open its eyes, seeing for the first time the true meaning and purpose of its life; it then understands it has tasted a Love never-before imagined, never-before experienced. The whole world, in that moment, is transformed into something different, something new.
Mention of the word "saint" will foster numerous images and thoughts in people's minds. For many people today, given the rapid increase in the secularization of society, serious thinking about who or what a saint is, is about as common as spaghetti without noodles. Even less common, is energy devoted to the idea of the saints as important role models whose lives should be held up as examples for all.
There is also the tendency to think the saints were born that way. That is, they could hardly have been people who struggled with sin and the many temptations in daily life as do us "ordinary people," but rather were gifted with some great vision of light at or near their infancy, elevated by an extraordinary abundance of God's grace, and thus supernaturally enabled to easily fix their gaze on the heavenly heights of virtue and holiness and therefore live a life ordered in every way toward love of God. In this vein of erroneous thought, it is easy to dismiss altogether the possibility of becoming a saint. However, the saints started out just like you and me.
If we look at the lives of some of the greatest saints in the history of humankind, we find they wrestled with temptation, and often fell. They were not born saints. The early lives of Sts. Augustine, Teresa of Avila, and Francis of Assisi, to name a few, are all examples of the personal struggle over the proper exercise of human free will. These saints were self-identified sinners. But then something radical happened in their lives. What was it?
Another question you must ask yourself is, "Do I want to become a saint?" Worldly freethinkers are uninterested; it's all restrictive and limiting silliness and foolishness to them. It is only the humble who fully grasp the beauty in dying to self with open arms to God, a requirement of sainthood. Others fear that having God means giving up all the pleasures of the world. Unfortunately, they misunderstand what possessing God really means and really is.
For instance, we often hear God is love. The mistake we make, however, is in thinking God's love is simply a bigger version of human love, and we know in the depths of our heart any amount of human love, however great, will not satisfy us forever. We have all experienced some kind of pleasurable love from others, whether it be from friendship, paternal or maternal or filial love, human intimacy, and so forth; yet God's love cannot be directly compared to these. Gather all your most pleasurable experiences in life into one. Once touched by God's love, you will realize how very small and insignificant these fleeting moments really are, for they are as nothing when compared to one Divine Glance lasting but a faction of a second. To compare human love and the pleasures of earthly life to the intense, fiery heat of the love of God, is to compare but a dim candle flame to the combined heat of all the stars contained in 100 billion galaxies -- and this analogy, too, falls infinitely short.
If you want to have everything, God alone suffices. If you want to experience complete, life-changing and indescribable love, God alone can supply it. There is no substitute for God. There is no experience like the experience of God. If you want to be kissed by the Divine Fire who will burn within your being for eternity, providing continuous warmth and love, companionship and peace, happiness and security, then you will need to give up yourself to God; you will need to become a saint. It is not a way of life for the fickle or for cowards, but rather for the determined and persistent and courageous. It will not be easy, as the cross of Christ clearly reveals, but the rewards are unimaginably great. Do you want that life? Do you want to become a saint?
Above we noted how something radical, at some point, happened in the lives of the saints. Some moment came and passed, leaving them different. It is as if they were each being tossed about on a stormy sea, when suddenly a sure, certain and loving wind filled their sails, and began to push them along toward a new, unseen yet highly desirable destiny.
The life-giving wind that blew across the decks of their ships was God, and upon noticing this Divine Wind and how highly desirable it was, the saints urgently and properly rigged the main sails in order to allow it to carry them along. All throughout the remaining voyage, they diligently manned ...
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