What Is Your Goal?
by Fr. Jared
What is your goal?
What is your goal in life? A bishop was once asked, “Bishop, you were a parish priest, you were named a Monsignor, you became the rector of a seminary, and you were then ordained a Bishop. Is your goal in life to become a Cardinal?” He responded, “No. My goal in life is to become a saint.” What sounds like an overly pious and perhaps falsely humble response is actually a true and practical statement. This past Friday we celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints. We celebrated the thousands of men and women who lived their Christian lives faithfully on earth and are now sharing in their heavenly reward. Everybody in heaven is a saint. We tend to think of only those well-known saints whom the Church recognizes in an official way…St. Philip, St. Francis, St. Therese, St. Clare, etc. However, our loved ones who are in heaven are saints as well. Everyone in heaven is a saint. They can intercede for us as much as Francis and Clare. We too can be saints one day. Being a saint should be our goal.
C.S. Lewis, a well-known author and Christian spiritual writer, known for his series The Chronicles of Narnia, once wrote, “Sainthood lies in the habit of referring the smallest actions to God.” This quote of C.S. Lewis helps us put our goal of sainthood in perspective and makes it very attainable. The way to sainthood is found in the ins and outs of everyday life. The way to sainthood is submitting every aspect of our day to God, from the smallest things to the largest things. When we read the lives of the saints we see how ordinary they really were. What was extraordinary about them was that they submitted all things to God. It was not easy for them, but they did it. They were not perfect. They sought the way, the truth, and the life every day. They sought Christ every day. They conformed themselves to Christ each day through prayer, service, and presence. We all know people like that in our lives. They are saints. We too in imitation of them can be saints.
All of us are called to be saints. We have our true citizenship in heaven. Jesus told us, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places” (John 14:2). We are all pilgrims, immigrants, and refugees on our way to heaven. As St. Augustine said, “We are from God and our hearts are restless until they rest in him.” The goal of being a saint is very attainable. Blessed John Paul II canonized a record number of men and women throughout his pontificate. Many of them were lay men and women. Some people have criticized him for making it “so easy” to become a saint. I would say the same thing; however, I would say it as a compliment. It is possible for each of us to become a saint. Mother, father, son, daughter, priest, religious, doctor, lawyer, homemaker, and teacher all have the ability to become saints. We are able by offering all that we do, whatever we do, to God. “Sainthood lies in the habit of referring the smallest actions to God.”
Be aware of those saints in your life past and present. Have them intercede for you as you live your life with the goal of becoming a saint as well. Sainthood begins right here and will continue forever in heaven.