“I understood that to become a saint one had to suffer much, seek out always the most perfect thing to do, and forget self. I understood, too, that there are many degrees of perfection and each soul was free to respond to the advances of the Our Lord, to do little or much for Him, in a word, to choose among the sacrifices He was asking. Then, as in the days of my childhood, I cried out: ‘My God I choose all!’ - St. Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul
Oh, to have the fervor of a Saint! It’s a dream of mine to become a Saint one day. Sometimes, however, I overwhelm myself. I often think, “I couldn’t possibly be a Saint! I don’t pray nearly enough and I give up too easily when I’m faced with obstacles… I can’t give up a meal, much less my life!” Other times I imagine that the only way for me to lead a saintly life is if I lived in a convent, separate from the world and earthly distractions, with a structured prayer life and an obligation to fast. But what about those who are not called to religious life? Surely they, too, can become Saints?
It’s funny how I can read about and admire St. Therese, and still be so slow to learn her Little Way! In her autobiography Story of a Soul, Therese explains that God made each soul like a unique flower; some with different needs than others, and some that bloom at different times than others. St. Therese happened to be one of those flowers who (in terms of her spiritual maturation) bloomed very early in life. Even in childhood, she would spend hours resting in contemplative prayer before even knowing what it was! Consequently, my attempt at emulating her radiant purity seems near impossible! And back around the wheel spins; I could never be a Saint. I realised that I must go back to my childhood, and take baby steps alongside Little Therese.
As I mentioned earlier, I have trouble sticking with a fast. So for now, instead attempting to cut myself off completely, I’m going to kick the habit of eating when I’m not hungry. I know it’s shameful, but sometimes I eat just because it’s my favourite food or just because it’s lunchtime or just because I’m bored. No more of that. In addition, instead of suddenly implementing a 40-minute long prayer into my schedule, I’m going to add reminders on my phone to pray a morning offering, an Act of Love, a Rosary, and a Chaplet of Divine Mercy at different times throughout the day. I’m going to make prayer a vital part of my everyday life by starting small.
I encourage you, friends, to think and pray about what adjustments can be made to your spiritual life to help you be more consistent wherever you’re lacking. These are just two small examples of ways I have decided to do this- but there are countless others! And if you have a regular confessor or spiritual director, all the better to obtain council on your path to sainthood! God made YOU, His little flower, and He is pleased with your willingness to come to Him, wherever you are now.
Suggested Reading:Catholic Living, The Saints, by Catholic Chapter House.