Deciding for Sainthood
Last week we were able to celebrate All Saints’ Day. This day has become very important in my prayer/spiritual life. Just a couple years ago, I held the perspective that I wanted to be a saint someday, but hadn’t fully decided on when I would get around to it. I thought I would probably try for sainthood when I was old. It wasn’t necessarily a decision – it was more like an assumption. I assumed that the old people who went to daily Mass were probably well on their way to sainthood. I figured when I was older, I would start going to daily Mass and therefore achieve my saintly journey.
God had different plans for my life. Many know that I often pray that God keeps the bumpers (bowling reference) up in my life. I always pray that He keeps me on His designed path and lets me get redirected (no matter how difficult/painful) off the bumpers and therefore keeps me out of the gutter. I’ve realized that God honors that prayer. He has placed bumpers in my life on multiple occasions and, though these bumper experiences have been emotionally painful, I know that He’s been there for me through those experiences.
After my last bumper experience (a broken off engagement), I realized this doesn’t have to be as painful going forward. I was causing the pain. I was hitting the bumpers hard. I needed to cultivate a life of prayer, a true relationship with God, and thus make an effort to stay in the middle of the lane to avoid the painful bumpers. I needed to make the decision to become a Saint. It was then that I decided that I wanted to start striving to become a saint. After that decision, I remember praying “Lord, I’m in. Now what?”
My friends and family know that I often view the world and faith life through a sport’s perspective. Prior to the decision to become a saint, I thought I had to make the Hall of Fame to achieve sainthood. Post decision, I realized I needed to prayerfully say yes to “playing and striving.” I needed to grow my relationship with Jesus and He would help decide my abilities and experiences. I realized I was made to be a saint and God would utilize me in this world as He desires. I also realized that I didn’t need to eliminate passions and desires from my life in order to be a saint – I just needed to share them with Jesus.
As a result of this decision, All Saints’ Day has become a very special day. I wish I had celebrated it by feeling more a part of it in the past. In the past, I celebrated it as a spectator, but this year I celebrated it as a participant.
Footnote: If you want the best imagery for All Saints’ Day – pull up Fr Mike Schmitz’s podcast from 11/01/2015 “Ordinary Time: Ask. Offer. Accept.” Listen from 20:00 – 33:00. This story brings tears to my eyes every time. It also motivates me to work harder to run the race so I can help others.
Written by: Nick Valente, Part of the YCP Omaha Marketing Team