“You cannot be half a saint. You must be a whole saint or no saint at all.”
-St.Therese of Lisieux
Ever since I was a child, I’ve had a fascination with saints, thanks to the detailed pictures in the book of saints my parents had. And, even as an adult I continue to have a fascination, but this has turned more from infatuation with these unique stories toward an admiration, devotion and desire to be like these humble men and women whom lived their lives with incredible faith and holiness.
The saints could also do some pretty amazing stuff. They could do things like levitate, see visions, heal others, bi-locate & tri-locate (be in two or three places at once), speak languages they had never learned, know if someone was withholding a sin during the Sacrament of Reconciliation and walk on water. They could speak on the behalf of the poor and neglected, serve others while having incredible needs of their own, care for the dying, and be willing to die for another. The saints sought to be united with God in love and correspond entirely to God’s wishes.
Many of us as children and even now as adults, admire Rich & Famous Rock Stars (athletes, musicians, actors, and other rich & famous persons). We look at what they wear (Nike, Addidas, Reebok) or carry (Gucci, Burberry, Coach) and decide to purchase these items, regardless of expense (do you know how expensive these handbags are!?) We look at the lifestyles some of these individuals have and try to emulate them. Sex whenever, expensive vacations, fast cars, focus on self-happiness & self-satisfaction, and more. And we spend significant amounts of time, money and energy to be like these rich and famous we admire.
But as people, is this who and what we were created for? To be Rich & Famous Rock Stars with an excess of wealth and excessive focus on things of this Earth?
We need to ask ourselves who are we? And more importantly, whose are we?
We are the children of God. We were created in His Divine image. We are called to live and love as Christ did on earth. We are called to be like the saints, Catholic Rock Stars, models of faith. The saints are where we want to ultimately be, in Heaven with God, because we are God’s and belong to Him.
We are called to be modern day saints. We are called to do some amazing stuff just like those before us. We can use the Internet, Facebook and Twitter to evangelize, we must contact our political representatives to speak on behalf of the under-valued & non-valued, we are called to share our gifts and talents with others for God in the same way saints before us have. Yes, we too are called to be Catholic Rock Stars.
As Catholic Christians we are called to live our Christian life to the fullest, and to strive towards perfection in love. We are called to be holy, ie, to be a living presence of Christ’s perfect love on earth. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church (a text which contains the fundamental Christian truths formulated in a way that facilitates their understanding) states: “All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity.” All are called to holiness: “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” –CCC #2013
It won’t cost you anything monetarily, but it will cost you something. There is no holiness, no perfection without the Cross. We cannot become a Catholic Rock Star or saint by half-heartedly living like Christ or seeking things of the Rich & Famous Rock Stars. We cannot be like Christ without loving like Christ. We cannot be like Christ if we focus solely on ourselves. To be like Christ and live our call to be holy we must embrace our crosses, spiritual battles, sufferings, temptations and trails like Christ. Because as Christ told His disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. –Matthew 16:24
Yes, you too can be a Rock Star, a Catholic Rock Star, a saint. Actually, you and I and everyone else we know are called to it.
“We must have a real living determination to reach holiness. ”I will be a saint” means I will despoil myself of all that is not God; I will strip my heart of all created things; I will live in poverty and detachment; I will renounce my will, my inclinations, my whims and fancies, and make make myself a willing slave to the will of God.” -Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta