As Catholics, it is a great gift to have the communion of saints as an inspiration and as an aid in our spiritual life. But sometimes when we look at the lives of the saints we think that we could never attain such a level of holiness, or accomplish such great deeds for God.
Recently on Morning Air® we heard from Fr. Albert Haase who used the apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate to show us that we are all called to become saints for our time – and that becoming a saint may look different than you expect.
“Each one of us, like a saint, has a mission in life and we have a message that God wants to speak through the world to us. And I just love that!” Fr. Haase said. “What baffles me about this, is that this means that each one of us is a worthy vessel of God’s Word. Each one of us has a worthy message that God wants to speak. And so, to me, it just all the more puts the onus on me to get serious about discovering the mission and the message that God wants to speak through me to the world.”
Fr. Haase explained that we should look to the saints for inspiration, but we shouldn’t expect that our path to sainthood will be the same as any particular saint.
“God has given us these wonderful, wonderful saints who really are these witnesses,” he said. “But then he said to be aware that not everything that a saint does is work to be repeated in your life. Because it might make you miss out on your own unique call to holiness.”
“He makes it very clear that each one of us is called to [be a saint] in a very, very unique way. One of the things that he says is that the saints have been given to us as wonderful witnesses of people who have opened the door to grace. And that gives us right away a key to what becoming a saint is all about. We open the door of our heart to grace.”
Oftentimes in prayer we feel a strong desire to do God’s will in all things, and to bring His grace to others. But then we interact with our family, friends, and coworkers and find it difficult to do God’s will, even in the little things. Fr. Haase encouraged listeners to avoid thinking that we need to retreat from the world in order to be holy, but that it is in our relationships that we become saints.
“Always remember … we are not called to be saints alone,” he said. “We are born into sanctity, we become saints only in community. So even though you might at times find it a real challenge living … remember that this is how saints are made.”
So on a practical level, how do we know what is the will of God? How do we know what our calling is each moment? Fr. Haase suggested that you ask yourself a few key questions.
“Always be aware that when you want to know, right now, what is God’s will for you at this exact moment, all you need to do is ask yourself: what is the unmet need, or the required duty, right now?” he said.
“So if the required duty for me is to change my bed linens and to wash the sheets, then that is God’s will for me. The present moment will always tell you what God’s will for you is. Right there in the moment if you learn to live in the present moment. And always be attentive to ask yourself: what is God asking of me right now? It might be to plan to the menu for next week, to do some cooking or to wash the dishes, it might be to give a word of encouragement. The present moment will always tell you what you need to do.”
Listen to the full conversation below: