God’s invitation to become saints is for all, not just a few. Sanctity therefore must be accessible to all. In what does it consist? In a lot of activity? No. In doing extraordinary things? No, this could not be for everybody and at all times. Therefore, sanctity consists in doing good, and in doing this good in whatever condition and place God has placed us. Nothing more, nothing outside of this.
–Blessed Louis Tezza
We hear all the time these days, “I just want to be happy.” I have come to the conclusion we are wanting the wrong thing. We should want to be holy, and with that, happiness is attainable because holiness is where you are joined to the will of God. Generally, in our pursuit of happiness we are looking for that worldly thing that will make us happy. Often the mess we make of our lives is made because we are pursuing that “thing” that we think will make us happy. The husband, who feels neglected by his wife, he may look at that other woman and think, “I bet she would make me happy.” He puts himself in a situation where he can find out. Lets just go out for a harmless lunch. Or the woman, who is happy because she can buy the latest name brand item, even though she really doesn’t have the money. Or the teenager who thinks that getting high will make me feel happy and makes sure to be in the place where the drugs are accessible. And then they each get that thing that they want, that thing they think will make them happy. And then their lives fall apart. The husband loses his family. The woman can’t pay her bills. The teenagers spirals out of control into a drug fueled world.
I finally understand the Catholic prayers at a much deeper level. The Lord’s prayer, when we pray it, do we mean it? We ask, “lead us not into temptation”. Are we really trying to avoid it? In the Act of Contrition we pray that we will, “avoid the near occasion of sin.” The fact of the matter is we willingly seek out these places, these situations. All of us have that temptation, but do we try to avoid the thing that tempts us to sin. In Hollywood, divorce is rampant, think about it, they, for their job, put themselves in situations where they are making out (and sometimes much more) with someone other than their spouse. Talk about being led into temptation. It should not be a shock then, that in Hollywood broken families are the norm.
I don’t mean to get up on a soapbox, but I think our pursuit of happiness is often based on a feeling of want, and it just leads to misery and broken lives. So, seriously, does anyone anymore ever think about being holy? About trying to be a Saint? I haven’t heard it mentioned in a long time. But it is time. It is time for us to pursue holiness. We don’t have to do giant things, we can, as St Thérèse of Lisieux modeled for us, do it in the little things. And if you have a repetitive sin, start with that one. Try to not put yourself in the situation where you will fall to that weakness. And pray, pray for God’s help with the prayer he taught us. And mean it, don’t just say it with an empty heart. We will sometimes fail, but God is merciful and loves us. So be gentle with yourself when you fail because God is gentle with you, but set the bar a little higher each day, set the bar to conform your will to God’s. Because He is God, He can make a Saint out of us. And this world sure could use more Saints.