I want to be a doctor when I “grow up” (quotations because that’s never going to happen).
And I know what they’ll say: “Want to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.” So, who knows how my quest will end up (not me), but I’m feeling pretty pumped about it at the moment.
But sometimes I wonder… would a saint do this? Heck, would a saint do 99% of the stuff I do? Seems unlikely.
I don’t know of many rapping saints, nor saints who spent their summers trying to learn how to skateboard. I don’t know saints who watched Netflix, or who talked to their dachshund like she’s a human (maybe St. Francis…?).
All this makes me wonder…should I change my approach? Should I leave home with nothing but the clothes off my back? Should I enter religious life or write theological texts or become a hermit?? That’s what saints do….right?
Eh… not exactly.
Yes, saints have done all of that. They’ve left home, given up all they have, becomes nuns, theologians, hermits, and more…But none of these things are “prerequisites” to sainthood.
The truth is: there is no such thing as a cookie-cutter saint.
YOU DO YOU
Each person has a unique path to sainthood. There is no mold. There is no yellow-brick road to follow. There is only you and God’s distinct plan for your life. The only prerequisite you must meet is love for the Lord. Aside from that, you may go where you please, as long as you take Him with you on the journey.
He wants you to be a saint. But He also wants you to be you.
Look at St. Joseph. He was a carpenter, a father, and a man with zero direct quotes in the Bible. And yet…he serves as an exemplary model of holiness because of the dignity he brought to his work, however “insignificant” it may have seemed.
In fact, there are saints in all fields. Some saints gave up all they had to follow God in drastic acts of holiness. Some died heroic deaths, wrote incredible works, or changed the course of history. But others, though equally committed, served as unsung heroes, as “ordinary” mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, teachers, and more. In fact, so many have slipped under the radar and have yet to be recognized by the Church as canonized Saints.
The point is, God is calling us to sanctity wherever we are, doing whatever we love. He doesn’t ask us to glorify Him despite our unique interests, but through them, whatever they may be.
WHAT WOULD A SAINT DO?
This means that I don’t have to worry about whether being a doctor is “saintly” enough.
Through the way I interact with those around me, I can share His love. Through my understanding of the complexities of the human body, I can witness the beauty of God’s creation. And through the work that I (hope to) do each day, I can learn how to love people at their weakest as Jesus did and uphold the inalienable dignity they possess.
And the same can be said for wherever God is calling you, be it a career or a hobby.
Whether you’re an athlete, a musician, an artist, a clerk, a mechanic, a teacher, a lawyer, a member of the military, or a youth minister (the list could go on for pages….), God wants to use you. And He wants to use your interests and passions for His glory. In fact, perhaps He is calling you to be a sister, a priest, a theologian, or a hermit.
But even if He is not, you have the chance to be a saint in your daily decisions to live for Christ, whatever that may look like.
In the words of Mother Teresa, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
WE NEED YOU
We need your talents, your passions, and your enthusiasm. We need you to be the saint that only you can be.
Don’t fall victim to the myth of the cookie-cutter saints. There are no boxes to check on the quest to heaven except one: Love God — “then do as you please” (St. Augustine).
Choose to model Christ through the circumstances God has put in place in your life, and the gifts and talents you devote time to each day. God doesn’t want you to ditch your love for rapping, or skateboarding, or dancing, or whatever it is that brings you joy.
He wants to use it. He wants to use what you love to glorify Him. And in the process, think of the testimony you share through the simple example of Christ-like normalcy. Your regular acts can speak volumes when done with extraordinary love.
Our world is in desperate need of saints who understand what it’s like to be a Christian in modern times. We need saints who watch Netflix, who use emojis, who jam out to Taylor Swift in the car, and more. Whatever you have, God is more than willing to use–and to multiply.
The Church and the world, needs you, future saints.