We Are All Called to be Saints

Wednesday, October 11th, 2023

We Are All Called To Be Saints 

Deacon Lex Ferrauiola

On November 1st the Church will celebrate the Feast of All Saints. This is our day because we are all called to be saints. But what is a saint? For openers, they were real live human beings like you and me. They had  hopes and dreams, fears and self-doubts, good days and bad days.

Even the saints made mistakes. At times they may have been selfish, rude and petty. They were people with all the imperfections, troubles, and quirks that we experience. They would understand and empathize with our struggles because they themselves faced them.

It would help us grow spiritually if we take the saints down from the pedestals we’ve put them on, and bring them into our everyday lives. That way they become touchable to us. We can look at them and say, “I want to be like he or she was. They did it, so I know that I can do it too!”

I have always found Saint Peter to be most encouraging. He was a man after my own heart. He was emotional, impulsive and often indecisive. He shouted his undying loyalty to Jesus barely twelve hours before he pretended he never knew him. But Peter, unlike Judas, kept scraping himself up off the floor each time that he failed. Though he felt deep shame and remorse, he still recommitted himself anew to Jesus. However, his human nature kept getting in his way. After being forgiven over and over again, and given the responsibility of being the rock of Jesus’ church, Peter still made mistakes.

As legend has it, Peter was making a quick getaway from Rome while Nero was executing his parishioners. He happened to run into his conscience — in the form of Jesus — on the Appian Way.  Jesus asked him a question, “Quo Vadis? Where are you going, Peter?” And Peter, remorseful, once more recommitted himself. He turned around, returned to Rome and to martyrdom.

Saint Peter was one of Jesus’ very best friends; and today, twenty centuries later, he is one of our greatest saints. But he was far from perfect — right up to the end.

God is calling you and me to be saints. But what is a Saint?

The word ‘Saint’ comes from the Latin word ‘sanctus’ which means ‘holy’. And ‘holy’ with an h really means ‘wholly’ with a wh. God wants us to be whole, to eventually get it all together. But God wants us to realize that this will probably never happen during our lifetime on earth; that we, like the greatest of saints, are human and will continue to have good days and bad days. Instead, God asks us to commit ourselves to the process of BECOMING whole: to live our lives with a fundamental option for goodness, compassion, forgiveness, and unconditional love; to keep renewing and recommitting ourselves to that option each time we fall. God asks us to look at the saints and to say, “I can do it too!”

God is calling us all to be saints.

            With love, Deacon Lex

Lex Ferrauiola is a husband, father, grandfather and a Catholic deacon serving as a pastoral minister and hospital chaplain within the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. His newest book, All Shall Be Well: Finding God Among the Pots and the Pans is available now.

$12.00 available at Amazon.com and through local booksellers (ISBN-13 979-8767368921)

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