Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Crap, She's Up": What It Takes To Be A Saint

(Attention: I've been wanting to write this post since July 27th....better late than never and NOW it's been given a new twist.  Happy All Saints Day!)

"I want to be the sort of woman, who when her feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil sighs and says 'crap she's up.'" I'm not sure if someone said this to me or if I read it on someone else's blog, in a book, online or if it's a song lyric, but I liked it so much I had to write it down.

The thought that I could be so awesome that someone dreads me for it, is pretty sweet.  Mix this with the Catholic Solemnity of All Saints Day today and you've got yourself some powerful reflection.

Isn't it true that the Devil definitely said, "Crap....!!!!" when the saints walked the Earth?  Think of the beautiful lives of recent saints like Mother Teresa or Blessed John Paul II.  Some of my FAVORITE saints: Saint Rose of Lima, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Paul, St. Mary Magdelene, St. Jude, St. Anthony, etc.  Think of the people who lived with them during their periods of history.  As that saint walked towards you, I'm sure a little piece was thinking, "Oh, crap!" because you just KNEW that they could see right to the depths of your intentions, your actions, your lies, your mistakes.  They were so holy, they could tell when you weren't.

What does the Devil say when he sees me?  What does God say when he sees me?

In every human heart, even the most messed-up ones, lies this desire to be good, to want good and to show good unto others.  We might all have different ways of getting there...but in the end, we want to be the best person we can be.  It's totally innate.  We also want to be loved--the apple of someone's eye.  Someone who loves us so much that even when we screw up again and again, we are STILL loved the same way as before we screwed up.

I really want to be a saint.  I was super scandalized when I first realized that desire.  I mean, who says they WANT to be a saint?  Isn't that kind of self-righteous or vain or conceited?  But, for me, saints inspire by their lives of ordinary-ness and the immense peace that comes into their hearts no matter what circumstances hit them in life.  They are so full of love and so busy loving they could care less what others think of them.  THAT'S what I want!!!!

Saints are not just for the past--they're right here and now.  I COULD BE A SAINT TODAY if I would just stop letting my preconceptions and fears get in the way of my relationships with others.  The key?  My sainthood isn't going to come from a list of good works and attitudes that I have for the day.  It's not even a checklist of the good outweighing the bad. (Thank God.  I had a few bad years there....)

So what does it take to be a saint?  Acting as if everything depends on you, with the truest realization that it does not!  The One who made my heart and all of its desires for goodness and showing true justice (which is love) to others, IS STILL HERE!  I'M AWESOME IN HIS EYES AND HE CAN'T BE CONVINCED OTHERWISE.  Also, He's totally in control...He's got it.  All I have to do is live my daily tasks knowing He's in control and loving who/what He gives.  Being a saint is letting God love me so that I can be the apple of his eye and be moved by that love.

For me, sainthood starts the second I get off this computer and choose to grade my papers without griping.  It continues when I can grade those papers without yelling (in my head or out loud) at my students because "I already taught them this."  Sainthood continues when I can walk into the classroom tomorrow and say, "Okay, kids.  We didn't get this...let's try again..." with the amount of patience only a supernatural power can give.

I have the choice to choose the good or to do the evil....but I usually wind up fearing that choosing the good won't be good ENOUGH and make up my own solution.  Instead, Lord, increase my strength and capacity to love in my daily tasks and show me again and again the beauty of your Reality.  Fashion me into a saint!

Happy All Saints Day!

Mother Mary...pray for us!
St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes....pray for us!
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, patron saint of Catholic school teachers....pray for us!
St. Rose of Lima, my patron...pray for me!