There are more Saints than you think! |
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
today on Shrove Tuesday I hope to divert your attention from the tawdry events of Mardi Gras and the prurient interests pursued by the media who seek out the inane and sacriligeous to hype the "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die" mentality party. Meanwile, many downplay the sacrificial, penitential nature of Lent for they surmise it is useless. What good does that do?
Oh, if they only could realize God's Mercy and Love. If they only realized how many saints there are because they strived to live as God wills. I have heard so many people who either believe that God's out to get them, or who are defeated before they even begin, somehow erroneously believing that the Holiness is reserved for only the privileged few who have been canonized!!!
How we put God in a box when we think like this, and behave according to the measure of our finite thinking. St. Therese did not "think" she was a saint. She knew she was, because God showed this to her, so that her mission on earth, which was short, would be lived to its fullest extent. There is one example in her writings that has always struck me as very profound. To one of her fellow sisters in the Carmelite Monastery, who was given to a sour disposition and fault-finding, especially of herself, Therese remarked that this particular sister expected the justice of God, and therefore would find that exact justice when she died. However, Therese expected the Mercy of God, and knew that upon her death it was the Merciful Love of God that would clothe her, because she had allowed Him to teach her to LOVE!!!
She was not a wimp. She was not sentimental, nostalgic, etc. She did not seek to make friends, but she was truly the friend of all whom she met, even within the confines of her cloister. She knew that Loving God was a Joy, not a doom and gloom life of overt penances that made the body gaunt, and the stole stagnant. She soared, not because she had wings, but because God gave her wings!!! She did not lift herself up, but by recognizing her total dependence upon God, and her ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE in HIM, she allowed HIM to raise her up!
Let us go forward filled with HOPE, JOY, PEACE, and allow God to work in our soul as He sees fit. Let us pray each day that we do not get in God's way, but rather cooperate with Him. Let us not aim for Purgatory as the "best" we can do, but aim for Heaven, which is the "BEST" GOD does and wills do to for all of His Children. You are an heir of the Kingdom of God. Act that way, live that way, think that way. Move with His grace, and then you'll find that you are growing in the way of holiness, even if you didn't recognize it before. Lent is coming, and this is a time to take stock of our own spiritual house.
What do you believe? What is your aim? Why do you fight the good fight if you have already settled on Purgatory as the only possibility for you? It's time to set our thinking straight, and to aim our thoughts, words, and actions at the HEART OF GOD, not with presumption, but with CONFIDENCE AND HOPE!!!
The fullness of the Mystical Body of Christ is not composed of perfect human beings, but of perfected human beings who understood that LOVE in the culmination of all FAITH AND HOPE. We need FAITH, and it must be filled with HOPE, with that absolute CONFIDENCE that St. Therese lived and wrote about. Anything less denies LOVE, which we all are to aspire to, and to believe in.
I am praying for all of you, and I humbly ask you to continue to pray for me and for my family. Heaven is not for the few, but for the many. Heaven is real, and your place there is real. Don't sell yourself short by giving up, and settling for Purgatory. Acknowledge that Purgatory is that place where the soul, which denied God's graces in this life, will have the opportunity to find those graces again!
There are more saints in Heaven than you can comprehend. Aim for that place, and allow God to work in you in silence and in joy. Be at peace, Heaven is upon you. Do not settle for "second place". If you believe that Saints are few, then you limit God. Where then is your HOPE and JOY? Oh, be filled with JOY and LOVE HIM with your whole being, however flawed your being is. That's holiness, my brothers and sisters. It's not only possible, it's your right and duty. Lent begins tomorrow. Let's all begin to live this Hope and Joy in Him in striving for the highest : Heaven!
Your very little sister in Christ, who loves and prays for each of you every day,
For past installments by Cyndi Cain, see SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING Archives
February 27, 2001
volume 12, no. 58
Cyndi Cain's SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING column