I tend to see the saints through a glossed page,
A still, painted image, or in marble stone.
Through their canonization, the sainthood attributed to them.
With little halos I picture above their clean and smiling faces.
Their entire lives summed up in one image, even painted into a peg doll.
This is easy, this is shiny and beautiful.
And so they are, perhaps, as they have stepped into eternity and dwell with our Most High God.
They are beautiful, they rest in Christ’s victory over sin, they share in His glory.
But in this understanding, I lose sight of the truth of their earthly lives. Those? Those were messy. They were broken. These men and women - even children - were challenged and tempted and faced great sufferings, some even through martyrdom. They made mistakes, they sinned, as all of humanity is known to do…
But they are set apart through Christ’s love.
They were (and are) endlessly loved, like you, like me.
They accepted God’s amazing and powerful Grace. They trusted in His Divine Mercy, His will, His plan - imperfectly, they faltered, they lost hope, they suffered through darkness - but ultimately, they trusted in Him. They loved Him.
Jesus himself reveals to us the path to sainthood in Luke 10:27, “He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
There will be days that feel impossible, and nights that are darker than we could have ever imagined. But though each day of our lives reveals new trials, temptations, stones to stumble across, God is always with us.
We are all called to be saints; He calls us each by name. Did you know that? We might not ever be canonized or known across the world, and that’s more than okay, because we all have our parts to play - some big, some small, but all important.
We have been created in God and for God, and though the path towards Him is rocky and steep, we are cheered on by the great communion of saints and we are strengthened by the Holy Spirit.
I see the saints as they were - broken and hurting but trusting in God, and I look to them for intercession as they are now - glorified and eternally happy in Heaven.
I see my life and the mess of it all and I look forward to the life everlasting.
I see the saints, and they are endlessly praying for us.
I see the path to Heaven, and it is not impossible. For nothing is with God.