I was a youth minister and I think there is an unwritten rule that any time a youth minister is promoting something to teens or talking something up to the parish, he or she has to use the term “awesome” about 14 times to describe it.
You have heard of the Saints. You have read about the Saints. You may have even been told by someone who really cares the awful truth: Only saints are in Heaven.
That scares me because I see a lot of people around me who know a lot more than I do about the Catholic Faith. I know more people who know more than I do about the Christian Faith. There are books upon books about it and the truth is, no one is really writing anything original. We are all rehashing the same basic statement:
Go be a Saint
I once spoke to a Bishop and asked him if I should get a Master’s degree in Theology. He laughed. “Not if it keeps you from BEING a master.” I’ve taken some graduate courses when they were offered to me for free, but I really took that to heart and simply started to read. And pray. And write. And live.
Ever since that conversation I have wanted to BE a master. Despite the fact that I continue to figure out how NOT to be a saint, I’m still trying.
Here are some things I am trying to remember:
The question is not who isn’t going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me — Ayn Rand.
I suffer from this and I know that there are others who do as well. We think that being “obedient” means being non-assertive.
Wrong. Show me a saint who just sat there and let others bully him out of being awesomely holy.
There are many people you are going to meet every single day who will be intimidated by you even uttering the phrase, “I want nothing more in life than to be a saint, and that means I have to do everything in my power to make you a saint as well.”
People don’t like that and they certainly are not going to sit back and let you just try to be a saint. They are not going to just say no, they are going to actively try to bring you down to their level. It is much easier to bring someone down to your sin rather than try to bring yourself up to imitate their resolve. This is why any time you try to work harder than anyone, lose weight, pray more, or improve your life, you will lose friends.
People hate when others are more successful then they are and they will try to stop them.
No saint was awesomely holy without working at it.
That is because being a saint is hard. Loving other people is hard. Anything worth doing is so incredibly hard that most people won’t do it. That is why they are able to make statues of saints. Because they are hardcore.
Try it. Go in front of the Blessed Sacrament today and tell Jesus you want to be a saint. No matter what.
You will have to work harder then you have ever had to work at being a a saint. At loving people.
Because you just invited in the biggest personal spiritual trainer to do whatever He needs to do to fix your sorry self. And that requires a lot of hard work.
Tithe Your Time
This means 10% of everything. That’s two hours of prayer every day. That’s 10% of your money to your parish and charities. That’s 10% of your talents in ministry work.
If you are not willing to give that much of your life back to God, then you need to change your priorities. Those of us who are involved in ministry can’t sit back and say, “My work is a prayer/tithe/ministry…”
Get out of fantasy world. You are no better than anyone else. You have to work at your prayer life and being a saint. That means that you have to make time for God. Let’s be honest, if you are not willing to be pro-active in being a saint or you are not willing to work hard at being a saint, this part is just going to turn you off more.
Hey, don’t say no one ever told you what it takes.
Here’s the kicker: I am terrible at this and trying to work it out myself. It just scares me that I have to make this happen.
Look at every single awesomely holy saint out there. They didn’t spend time watching the tube, browsing the Internet and generally being bored with life.
They worked at all of it: the prayer, the ministry, the tithe until the point that 10% became what they were not giving to God. God was getting 90% of who they were.
The next time you start doing something, ask yourself if you are tithing to make yourself awesomely holy.