Posted by Lisa Graas
at her blog, LisaGraas.com
As the Vatican prepares for the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, there is a great deal of media coverage, both on this particular canonization and on the process of canonization itself. At The Guardian, we find an article by Sophia Deboick that characterizes sainthood as the opposite of what it actually is. Deboick says that sainthood is a “stripping away of individuality” that requires “erasure of personality.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
How does one become a saint? The truth is that we are all called to be saints, and there are far more saints than the Church has officially declared to be saints. One becomes a saint when one allows God to strip away our worldly desires, like the love of money and other selfish pleasures. In doing this, our personalities will not be “erased” but will be changed to be more in conformity with what God has created us to be.
Therein lies the point. God has created each of us to be unique individuals who fulfill His purpose for us as individuals. St. Catherine of Siena famously said, ““Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” There are multiple ways of looking at this quote. One is that if you are who God meant you to be, you will make an impact in the world that will be noticed. Another is that you will bring the fire of God’s love into the world that may be rejected by the world and go unnoticed. So it is that there are saints who are noticed to be saints, and saints who are not known to us to have been saints.
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