When I think about the Saints, I often think about the amazing heroics that they performed for the faith. For example, I think about St. Patrick, and how he was willing to travel to the land of the people who forced him into slavery, to evangelize them and save their souls. Or St. Joan of Arc, who led forces into battle to defend France. However, what is not often spoken about with regard to these Saints is that they are not Saints because they did one single amazing event, but rather, they lived a life of holiness one day at a time, that allowed them to make their heroic gestures.
Similar to exercise, those athletes at the Olympics or the World Cup did not simply walk onto the field and perform these amazing feats. What we see is only the culmination of years of preparation, daily making the decision to get up, to practice, without any fanfare or attention. They simply practiced and made the little choices one day at a time which allows them to be able to perform at such a high level.
Similarly in the spiritual life, for us to become saints, it is not done by one heroic act, but rather, it is done through our daily living and growing in our spiritual lives. One example is St. Maximilian Kolbe. Many people know about his heroic sacrifice of his life in the concentration camp which saved the life of a Jewish man. However, this was not the beginning of his saintly life. Rather, he was one who pursued holiness as a youth, choosing to make time for prayer daily and consecrating himself to Mary. During his priesthood, he worked to spread the faith and founded other monasteries. All of this prayer, devotion to Mary, and daily living the faith prepared him well for the moment where he could sacrifice his own life for the life of another.
Every person at our parish, and truly every person on the globe, is called to become a Saint. This is not just something for an elite group, but is your calling. To become a Saint is not done in one simple moment, but is a daily decision to become holier than I was the day before. Choose today and every day to become the holy person God knows you can be. And when we create this habit of holiness, we will become the saints that God desires us to be.
Fr Nathan LaLiberte