Sainthood is often looked at as something that is unobtainable for the “normal” person, something that you have to be born holy to achieve. Even some of us that know that that isn’t true still fall into the trap of believing that sainthood is something that needs to happen all at once, or that we need to go through some huge conversion that suddenly places us exactly where we need to be on the road to holiness.
Today, I realized that that is not true at all. Every time we learn about or hear something about the things of God, we are exposed the holiness of sainthood, especially at a retreat-like setting where we are engulfed in it. Whenever we go to a retreat, we tend together into the “retreat high” where we feel like nothing can touch us and that we are as close to God as we can get; and while that is true, we often tend to lose sight of that in the couple of weeks following the experience. So what’s the point of these retreats if we always fall out of them so quickly? Are they a waste of time? Are we getting nothing out of them at all? Certainly not. Every retreat allows us to see some small bit of holiness that we can take and work into our lives. The way of sainthood is not some huge event that bring us immediately into union with God (though it can be for some lucky souls), rather it is a gradual accumulation of the crumbs of holiness that fall to us from the saints and from the holiness we experience around us.
We need to take care to recognize these little bits of sainthood and hold onto them as tightly as we can, they are delicate little things and the devil is always trying to get his hands on them to tear them away from us. So, first of all, what are some examples of these little bits of sainthood?
Put very simply, a “bit of sainthood” is anything that you could see a saint practicing. Praying the rosary daily is an extremely powerful little bit of sainthood that everyone recommends. This should frankly be one of the first little bits you pick up as it makes all the other ones so much more powerful, and it serves to keep one constantly reminded of the sainthood that they are trying to attain. Lectio Divina is a little bit of sainthood that I learned today, and I will need to cultivate it in order for it to bear fruit. Doing your work at your job diligently and making sure that you are not distracted from it is one that almost everyone can take for themselves.
There are countless more examples of little pieces of sainthood that you can find, but you need to seek them out. Whenever you talk to someone about the spiritual life, or whenever someone presents something to you that you should do to bring you closer to God, recognize it as a little bit of sainthood and hold onto it.
The more and more of these little bits that you find, the harder they can be to hold onto and process, so what you need to do is take each one by itself and before you try to work another one into your life, live that one bit of sainthood constantly for however long it takes for it be ingrained in your life.
Eventually, it will become so much a part of you that you no longer need to think about it, and it becomes habitual holiness. Once you get to that point, it’s time to pick up another little piece of sainthood and start working on that one, and so on, until one day you wake up and you find out that you have “accidentally” become a saint.
This whole process is necessary because our relationship with God is precisely that: a relationship. A friendship grows when you share things with each other and do things together, but even in human relationships, if you spend your time constantly with a friend, you tend to start getting annoyed and start to need “me time.” “Me time” is the antithesis of sainthood. So, we need to build our relationship with God the same way we build our relationship with others: a little bit of sainthood at a time.
May God bless you abundantly every day of your life and may you follow the breadcrumbs of sainthood down the path to Heaven.