Once a year, we celebrate a day in honor of all the saints. Throughout the year, we there are days to celebrate the memory of many individual saints whose lives guide us, inspire us and show us how to live in this world, as witnesses to the holiness of God.
Each of the saints shows us an aspect of the face of God. For that reason, in looking at them it becomes easy to understand the meaning of the commandment of Jesus: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (cf. Mt 5:47). When we see God, we know of God’s perfection and holiness; and a sad correlation to this is that we may believe that holiness is not possible for us. Yet the saints show us that this perfection is not just an idea or an intellectual concept, but as something that is truly real.
What does it mean to be holy or to be saint? It means to be sacred, consecrated, and dedicated to a specific mission. The call to holiness comes to each of us in our Baptism, in which we are consecrated to the Lord. This consecration is just the beginning and that is how we continue to live our lives. It is also the way we become holy through commitment to our beliefs and by acting according to them.
Each of us should aim for greatness, and nothing is greater than God. Loving God more and more will help us to become like him. That is the key to holiness. All others things are included in this; the commandments, the precepts, all is included in the love of God. If we love God, we will attempt to do His will.
”The more a person loves God, the more reason he has to hope in Him. This hope produces in the Saints an unutterable peace, which they preserve even in adversity, because as they love God, and know how beautiful He is to those who love Him, they place all their confidence and find all their repose in Him alone” (Saint Alphonsus Liguori).
Sometimes when we look at the saints we may think that they are extraordinary people, and they really are. But remember this: “Holiness does not consist in doing extraordinary things. It consists in accepting, with a smile, what Jesus sends us. It consists in accepting and following the will of God” (Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta). Many of the saints were extraordinary in the way they lived lives very much as our own, the way they embraced what they believed.
And so now as we remember them, we need to understand that we are called to be saints; maybe some of you already are! This is the most important thing in our lives. It is not that we want to be saints; rather, we want to love God with all our heart, all our mind and all our strength. The consequence of that love will be our holiness.