Happy All Saints Day! Happy Hallowmas! This day is dedicated to all those who have entered heaven, but let me say emphatically: this day is for you, for me, for us. I am crazy for the saints. They are you and I — ordinary, fallible, often with lives thick with cruelty, rife with debauchery, or mile long chore lists. They did laundry; they wiped their babies faces. They said goodbye to their parents and went off to college; they had miscarriages. They felt like failures. But—the great but—in the end, they were unequivocally for God. And they got to that place by becoming themselves. Our deepest and truest self is capable and called to sainthood. We needn’t be anyone else! Hard to believe that when you are trying to do something good but fail, like I did this very morning. Crying on my knees while both my babies cried next to me, turning my personal frustration into a fight with my husband, self-pitying and swearing and wishing I could just have a different life for a moment—failed. In actuality, I’ve got it easy. My children show me every single day what it looks like to be wholly yourself, untethered by the trappings of This and That. The task at hand is becoming like them: not childish, but childlike. If it is not so easy for you—if the notion of sainthood is completely inconceivable and maybe even makes you angry—I hear you. Life is hard and ordinary, and may we all just do the Next Right Thing.
The genuineness of our actions—those instances when we muster the effort to do the Next Right Thing—is good enough. I have to believe this is true. And, thanks be to God, scores of women and men have paved the way. You know these people! We all know Truly Good when we see it, even if it was just a glimpse on the bus.
Take a moment to have a nice think: Who walked, or is walking (!), among you that you believe is a saint?
Photograph of a saint and a saint in the making by Zachary Hamity.