Being a good and faithful follower of Christ requires quite a bit from us. We are called to Sainthood, which is no idle call and, most definitively, not an easy path to tread. I look to the lives of the Saints and how they all, in their own and unique ways, lived their lives trying to attain that closeness to God by faithfully following Christ’s teachings and example, by attempting to love the way Christ loves, by trying to offer their lives emulating the way Christ did, not by dying on a literal Cross, but by following Christ in taking the cross of denial of self for the love of God and Man.
Our Mother Church gathers all of this information so that we can now read and understand how that heroic denying of self works and how it defines that saintly life from Saint to Saint. There is not only one set way to emulate Christ but many paths that follow the will of God. Which path is ours? Well, that is determined by discernment. Maybe a saintly way already tread by a Saint fits us like a glove. There are, for all of us, Saints awaiting our call for guidance, and that follows from the fact that we have many charisms within us as a gift from the Holy Spirit.
The word “charism” is an interesting one. It is a Greek word that literally means “favor” or “special gift.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines charisms as follows:
These gifts from the Holy Spirit are given to us to help build up the Kingdom of God, and they are how we are made “fit and ready” to follow the road to Sainthood.
Charisms are gifts of the Holy Spirit given to us specifically for our life mission of love and mercy. These are our gifts, and the mixing of the gifts with who we are, our personality, do help us discern our possible path to Sainthood. We all have a few charisms, and these “gifts and talents” often fit into one of the following categories:
These gifts and talents are meant to be used. They are part of our toolbox to do our duties on our path to Heaven, and what happens if we do an excellent job in stewarding our charisms?
But we know from the lives of the Saints that even with the charisms, life in Christ while on this Valley of Tears is difficult, so we have to persevere in faith.
We live in the hope that just like the Saints, we can endure on our path to Heaven. We do this by using our gifts, living faithfully and in hope. We do this by living God’s love in our lives and by pleading for help, for we know we depend upon God’s love and grace.
Let us call upon those like us who have gone through the saintly life before us. Let us find a few that can guide us on the path, ones that share our charisms, and ask for their help and guidance. They are now looking upon the light of our Lord’s face. Let us ask for their intercession for us and those we love, that we may follow their example, making it through this earthly life to join them in Heaven.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, I present to you my dear grandparents, who lived a saintly life worthy of emulation and left me too soon when they passed from this earthly life. Grant them eternal rest in your presence, and, if they are already in Heaven, may they intercede, along with all the Saints of Heaven, for my family and me and for all that need intercession today. May they help us by their prayers to be guided along the path to Sainthood. Lord, you know our hearts. Help us who need you, but that Your will be done. Amen.