Overcoming Our Humanity to Become Saints
An excerpt of a meditation on the example of the humanity of Paul and how his humanity can show us how to be saints.
“What kind of man did God choose in Paul?
One day riding his horse on the way to Damascus, with only one thing in mind, ‘crush these Christians,’ a bolt of light comes along. God says, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me’ (Acts 9:4). It was such a powerful moment he fell off his horse, and he goes into Damascus blind. It takes Ananias to come and cure him of his blindness and baptize him.
Now we have this concept of Paul at that moment: rising up, getting back on his horse, going to Jerusalem, and beginning to preach.
Well, he didn’t.
He went into the desert for three years to pray (Gal 1:17). It’s about ten years before he begins a missionary journey to preach the word of God. Just imagine, it took time even after he was knocked off his horse; it took time for this egotistical intellectual to become a humble servant of the servants of God. In our lives we have the impression that after I have said, “Jesus my Lord,” I’ve got it made. I just walk off and shine my halo every morning before breakfast – off I go being the most patient, kind, loving person this world has ever known. Boy, are we kidding ourselves? You know the world is full of potential saints. We’re all potential saints. If we just understood that we’re potential saints and will be until we die, we’d never say (as some do), ‘I’ve made it.’
Until you reach heaven you haven’t made anything.
Do you really want to love God or do you want people to think you love God?
Somewhere, somehow, somebody is under the impression that you are NOT God’s give to humanity… this is life. Instead of thinking about how much you’re suffering and how much so-and-so is bugging you, why don’t you start to think: this is life. How am I going to become a saint with all of this? Because these things are never going to leave you, and you will battle your faults until you die. You can go to Timbuktu or Bangladesh and you’d still be there with yourself. You are your biggest problem.
In the Scripture you’ll find hope to transform your life. Don’t despair and don’t think holiness is not for you or that God doesn’t love you. Though you fall a million times a day, our Father will reach down and lift you up and teach you humility… That’s what holiness is. It’s about falling and rising with God.
If you reject God, it is you who reject Him. He never rejects you.
God’s hand is the last one to let go.
That’s the message of Paul and that’s the message of Christ.
[Paul] is supposed to be this towering figure, this great holy man, like that statue in Rome.
Well what about II Corinthians 12:7?… He might have had epilepsy. Can you imagine Saint Paul an epileptic? He might have had dysentery. ‘Oh, no saint would have dysentery!’ some will say. The saints had dysentery and that had a lot of other things.
This is life!
They lived it with God, and so must we.”
Excerpt from Mother Angelica’s Private and Pithy Lessons from the Scriptures Introduced and Edited by Raymond Arroyo.
Mother Angelica Literary Properties © 2008 by Mother Mary Angelica, P.C.P.A and Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, Inc. All other text copyright © 2008 by Raymond Arroyo.
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