To be a saint is to love God. Now what is easier than to love a God who is infinitely good and who loves us with infinite love? Our hearts were made expressly to love Him, just as our eyes were made to see, our ears to hear. Surely there can be no difficulty in doing that for which we were expressly made.
To be a saint is to do all our actions for love of God. He made us to love and serve Him. He gave us our wonderful faculties to use for our own happiness and benefit, but He asks us to do all we do for love of Him. In return, He will give us a rich reward for our every action.
This is what St. Paul tells us to do: “Whatever you do in word or work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Col. 3:17). Thus another infallible and easy way to become a saint is to do all we do for love of God.
God has given us a beautiful Religion made especially for our poor human hearts, a Religion of peace and love, a Religion which gives us abundant helps to correct our faults and defects, a Religion that gives strength to the weakest and consoles the most broken-hearted.
Those who practice this all-wise and consoling Religion are truly saints. The one difficulty in performing these three duties is not so much our weakness as our lamentable ignorance.
We do not love God, simply because we do not know Him. We have been living with utterly erroneous ideas about Him. We look on God as a stern God, a God of majesty, whom we reverence, but fear; we only think of Him as a God of justice who punishes our sins. There we stop.
That, as such, is a caricature of God, for God above all is a God of sweetness, mercy and love, a God who loves us most tenderly and desires our love in return.
We do not offer our actions for the love of God because we do not realize that our every thought, word and act give God pleasure and obtain for us great merit, if only we do them for love of Him.
But because we do not realize this fact, the countless acts of the day, which might so easily bring us immense rewards, are utterly lost.
How imperfectly understood is our glorious Religion! By many it is looked on as a hard duty that must be performed. They look on the Ten Commandments as restrictions to their liberty, instead of seeing them as they are—the surest guarantees of their happiness. The treasures of joy and consolation which our Religion offers, the helps and strength it gives are little known.
Prayer, instead of being a pleasure, is looked upon as a penance. The Sacraments, which are very rivers of grace, are little appreciated, little used.
All this is owing to our ignorance. In a word, what we most need is an intelligent grasp of our divinely beautiful and all-wise Religion, one which will secure for us not only a high degree of holiness but the greatest possible measure of happiness.
The prevailing idea of many is that holiness implies leading a sad and austere life; whereas, true holiness gives us immense joy, consolation and strength.
“It is an old custom with the servants of God always to have some little prayers ready and to be darting them up to heaven frequently during the day, lifting their minds to God out of the filth of this world. He who adopts this plan will get great fruit with little pains.” – St. Philip Neri
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