When is the last time you realized that sainthood was your destiny? Read that again, sainthood is your destiny! The Lord wants each and every one of us to live holy lives, lives of saints. In the early 20th century Charles Peguy, a Catholic French poet, wrote, “There is only one tragedy in the end: Not to have been a saint.”
Last year, our Faith Formation team used “Discover Your Church” sessions to teach us about the Saints. In doing so, we realized the amazing and varied backgrounds of the Saints of the Catholic Church. Each of our backgrounds are varied as well, but the Lord’s plan for us is not. We are to live our lives with great intentionality, defending our faith with word and action, living as the saints modeled.
If you are unsure as to what actions to take to live a holy life, that is okay. Today’s Gospel offers a pathway to Sainthood, a pathway to true happiness. This section of Matthew’s Gospel is referred to as the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes represent a call to action for those who love the Lord. Found among the Beatitudes is a roadmap to sainthood. It applies today, just as it did almost two thousand years ago, as Jesus preached it in the Sermon on the Mount. A good litmus test for Catholics is to see whether or not their attitude reflects those preached in the Beatitudes. In simple form, we can ask ourselves “Do we have a Beatitude attitude?” Are we poor in spirit? Do we mourn? Are we meek? Do we hunger for righteousness? Are we merciful? Are we clean of heart? Do we serve as peacemakers? Are we ready to be persecuted for our faith?
One of my favorite quotes comes from St. Catherine of Siena, “If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire.” Today is a great day to infuse the Beatitudes in all we do, to start living our lives as saints, and to set the world on fire by living faith filled, authentic lives.