“We are all called to be Saints.” 

That statement recently hit me like a ton of bricks.  I am a cradle Catholic, and served as an altar boy in my youth. I have been a practicing (more or less) Catholic my entire life, yet I don’t recall anyone ever telling me that  "We are called to be Saints" before.  I’m quite sure at some point someone, somewhere did, but it never really registered with me until very recently.  I have always considered the Saints to be holier than thou, goodie two shoes types who we could look to as examples, but never truly hope to emulate.

The truth is, we ARE called to be saints, all of us.  In fact, ONLY Saints go to heaven.  The implication of that, of course, is that if we don’t become Saints, we can’t go to heaven.  Let’s face it, the alternative isn’t very appealing, but as our Lord Jesus Christ stated very clearly, in Matthew 7:13, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.”

So what is a Saint?  Are they people with super powers that make them capable of achieving holiness that is not available to the rest of us?  No.  Saints are ordinary people, just like us.  They DO have special abilities that provided them the graces they needed to live holy lives, but only because they CHOSE to develop those skills and abilities.

Catholic author and speaker Matthew Kelly, in his book Rediscover the Saints, describes a Saint as “the-very-best-version-of-you; fully alive and collaborating with God every day to create as many holy moments as possible”.  So, while the Saints were special, so are all of the rest of us. Like the Saints, if we become the very best version of ourselves, we can indeed hope to become Saints, as well.

The world is in turmoil and the Catholic Church is in crisis. It is easy to become cynical and critical.  The social media world is replete with people critical of the Church, the Pope, and truth be told, I found myself becoming part of that chorus.  In truth the world has always been in turmoil and the Church is always under attack, as Christ himself inferred when founding it,  “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)

I can’t do anything about what the Pope says or doesn’t say, what the Bishops do or don’t do, that’s way above my pay grade.  But I can try to be the best version of myself, in my little corner of the world, for the glory of God.  That is what prompted me to create Saint of the Week.  I am a cartoonist.  I have always been attracted to the medium of comics and consider my talent to be a gift from God.  I now want to use that talent for the glory of God and the promotion of his kingdom.  In the pursuit of Sainthood, we should study the lives of the Saints who have proceeded us.  In doing so we will come to learn that the Saints had as many, if not more, challenges and difficulties in their lives than we do.  They didn’t just throw up their hands and give up or rage against the machine.  They simply committed to a daily routine of being the very best version of themselves, collaborating with God, and making as many holy moments in their little corner of the world as they could.  God did the rest.  It is my hope that Saint of the Week will encourage people to study, learn from, and emulate the Saints of the past in order to find the inspiration to become the Saints of the future.