By Mario Martinez
Christian history has a treasury of human beings of different ages; some children, others youth, adults, and elders; who personify love of God and neighbor. They are the Saints who teach us even today, how to live our faith.
Some Saints were exceptionally intelligent, while others were very simple; some were born into wealthy families while others were very poor. Also, some lived a holy life from a very young age, while others lived a life of sin and did not know God, but when they found Jesus, they changed, and decided to be faithful and follow Him.
There are some Saints that have gone to distant places where the people there did not know Jesus, to teach them about our Lord’s love; we call them missionaries. Some have given their life for their faith; these are called martyrs. Others have dedicated themselves to the care of the sick and the poor, and founded schools so that children and young people are educated and learn about Jesus. Others have remained in their communities and homes, but have done the will of God and have maintained their friendship with Him. Some saints are well known by all, but there are others who nobody but our Lord knows. There are also those who have been gravely ill, and who have offered and united their suffering to Jesus.
We are all called to live in holiness. For this reason, God gave us the gift of faith when we were baptized. The gift of faith is the greatest thing that anyone can possess. Faith allows us to trust completely and have confidence in God. Therefore, with faith, to be holy is to want to know Jesus, love Jesus, and serve Jesus with all our being.
Pope St. John Paul II has invited us to live in holiness. He tells us that to be holy is to do the following:
• Have a life of prayer, understanding that prayer is talking to God.
• Attend Mass (the Eucharist), recognizing that it is like being in Heaven because Jesus gives Himself to us in communion
• Seek the forgiveness that God always gives us when we sin (Reconciliation).
• Trust God, and know that because He always accompanies us, we can be good.
• Know what God tells us in the Bible and the Catechism, and learn to do what pleases God
• Be missionaries, taking others to the joy of being with Jesus; we can do it with our words, with our behavior, our company, and simply helping others with love.
The Holy Father, Francis, has recently canonized the first married couple. He said that Louis and Zelie Martin “practiced Christian service in the family, creating an environment of faith and love that nurtured the vocations of their daughters every day.” For families, this is a joy that should impel us to live and educate our children in the truth that the Church teaches and the love that God has given us in Christ.
What Saints do you know? Are there images of Saints in your home? Do you know how they lived, what they did to be holy?
Mario Martinez is the Coordinator of the Diocesan Marriage Initiative.