This week one of my clients was saying that because she agreed to host the family Thanksgiving dinner–again, everyone was telling her she was a saint. “If they only knew,” she remarked wryly. Somehow, the inner resistance that went along with agreeing to do it had disqualified her from sainthood–at least in her own mind.
That got me thinking about saints. This month (November) begins with the feast of All Saints. According to the Catholic Church I was raised in, that means all the people that one Pope or another has canonized, i.e., made an official saint. But does the Pope really have the corner on the saint market?
I still remember when I was 12 and the nun that taught my class gave a stump speech for sainthood. I came home resolved to be a saint. (If you know the Enneagram, I’m a 1 Point, which is all about perfection, so being a saint was a reasonable goal!)
What does it mean to be a saint? First, let me say, I think we each get to decide for ourselves. I’d love to hear your comments and criteria. For me, a saint is one who rises above the commonplace; who connects to a light within that inspires more kindness, courage, or generosity than an ordinary person can muster on a typical day.
Someone that everyone considers a saint, that is remembered as a saint, probably connected to that light frequently–even more often than not. But maybe we can all aspire to sainthood on this day, in this moment. Every one of us has the ability to hear a voice that prods us to be our better selves. Never mind if you listened yesterday–or ever before. Listen now. It’s never too late to begin a saintly life.