Start with this short prayer:
(Sign of the Cross) Lord, only you know what’s in my heart, my worries, my fears. I offer you my heart like the Saints did before me. Help me to know you God, to understand the life you called me to live and to know my brothers and sisters in heaven and on earth. I ask for guidance and peace through these words I’m about to read, that what you want me to hear Lord will be heard. Amen.
You’re a Saint in the making. Don’t believe me? Today, we celebrate the feast day of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Even before I had gone through confirmation, I had heard of her name. Assuming that I knew what she was about, I was inspired and in awe after hearing her story. We are incredibly blessed to have Saints and Angels that we can ask prayers from. More so, we are lucky to have them as role models in our lives. You and I both know that life isn’t easy. But to know that these people, as human as you and I, experienced hardships just like us helps us in that journey of finding God and keeping Him in our lives.
Growing up, I’ve always seen Saints as people of God that I could never be close to becoming. As I learn what our faith is really about and learn more and more about the Saints, I realize that we actually have a lot in common with the Saints in heaven. Surprised? Just take a look at St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.
1) INSPIRED BY OTHERS – She was born into a Jewish family of 7 as Edith Stein. At 13 years old, she had lost her faith.
This would be around the same time you would be leaving junior high and entering high school. Remember that awkward time? Remember the distractions that might have pulled you away from God, or still do? She was experiencing something just like that. But what brought her back to Christ was the love and strength that her friends had for Jesus. You can be that light in some one’s life by simply being kind, caring and living like Christ. Can you think of a person that brought you closer to God? How amazing is it that you have the chance to inspire others to love God.
2) CONVERSION – Edith converted into Catholicism and became a Carmelite with the name of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, later canonized by Blessed Pope John Paul II.
Whether you were raised Catholic or not, we were all converted but not in the way you might think. We might not have been converted into Catholicism, but our heart experienced conversion. We are all here to find God, to build a relationship with Him and hopefully, be united with Him in heaven. But why do we want that? We’re always told that but do we know the reason why? It is because at some point in your faith journey, your heart was converted. Whether it was in adoration, Mass, through a friend or a priest, I bet you still remember that very moment that you fell in love with God. We experience this conversion in our hearts because we realize that we need God to fill it, and that only God can.
3) DIED FOR HER PEOPLE – St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross was taken, along with her sister from the convent, to be killed during the time of the Holocaust. As she left, she said “Come, we are going for our people”.
Martyrdom is extreme. (To be a martyr is to die for what you believe in.) St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross was faithful to both her people and to Jesus Christ. Today, we are lucky to live in an era where we can boldly live out our faith without it leading to martyrdom. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t persecuted. You’ve probably experienced a time, or multiple times, where you’ve felt judged for what you believed in or have been hurt by what people have said about your faith. It is similar to what many, if not all, Saints experienced. But you know what they did? They never gave up on God. They had complete and total faith in him. So be strong in what you believe in, ask God for the strength and the courage to live out a life he called you to live. These are the moments that give us strength in God. “If my God is with me, whom than shall I fear?”
We don’t have fly like Saint Joseph of Cupertino or perform miracles with animals like Saint John Bosco, we can only hope to be faithful to Him. Listen to Him, pray to Him and talk to Him. He wants a relationship with you – wants to know every bit of your heart. The Saints in heaven aren’t any different from you. They were human with the same fears, thoughts and emotions you feel right now. But they simply decided not to just live like Christ, but to live FOR Him. How are you called to live?
End with this short prayer & meditation: (Sign of the Cross)
Play “Saint in the Making” song and meditate”
Lord, only you know what’s in my heart, my worries, my fears. I offer you my heart like the Saints did before me. Help me to know you God, to understand the life you called me to live and to know my brothers and sisters in heaven and on earth. I don’t know if I’m called to be a Saint. But I do know that I need you in my life Lord, that I am called to not only live like you, but to live for you. Grant me the guidance and strength to be that Saint you want me to be. Help me to remember that you will be there for me whenever I do fall and that I can always pray to my brothers and sisters in heaven. Convert my heart again Lord. In Your Most Holy Name, Amen.