21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” ~ Matthew 7:21-23
The fact is you might think your saved, you might do all the right things according to man’s laws, you might lead a so called “godly life”, but the reality is the Gates of Heaven is your goal! Salvation through Jesus Christ is your goal! As Matthew points out getting to heaven has absolutely nothing what so ever to do with your works here on Earth! It has nothing to do with simply going to church every Sunday because everyone else does it, praying because everyone else does it, following the crowd because that is what you have been told to do! I like to think getting to heaven is much like becoming a living Saint, there is many steps because it is a process as everything in life is a process, and if you ignore that process then all your deeds however good if not rooted in God’s eternal love will be as nothing, will count as nothing, and Jesus will turn from you as if he did not ever know you. Thus, lets look at how people become Saints in our modern era, and then balance the process against humanity which is so flawed.
The process according to the Catholic Church in becoming a Saint is as follows; (Click Here For Article).
In stage one Sainthood for the Catholics begin with the personal testimony of people who knew the candidate. Personal testimony much in line with the personal testimony given after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In this the person who is being considered did something which affected people in a profound way, something that was earth shaking to those who were affected by them. It could be as simple as giving joy, or love, the taking care of those who could not take care of themselves, to being humble and gracious. In all of these things the list is to long to write here but the actions of the candidate surely moved many peoples hearts.
Stage two information is gathered and the candidate is examined from all angles, their sins, their weakness, their worst moments to their best moments, as their very character is examined in its totality.
Stage three even more discussion and evidence is gathered; specifically within everything they wrote or published. Every act as the complete picture is becoming clearer of who this person was in life and what they stood for.
Stage four is the active prayer life of everyone who knew them and the Church looks to see if other people are being brought to pray by the candidate after their death. In this stage possible miracles are weighted and the total affect of that person’s life finally comes into full view.
Stage five yet another miracle is required that proves God has elevated this person to a high place in Heaven.
In all of these stages the candidate is judged by his/her piers, family, community, by the Church, and the world. I call your attention to the act of judging as this is something God will do to all who breath and who die. For God’s judgement is final and absolute, the picture of your life is clear to Him from day one. Therefore, His judgement of you is also just. In this I can honestly say that the process of becoming a Saint in the eyes of man is flawed when compared to God’s judgement, however this process is as close as we can get if followed to the letter.
THE UNNAMED SAINTS
With all this said, I humbly offer that I truly believe that there are living Saints who are regular people who you see and do not know, whose name you will never hear, their ideas never published, and their works go unnoticed. These unnamed Saints I believe are placed here on Earth to purposefully go undetected while working God’s will. After all it comes down too working the will of God, believing in God, trusting in God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength – for that is the true path to Heaven.
This past Friday I saw St. Vincent staring Bill Murray – a man deeply flawed who to a boy was a Saint. It reminded me of all the reasons why people are judged and who are really never given a fare judgement by other adults. But through the eyes of a child that judgement is justified in ways adults simply cannot grasp. I bring this up because Bill Murray’s character is called into question by everyone and like Saints of the past and present those who are considered though judged on a larger scale; nevertheless every aspect of their lives are looked at. Bill Murray’s character would be a good representation of a modern day Saint who goes unnoticed and undetected as he simply is going about God’s business here on Earth and like the movie suggests there is a wonderful activity as a teacher I feel everyone should do. That activity is simple and straight forward and yes very powerful if completed by following it to the letter!
PICKING A PERSONAL SAINT
Challenge – Think about the qualities of a real life Saint. (Though we cannot nominate everyone to be a Saint via the Catholic Church we can do the following in our own lives…) We start by asking this question: “Who do you know that would make a good candidate for Sainthood in your life”? When thinking about this remember Saints are flawed human beings and so it is necessary to look past their flaws as God often does. Here is the list of qualities needed:
1.) Humility – Saints exhibit humility never calling attention to their good deeds.
2.) Sacrifice – Saints make huge sacrifices for the betterment of others which is often not in their own personal best interest.
3.) Persistence- Saints never give up.
4.) Love – Saints show the love of God in their daily actions.
5.) Faith – Saints demonstrate faith, thereby teaching others to have faith.
6.) Forgiveness- Saints always seek peace and the making of peace through forgiveness.
7.) Trust – Saints give you their word, their honor, and trust and do so blindly always looking at the good in all people. Therefore, they are people you can trust with your heart.
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