From ordinary to extraordinary

Name three saints that first come to mind.

Which ones did you choose?

Perhaps some were apostles of Jesus, like Peter or John. Perhaps one was your patron saint. Another may have been a more recently canonized saint, like Pope John Paul II or Mother Theresa. Do your three saints all come from among the religious elite?  It can seem sometimes that all the saints were called to religious life of some sort. Does this mean only people who have a religious vocation are eligible for sainthood? For those in the laity, like myself, it can be a daunting thought. I was paging through a book of saints recently, and when I tried to find one that did not belong to a religious order, it was a bit difficult! Joan of Arc was one that surfaced. To my surprise, there were also a few royals listed, like Edward the Confessor of England and Elizabeth of Hungary. So it is possible for extraordinary leaders to reach heaven. But what about the ordinary folk?

Pope Francis did just canonize two such individuals: Louis and Zelie Martin. I found it rather interesting that both considered the religious life, but realized that was not what God called them to do. Louis & Zelie were called to more than just religious life, namely to bring into the world a little girl who would one day become a doctor of the Church, St. Therese of Lisieux. In living their lives focusing on God and their children, they demonstrated the love of the Trinity within their family.

God creates such variety in life, it seems logical that the diversity in His people is a part of His plan. If our daily activities can be done with care and love as an offering up to God, we can use the ordinary things of life to come closer to God. And by coming closer to God here on earth, we will be more prepared for heaven. Once on heaven, we will realize our day to day actions helped us become saints. That is extraordinary, indeed.

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