The Trouble with Most of Us 

I have been doing a lot of spiritual reading lately for groups I’m part of and I keep seeing the phrase “most of us.”

Usually, when someone uses the phrase “most of us” in spiritual reading it is not because they are about to give most of us a compliment.

“Most of us” are not holy like the saints were.

“Most of us” do not pray enough.

“Most of us” don’t understand the beauty of the Mass.

“Most of us” don’t take the hard road.

I live in the world just like you. I meet and interact with the very souls intended in the phrase “most of us.” However, I do not see the same phenomenon described by the spiritual authors. I often find that as much as I respect some of these authors and even benefit from their teaching I cannot share the attitude they take toward the nameless masses. Because I know for a fact that to God there are no nameless masses or generalized groups of ordinary people- God calls each of us by name. He knows every hair on our head. He loves us each profoundly, sincerely and uniquely as the work of His own Hands. When God looks at the world He doesn’t see trends or demographics, He does not gaze at “most of us” but into the heart and soul of each and every man. He knows us perfectly and loves us perfectly not in spite of our weaknesses but in the midst of them. And I am convinced that the revelation of His love for each of us will be infinite and without limit, all the more so if we have been seeking Him too.

When I think about my faith I do not think of most of us, the other masses who are not as good and may never be anything of consequence to earth (as if there was a correlation to heavenly glory). I tend to think of all of us and our universal call to be holy. I think of all of us in our searching for a purpose of life that I believe can only be found if you accept the invitation to know God, love God, and serve God as well as your neighbor.

I do not think that holiness is something that will or ought to elude most of us. I think it is something intended for all of us that requires nothing from us but our “yes” to the transformative love that God seeks to give us. We are called to seek, the success of our efforts to grow in holiness is a product of God’s abundant grace, either the graces needed to overcome our own natures or the grace to keep going when we don’t.

Perhaps most of us will be intimidated when we first start to think of this. Most of us will feel like running and hiding. Most of us will fail many times at loving God, self, and neighbor. Most of us will have moments of doubt and temptation, where we feel like quitting the whole endeavor…

But I believe each of us can become the person God calls us to be because He loves us, He will give us every grace we need in His perfect timing (and not a moment before!) but perhaps most especially because He gives us each other.

My walk with God received a unique twist around 2014, I had an interior conversion within my practicing of the Catholic faith and that twist was a burning desire not just to get to Heaven myself but to take absolutely everyone with me. Because I realized that as much as real love can frighten people at the outset by its demands of selflessness, sacrifice, and suffering,  to view love as sheer suffering and misery is to see only half the picture. While it is true that in love another’s suffering can become your own suffering, in love their joy also becomes your joy.

So not only will I be “happy” when I get to Heaven by the mercy of God (I use quotations because any word expressing happiness I know will be an inadequate  understatement) but when you get there and experience this “happiness” for yourself I will feel it as profoundly as I did my own because I love you and pray for you constantly. Each and every one of you.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

It really annoys me that people use St. Patrick’s Day to get black out drunk because St. Patrick has an amazing life story. I used to watch his Saint story all the time as a little kid because we did not have cable (by my parents’ choice) but we did have a lot of VHS tapes. And the story of St. Patrick was a nineties animated adventure on par with any secular animated adventure story of the decade. I ought to know, I watched enough of both. 

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Saint stories are really just the best and I think a lot can be learned from their inspiring examples. I think too often people assume Saints are just so holy and perfect that they are totally unrelatable for us ordinary folk, but I disagree. I think Saints are merely persistent people who choose to use their flaws and weaknesses as opportunities to perfect themselves (via the grace of God) rather than become a slave to it (through constant indulgence), and that is a heroic choice. And in a world that is so starved for true heroes, I think it’s a shame Saints are not more well known.

That said, a friend of mine a few months back asked me to do a “Bada** Women of the Early Church” series. I just wanted to let her know that I have not forgotten her request and I plan to do it. I’ve just been unforgivably lazy in that such a project would require me to do some research, and I have not yet made the time. It’s a little intimidating because while I’m flattered she thought of me I’m certainly far from an authority on the matter. Normally I write whatever is in my head, with a good deal of refining, and I haven’t undertaken anything close to research since college.

Nonetheless, the Church needs both men and women and I think highlighting the particular and complementary contributions of both would be fun, entertaining, and inspiring. So if there are any Saints you’d like to know more about, specifically in the early Church time frame, message me their name through any of the various social media avenues I publish on and I will do my best to feature them in some way.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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