Saints, Theology

Silence & Sainthood

“At the heart of man there is an innate silence, for God abides in the innermost part of every person. God is silence, and this divine silence dwells in man. In God we are inseparably bound up with silence. The Church can affirm that mankind is the daughter of a silent God; for men are the sons of silence.”

– Cardinal Robert Sarah, The Power of Silence


While reading through Cardinal Robert Sarah’s book, The Power of Silence, I am pushed to ask myself how it is that men in the world might achieve moments of silence with God. When surrounded by calamity, how can those of us living in the midst of unending spiritual attack achieve an inner calmness that patiently waits for the silence from which Benedictine Monk Reading Sacred ScriptureGod works?

Not all are called to be monks secluded from the world in pursuit of mystical ecstasies few ever reach; and yet, we are all called to be Holy in an unholy world. Indeed, all of us are called to be Saints. I cannot accept the idea that we are all called by God to know and love Him through Jesus Christ while only some are meant to do so in a saintly manner. This would mean that mediocrity in pursuit of God is a normative way of life for many in the Church.

To be sure, there are gradations of sainthood within each individual calling.

There is only one Saint Benedict.

There is only one Saint Francis of Assisi.

There is only one Saint Dominic.

There is only one Saint Bonaventure.

There is only one Saint Thomas Aquinas.

There is only one Saint Robert Bellarmine.

There is only one Saint Francis de Sales.

There is only one Little Flower, Saint Therese of Lisieux.

There is only one Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

We are not meant to be another Saint fill-in-the-blank. We are called to be the first and last saint as we are created to be in union with God through Jesus Christ.

My brother, my sister – you are called to know, love, and serve God as a saint.

Holiness must be achieved in the stillness of the inner life while surrounded by the spiritual toxins of a fallen world.

It can be achieved, however, because we have the litany of the saints proving it can be done.

What will this take? How can we remain at peace in our heart and mind while surrounded by the chaos of a culture intentionally created to squander holiness to the distractions of materiality?

The answer is simple, but the path is not easy.

We can achieve union with Christ in a saintly way through the discipline of the narrow way that Christ taught, and the saints relentlessly pursued.

This kind of discipline, as so many saints instructed, is achieved gradually in little steps. Start small. This week go to daily Mass. Take it one day at a time. If you miss a day, don’t skip the rest of the week because of a single failure. Get back on track the next day. The devil relishes in mistakes that are projected into the future as inevitable defeat.

After consistently getting to daily Mass, take another step toward holiness with a new practice. Get to daily Mass and pray the Rosary everyday.

After consistently getting to daily Mass and praying the Rosary everyday, take another step toward holiness with a new practice. Get to daily Mass, pray the Rosary everyday, and read the Sacred Page.

And this continues until the habit of pursuing Christ is formed into holy sainthood.

There is no temporal good that can measure in comparison to Christ.

Discipline will lead to silence, which inexorably leads to God.

 

– Lucas G. Westman

 

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