It’s always a battle to keep our head on straight. When situations get dire, we can be tempted to lose hope…. “how can this situation get resolved …. it seems hopeless.” Recently we seem to be facing a number of situations that fall into this category. If we’re not careful, we can lose hope.
How do people handle these kinds of situations? How did the saints handle disappointments, disasters, situations with seemingly no solution…. situations that seemed almost hopeless. What about St. Maximillian Kolbe… in a Nazi death camp, a starvation bunker… from an earthy perspective, it just doesn’t get much worse. Yet, he lifted his gaze from the earth to the heavens and brought God into that hellhole. He brought hope to a hopeless situation and miracles happened.
There are many stories of the saints who experienced disappointments and could have lost hope, but they kept their eyes on the Lord, did not complain, and God worked miracles in their lives. I read today about St. Charles of Mount Argus…delayed 5 years in his desire to become a priest, not allowed to preach, so he heard confessions and ministered to the sick and dying….not very glamorous. But miraculous healings began occurring, and some 300 people per day fled to him to have him lay hands on them for healing. It was said that “when you talked to him, you had the impression that you were talking to an intimate friend of God”. God took his disappointments and transformed them into miracles. (ref. Magnificat, Feb. 25, 2022)
When I read the stories of the saints, I tend to look at the “final state” where they have gone thru the trials and are now ministering with great power and miraculous results, e.g. “Padre Pio with the stigmata, healing people, bi-locating, not the times when he was under persecution and could not even say mass publicly. There were times where he was fighting seemingly hopeless situations and discouragement. Saints stay the course and put their lives in the hands of the Lord; in God’s time, the miracles begin to happen.
So, what about us? For many years, I’ve prayed to become a saint. Yet often when I look at my life, the goal seems almost ludicrous, laughable… woe, Dave are you serious? Well, God wants us to become saints …. the world clearly needs saints, it needs instruments of God’s peace. We must keep yearning for holiness. We can’t quit seeking holiness. The world needs holiness; it needs saints. We need Fr. Kolbes and Charles Arguses and Padre Pios. We need saints who are doorkeepers and saints who are popes and all in between.
There is one way where I’m sure we will NOT become saints, and that’s if we don’t seek holiness…. if we don’t seek after the Lord, if we don’t repent of our sins when convicted…. if we quit.
So, let’s seek to do God’s will in our daily lives. For most of us it will not be dramatic, simply doing our duty, going to work, caring for our family, walking along side the suffering in our midst, praying and not giving up. And who knows… in the process we may get holy. Like St. Charles, we may become an intimate friend of God. We may begin to see miracles. And that is very good news.