Sainthood in reach, even for our youth
October 27, 2010 - What do the Beatles and Pope Benedict XVI have in common?
Well, they have more in common than you might think.
Although separated by more than 40 years, both appeared in Great Britain before crowds of cheering young people.
You won't hear the Pope singing "All you need is love," but the message he delivered gave very similar advice.
He spoke to young people in a universal language, the language of love.
Last month Pope Benedict XVI did a four-day tour of the United Kingdom.
Although he is 80 years old and doesn't fit the image of someone who would typically attract a group of young people, the reception he received was more positive than any of his critics could have imagined.
So, why was his message received with such enthusiasm and warmth? He struck a chord with the young people because he challenged them to achieve greatness in a way that they're rarely encouraged to aspire to it.
He challenged them to become saints. Saints? Aren't saints something of the past? Do saints have any place in modern society?
Well, Pope Benedict says, yes, they do.
This seems odd only because many people have an odd view of what a saint actually is. Let's listen to some words of the Pope himself:
"God loves you much more than you could ever begin to imagine, and he wants the very best for you…
"I hope that among those of you listening to me today there are some of the future saints of the twenty-first century…
"Perhaps some of you have never thought about this before.
"Perhaps some of you think being a saint is not for you. Let me explain what I mean… We live in a celebrity culture, and young people are often encouraged to model themselves on figures from the world of sport or entertainment…
"When I invite you to become saints, I am asking you not to be content with second best. I am asking you not to pursue one limited goal and ignore all the others…
"Happiness is something we all want, but one of the great tragedies in this world is that so many people never find it, because they look for it in the wrong places.
"The key to it is very simple – true happiness is to be found in God. We need to have the courage to place our deepest hopes in God alone, not in money, in a career, in worldly success, or in our relationships with others, but in God.
"Only he can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts…
"Not only does God love us with a depth and an intensity that we can scarcely begin to comprehend, but he invites us to respond to that love."
As you can see, being a saint means that you first recognize that God loves you infinitely and wants you to love him back.
Being a saint doesn't mean being soft or indifferent or settling for second best. It means loving God and others in an exceptional way.
I can't think of better path to follow.
Fr. Daniel Pajerski, LC, is Formation Director for Everest Academy.