We have been given saints from every human condition to show us that sanctity can be derived from all the different circumstances of each of them. There is nothing in our own experience that has not been experienced by someone we now deem a saint.
The crux of sanctity is entirely in HOW the saints and HOW we deal with life’s conditions and circumstances. Despite the faults, failings, and weaknesses of any of the saints, each persisted and grew in love, and that love covered a multitude of sins. The answer to HOW the saints dealt with the conditions and circumstances of life is – LOVE! Yet, what do I do to increase and nurture my love?
The spiritual writer, Fenelon, advises that while we wait for God to deliver us from ourselves we should take a good look at what we are like and not be so surprised when we see that we are stubborn, impatient, quick-tempered, and arrogant – all flaws at the core of my own self. In practical terms what this means to me is that in order to grow in love I should soften my “do-it-now” attitude and learn to wait longer before acting; I should attend sincerely to the proposals of others as they propose them instead of modifying them to suit my own whims; I should learn to exercise silence when everything in me urges me to speak; and I should work on actually accepting the ways of others which, in many cases, are better than mine.
To know that others (even saints) are confronted with the same predicaments in their own lives is a consolation and a paradigm that we must take to heart. But the next step beyond acknowledging and accepting these truths is the part that separates us from the real saints.