Fr. Dwight Longenecker offers some timeless — and timely — advice:
Where shall we find a holy person? Where shall we find a saint? It is difficult because the real saint is hidden and humble and holy. Instead of looking for the hidden holy ones we fall for the celebrity ‘saint’. We want the big dramatic conversion story. We want the dynamic, uncompromising speaker. We like the one who speaks out on sin and rails against the devil…
…Stop and consider that the real saints are hidden. They follow the little way. If you were to tell them they were a saint they would laugh and tell you to keep searching. If you even had the sense and discernment to see the saint next to you–the ordinary person who perseveres–the little person who serves others–the plain Jane who takes life easily and simply loves people, then you would learn again what true holiness really is. If we only had eyes to see the simplicity of the saints, the extraordinary ordinariness of holiness, the practical good humor and humility of the truly grace filled ones…
…My mind turns to the little saints I have known: an old woman who lived in a cabin in the woods and with gentle good humor and love turned my poisoned wayward heart back to God. A Poor Clare nun who lived as a hermit for years and endured great pain and hardship and yet never once complained. She always thought the best of everyone and believed not in my image, but in who I could really be. A Missionary of Charity I meet in El Salvador who serves mentally handicapped adults all day every day. A priest who serves the poor and suffers intense and chronic pain and never complains. A Eucharistic minister who visits the housebound and spends time with them and loves doing it.
It is the little way that leads to salvation. Not the way of pride and pleasure and power. Not the way of wealth and the world. Not the way of ego and ambition.
Only the way of the cross.
When are we going to learn this?