Lent: Disciplining oneself; the hardest thing…


While all the runners in the stadium take part in the race, the award goes to one man. In that case, run so as to win! Athletes deny themselves all sorts of things. They do this to win a crown of leaves that withers, but we a crown that is imperishable. I do not run like a man who loses sight of the finish line. I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. What I do is discipline my own body and master it, for fear that after having preached to others, I myself should be rejected. – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

We are called to holiness – to run the race without losing sight, to fight both in shadows and light.

“Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” – Revelation 2:10

“…To the victor I shall give some of the hidden manna; I shall also give a white amulet upon which is inscribed a new name, which no one knows except the one who receives it.”‘ – Revelation 2:17

A few notable modern saints missing from that video (click links for their bios):

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe: …In 1906 at Pabianice, at age twelve and around the time of his first Communion, he received a vision of the Virgin Mary that changed his life.

I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me. Then she came to me holding two crowns, one white, the other red. She asked if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both. -Saint Maximilian.

On May 1941 he was transferred to Auschwitz and branded as prisoner 16670. He was assigned to a special work group staffed by priests and supervised by especially vicious and abusive guards. His calm dedication to the faith brought him the worst jobs available, and more beatings than anyone else. At one point he was beaten, lashed, and left for dead. The prisoners managed to smuggle him into the camp hospital where he spent his recovery time hearing confessions. When he returned to the camp, Maximilian ministered to other prisoners, including conducting Mass and delivering communion using smuggled bread and wine.

In July 1941 there was an escape from the camp. Camp protocol, designed to make the prisoners guard each other, required that ten men be slaughtered in retribution for each escaped prisoner. Francis Gajowniczek, a married man with young children was chosen to die for the escape. Maximilian volunteered to take his place, and died as he had always wished – in service.
source. Read more about this tremendous saint here.

Venerable Pierre Toussaint
Freed slave; merciful and compassionate philanthropist; “Jesus can give you nothing so precious as himself, as his own mind. Do not think that any faith in him can do you good if you do not try to be pure and true like him.”

Servant of God Solanus Casey
Humbled Franciscan friar and “Doorkeeper”; “I’m offering my suffering that all might be one.”

Servant of God Dorothy Day
Founder of The Catholic Worker, Benedictine Oblate; “”No human creature could receive or contain so vast a flood of love and joy as I often felt after the birth of my child. With this came the need to worship, to adore.”

St. Gianna Beretta Molla
Mother & Physician; “If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate. Choose the child – I insist on it. Save the baby.”

There are so many more…

Browse Our Archives