The Saints Were Human Like Us

Sometimes we forget that the saints were people like us. They had the same weaknesses and temptations we have today, but conquered it all for God. Getting to know some of them gives us models of holiness we can follow to Heaven.

For example: St. Augustine drove his mother crazy. A devout Christian, St. Monica shed many tears over her son’s partying, paganism, and lack of respect for holiness. She prayed for him for years and never lost faith in God’s power to work miracles. Slowly, Augustine changed, was baptized, and became one of the great saints of the Church. St. Monica is an example for all mothers who want their children to achieve Heaven.

St. Thomas Becket enjoyed the riches and power that came with being a close friend of King Henry II of England. All he had to do to keep his position was support the king’s efforts to dismantle the Church’s power. Instead, Thomas gave it up to protect his Church. He died at the king’s hands.

Q&A: Does God love me less when I sin?

Fortunately, God’s love doesn’t depend on how good we are. Remember the parable Jesus told of the prodigal son (Luke 15)? No matter what the son’s transgressions, the father received him in complete love. That’s how God feels about us.

Think of God’s love as the light from the sun – it’s so bright we can’t comprehend it. But we can close our eyes or pull the curtains to keep the light from coming in. The light is still there, but we can’t experience it as well because we have shut it out. Sin shuts our hearts to God’s love.

To help, Jesus created the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Receiving absolution and being assured of God’s forgiveness opens our shuttered hearts so we can feel God’s love again.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ …” (Ephesians 2:4-5).