Here is the latest Coffee & Pearls:

Scroll down to read it as a blog post!

Recently I was asked, “Why are you qualified to teach other people how to be saints?” It was a fair question. There certainly isn’t a degree in saint training that I’m aware of. I’ve just sort of self-proclaimed that I am indeed a Saint Trainer.

I had never been asked this question before and it gave me pause. I thought for a moment. I almost let feelings of insecurity bubble up inside of me but then the Holy Spirit tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Because you’re a sinner.”

Yes! That’s it!

I am qualified to be a Saint Trainer because I am a sinner and that means you’re qualified to be a Saint Trainer too!

Okay, well it’s not just that we’re sinners. To be qualified you have to acknowledge you’re a sinner and desire to NOT be a sinner. By the very fact that you’re reading this blog post right now, you’re showing me that you don’t want to be a sinner. You want to be a good Catholic. You want to live out God’s will.

And my guess is that you aren’t quite sure yet how to do that or perhaps you’ve been told once (or a thousand times) but you need some inspiration for getting it done today.

To me, this is what sainthood is all about. It’s the baby steps. It’s the waking up each morning, each hour, each time I arrive home and saying, “I can do better. I want to do better.” Any moment we turn away from the glitzy trappings of the world and we choose Jesus, we are turning into saints.

I genuinely believe there are four things we need to do to become saints in Heaven.

  1. Reptent
  2. Believe in the Gospel
  3. Discern God’s will for our lives
  4. Obey God in that plan

Now typing out that list was awfully easy to do. Living out that list is rather difficult. Let’s break down each one and see if we can’t get better at being saints on a day-to-day basis.

Repent

After listening to a Fr. Riccardo podcast where he said, “We must become green berets of repentance,” I never think about repentance without that phrase coming to mind. It’s so powerful because we have this idea in our heads about what green berets do. They are the elite. They are strong. They don’t quit until they’ve completed their mission. They live with intensity.

We need to repent like that. All. The. Time.

This doesn’t just mean getting to confession monthly or weekly if that’s possible, it also means pausing all throughout the day and tossing up a genuine, “I’m sorry” to the Lord when we screw up. I do this all the time.

I’m sorry I was snippy.

I’m sorry I was just jealous of her.

I’m sorry I felt entitled to buying that thing I wanted.

I’m sorry I felt like you didn’t love me.

I’m sorry I wasn’t grateful for all my blessings.

We know… truly we know… when we have made bad choices, or less than ideal choices — when we have not done our best. If we seek to be green berets of repentance then our mission is to always be on the lookout for these small sinful moments and to repent about them immediately.

Believe in the Gospel

On some level I’m sure we all believe in the Gospel. After all we’re Christians! But when John asked us to believe in the Gospel, I think he was also asking that we know the Gospel.

I don’t know about you but I surely haven’t memorized all of any one of the four Gospels! I could do a much better job of reading these sections of the Bible over and over again until they become so infused in my subconscious that I can quote them easily to others or simply use them to calm myself down when I get anxious throughout the day.

Here is where I think we could all use some work. Most of us know our Bibles far less than the original Americans. Few of us sit around at night reading the Bible out loud to our family. To be honest, that sounds awfully boring to me! Maybe I’d like that if I dressed up like a Colonial and lit a candle and pretended we had no modern entertainments!

And yet, I have to ask myself, do you really want to be a saint? How can you be a saint if you don’t make it a priority to know, and maybe even memorize, all the words that Jesus said while He walked on Earth?

Guys I’m still working on this but I believe it’s an important ingredient for modern sainthood!

Here is an awesome book to help you memorize the faith (or anything) Memorize The Faith

Discern God’s Will For Our Lives

This is a toughy. There’s no magical formula for this. If there were, I’d write a book about it and sell millions of copies! How do we discern God’s will?

Don’t you just feel like if Jesus came down and asked you to do… anything…. that you’d smile and say, “Of course Jesus, anything for you!” But most of us have not had that experience and so we feel like we’re left to guess and puzzle it out on our own.

Honestly, I think the key to discerning God’s will is to spend more time in silence and especially in Adoration. I say that with a deep sigh because those two things are particularly difficult to me. They always sound wonderful until the moment I have to make time for them and then despite how healing and lovely they are, I never feel like doing it. So I can’t promise you that you will suddenly crave silent prayer time or hours in Adoration but I do believe these are key to hearing the will of God for our lives.

You can read Discerning the Will of God by God: An Ignatian Guide to Christian Decision Making by Timothy Gallager 

Or A Practical Guide to Discern God’s Will which is only $.99!

Obey God In That Plan

Once you have spent time in prayer and tried to discern the will of God for your life, your job is now to live that out. Take what you’ve heard in the whisperings of your time with Jesus and throw yourself into those plans.

I’m surprised how difficult this is sometimes. I will come away from Adoration with a crystal clear idea of what I think God is asking me to do and then somehow between the hustle and bustle of the next day and the noise that the world fills my ears with… I suddenly forget. I take a few steps off the path and I stop pursuing the crystal clear plan.

I believe this is why journaling and doing an examination of conscience at the end of the day is so important. We need to write down what we think we hear God telling us and then we need to revisit those notes often. We need to ask ourselves at the end of the day, “How did I do? Did I try hard to live out God’s plan for my life today?” And if we didn’t… well we can go straight back to being green berets of repentance.

I think most of the time we know when we’re winging it or going our own way versus trying to live a Christ-centered Catholic life. I believe if we just spent a little more time asking ourselves which path we’re walking on… our own or God’s…. we would find a lot more peace.

I hope this makes you feel hopeful. I hope you will walk away from this with a renewed sense or purpose and at least a better understanding of what questions you should be asking yourself each day!

I want you to know that you too are qualified to teach other people how to become saints! And if that sounds like fun to you, do it! We need more saint trainers out there!

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