Our hurting world needs saints

Tony Magliano

Most likely, you are reading this shortly before, or shortly after the U.S. presidential election.

America’s next leader will have the means at hand to do tremendous good or tremendous harm. The new president-elect of the United States will have many opportunities to purposefully move forward policies and legislation that can make not only the U.S., but the world a far better place. Or the next president can dangerously choose to greatly exacerbate the many serious problems facing humanity.

Our prayers and political activism will be needed to persuade the fledgling president to reject all that is deadly, and instead choose the way of goodness, the way of life, the way of God (see Deuteronomy 30:15-18).

But we should not place all of our marbles in the one basket of the U.S. president.

No single human being alone — president, prime minister or pope — can build a world where justice, peace and love reign. Such a vision realized needs all of us, and not just a mediocre version of ourselves, but rather the best version of ourselves.

The world needs saints!

Our hurting world needs Christians who are committed to being the very body of Christ on earth — saints.

As St. Teresa of Avila said so beautifully, “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks [with] compassion on this world. Yours are feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

Imagine if you and I, and every person who professes to be a Christian, decided with the power of the Holy Spirit to be the body of Christ. Imagine if every disciple of Christ decided to think, feel, pray, speak and act as Christ did when he walked the earth.

Just imagine what good could be realized if every Christian would commit to becoming a saint.

Pope John Paul I — the saintly smiling pope — said, “If all the sons and daughters of the church would know how to be tireless missionaries of the Gospel, a new flowering of holiness and renewal would spring up in this world that thirsts for love and for truth.”

Just days ago, the Catholic church celebrated All Saints’ Day to remember all the countless faithful disciples of Christ who now and forever bask in the glorious, loving presence of the Almighty Holy One.

Through the intercession and example of the saints, may we be given the faith, love and courage to imitate their holiness. For Jesus is calling every single Christian to become a saint.

In the Second Vatican Counsel’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, the world’s Catholic bishops solemnly declared, “In the church, everyone ... is called to holiness.”

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May we more fully realize that becoming holy — becoming a saint — is not meant for our good alone, but for the good of the whole world.

Saints spend their lives loving God by loving all others — especially those who are suffering in body and/or soul.

By actively practicing the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy, we become the hands, the feet and the eyes of Christ on earth. We become saints!

Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist. He is available to speak at diocesan and parish gatherings nationwide about Catholic social teaching. His keynote address, “Advancing the Kingdom of God in the 21st Century,” has been well-received by audiences from Santa Clara, Calif., to Baltimore, Md. Tony can be reached at tmag@zoominternet.net.