As a third grader at St. Boniface school we were instructed to choose a saint that we admired and aspired to emulate, research her/his life, and then dress as that saint for our November 1st, All Saints liturgy. I wanted to be Mary, mother of Jesus, mother of God, but the problem was that all the little girls wanted to be Mary—and our teacher told us that there could be no “duplicates”.
I was a very shy, introverted little girl, I always deferred to others, never wanted to make waves, always “flew under the radar”. But this time was different—I KNEW I was supposed to be Mary! I stood my ground and made my case as to why I should be chosen. Almost sixty years later I can no longer remember the words I used to convince the teacher (perhaps it was the fact that for the first time in history I found my voice), but I can still remember how it felt to be chosen to portray this most blessed of all saints; I felt so holy. That 8 year-old girl had not yet realized that she--we are each one inherently holy;called and chosen to be saints.
Pope Francis reminds us that, “We are all called to be saints… holiness is not granted only to those who have the opportunity to break away from the ordinary tasks, to devote themselves to prayer, but rather, everyone is called to holiness in their own state of life.” “It is by being receptive to the grace [offered to us by God] that is working in us and leads us to holiness.”
We give thanks for the grace offered to us to live into our holiness in this very space of our lives.