“Ask a Priest: How Can I Become a Saint?”

Q: I really want to be a saint. I want to serve Jesus and inspire others too. I want to love and adore Jesus like crazy, and live my life in a way that glorifies him. I want it so much! I read books about people who become saints, and it really inspires me. What can I do to become a holier person? -S.G.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: It is good to hear that you want to love Our Lord and live a life that glorifies him. Holiness is a goal we should all be striving for. Jesus is probably giving you a lot of spiritual consolations as a way to draw you closer to him.

To maintain your focus on Jesus, you need to build on the solid ground of prayer, good works, and the sacraments. I mention this right away because those wonderful consolations you might be feeling right now will eventually evaporate.

There will come a moment – next week, next month or next year – when things suddenly seem dry and tough in the spiritual life. At that point you will wonder whether Jesus is giving up on you. He isn’t. And he won’t. When the consolations disappear, that will be a moment to mature in your love for Christ.

Which brings us back to that solid ground of the spiritual life. It would be good to dedicate times to prayer each day – morning, midday and evening – and then stick to the schedule. Prayer is the key to the spiritual life. You will progress only to the extent that you are united to Jesus. A helpful resource for the prayer life is The Better Part.

You might consider doing spiritual exercises (for more reading see here) of eight days or, if that isn’t practical, of three or four days. Or at least think about doing the online retreats at RC Spirituality.

It might be helpful to think about compiling a “program of life.” This is a kind of business plan for the spiritual life. You try to define your weaknesses and your strengths, and then you come up with a concrete plan to help weed out the former and build the latter. You could read more about the program of life here.

It helps, too, to get involved in some kind of Church-related project or volunteer work. A faith lived well will lead us to reach out to build the Church and help others.

Also helpful would be a spiritual director or regular confessor who could guide you on an ongoing basis. I hope some of this helps. God bless.

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