Freedom is the ability to live responsibly.
The primary purpose for me living a holy life and to become a saint is to make sure that all my friends and family, every person that I know in this life, will go to Heaven. Just as Christ died for us while we were still sinners, I want my life to end with so much merit that Christ would allow others to call on the treasure that I’ve stored in Heaven to pay for their debts. Everyone who knows me, no matter how imperfect they may think they are in the eyes of God, can be sure that I’m holding Heaven’s door open for them. (If I make it there myself, that is…)
Remember that nerd in high school who not only got an A+ for the class, but would do extra credit, too? Imagine the teacher allowed his extra points to give you an A in the class, too. That, my friend, is the Catholic doctrine of indulgence. Beautiful, isn’t it? I want to be that nerd-saint. If I earn an A+ in life, then I want all my extra credit to go to the people I have met in this life, starting with those who have an F first, then to the D’s, C’s and B’s last.
The saints and martyrs who have gone before us continue to intercede on our behalf. The living saints now are storing up treasure in Heaven to be used for others on The Last Day. Dear Lord, help me love people more and more.
“If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” 1 Corinthians 12:26
As I grow in charity, I find myself feeling the pain of others more acutely. Like a father who can imagine his daughter’s pain after bumping into a door, I can feel my neighbor’s suffering in all its seriousness, even though I may personally not think it is a big deal. This growth in love is a gift from God, and I rejoice and thank Him for softening my heart. Such sensitivity to another’s pain may otherwise be an inconvenience if not for this grace.
When you tell your child to do something and she whines and asks you to do it for her, doesn’t that annoy you? She can perfectly do it herself; you’ve seen her do it before, but for some reason she wants you to do it for her.
This annoys me, too. Yet, the Holy Spirit is trying to teach me something: how am I different with God? He prompts me to do His will. He knows I can do His will, because He’s seen me do it before. But, for some reason, I want Him to do it for me. “You do it for me, Abba.” How is my whining any different than my child’s?
You are my God, have mercy on me, Lord,
for I cry to you all the day long.
Give joy to your servant, O Lord,
for to you I lift up my soul. (Psalm 86)