I was listening to one of the first podcasts released by Brandon Vogt and Fr. Blake Britton on their new podcast called “The Burrowshire Podcast.” It was about the call to be saints and they spoke about how although at times they both find themselves desiring to live in different time periods, they were created with souls for now. In fact, it is God’s desire that they be saints right now, in the midst of everything good and bad that surrounds them.
As someone who often feels old (not age-wise, but like from a different era), I resonate with the lingering desire to be alive at a different point in human history. Yet God isn’t mistaken in placing me in this very particular point in time, complete with my longings and desires for things of bygone eras. I suppose many of the saints felt the same way, too. But to consider that I have a soul that is crafted for this point in history is something I hadn’t yet considered.
What does that even mean?
I appreciate the intentionality that this reveals about the Lord’s actions. With our own unique gifts and talents, we were fashioned to be alive today. Instead of misfits from a different age, we are exactly where (and when) we ought to be. Which means holiness is possible now. In fact, for us, holiness in the present is the only option. Despite my feelings to the contrary, I wasn’t fashioned to be holy in a different time period. With all of my intricacies, failings, and strengths, I was created to be holy here and now.
Every saint of every time probably posed the question of “why now and why me?” to the Lord. The martyrs I admire had questions and were fearful, even if they embraced death with a joyful zeal. The saints who lived the ordinary with such grace and patience probably also had moments where they longed for excitement and something different. When reading saint stories, it was can be tempting to downplay difficulties because we know the ending of the story–even if they are killed, they remained faithful to the end…even if they had a crisis of faith, they returned to the Lord…even if they denied knowing Jesus, they were reconciled…even if their lives were falling apart, they know now the joy of the Beatific Vision.
Perhaps we are like those saints, we just don’t know the ending yet.
We don’t fully see where the suffering will lead us. We don’t know if we will make it through the doubts. We aren’t able to see the other side of the falling apart. Just like us, the saints couldn’t see the end of the story either and yet they persevered in following the Lord, in their particular time and place.
That shift in perspective–considering that I was created for such a time as this–just might help me to recognize the importance of striving to live the particular call that God has placed on my heart. Maybe all of the things that make living in a certain time difficult are also the things that will shape us into the saints we ought to be. This recognition of our place in time being unique was called to mind again when I saw a snippet of this article about Fr. Josh Johnson, who stands at the intersection of many worlds right now as a black Catholic priest who is the son of a former police officer.
The Lord didn’t say that following Him would ever be easy. But at least we can rest in the knowledge that while following Christ will involve suffering, we are living in the perfect time for each of us to personally become saints. What a gift to know that despite the struggles our souls were crafted for times such as these.
Today is the most possible day for me to become a saint.