What Makes a Saint?

Turn to any page of the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and you find spiritual gems. Like this one:


"Let souls who are striving for perfection particularly adore My mercy, because the abundance of graces which I grant them flows from My mercy. I desire that these souls distinguish themselves by boundless trust in My mercy. I myself will attend to the sanctification of such souls. I will provide them with everything they will need to attain sanctity" (1578).

The world tells us that to achieve anything, we need to have determination and an iron will to overcome any obstacles.

Though there's something to be said about these qualities, our determination alone cannot make us saints. Striving for perfection isn't enough to sanctify us.

So what does make a saint? Three things: grace, mercy, and trust. Notice, it's all about what God gives us, which we can either choose to accept or reject.

God is merciful. Therefore, He wants to give us many graces to grow in virtue. But He needs us to take our eyes off of ourselves. He needs us to look to Him and trust. When we do, as Jesus says above, He will sanctify us Himself.

The beauty of sanctity is that no one can boast of having attained a certain level of perfection on account of their own efforts. Every single one of us is too weak, too sinful, too fallen to become what we ought by ourselves. No matter how hard we try, no matter how strong our faith, we cannot make ourselves holy. Only God, through His grace, won for us through Divine Mercy, can make us holy.

In the end, saints aren't distinguished by their determination and iron will, but by how much they trusted in God's mercy.

Jesus says to us: Trust in My mercy. Every time you fail, do not get discouraged. Remember that it's trust in My goodness and mercy that makes you holy - not your efforts, however heroic.

My prayer: Jesus, please help me to remember that I am little. Please make me humble and help me to see that every virtue I have is a gift from You and that without You and Your mercy, I am nothing.

View the previous Discovering the Diary


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