There are hundreds, if not thousands, of formally canonized and informally acclaimed “saints.” And we routinely refer to a beloved “communion of saints.” But many are obscure and some are almost mythical in their life stories. We have saints of great asceticism and heroic deeds, but we do not find them easy to imitate and perhaps are more often puzzled than inspired by them. However, do we recognize those who are not canonized? A parent patiently nurturing and guiding children, a teacher devotedly leading students to new insights, a nurse attending at a bedside, a clerk responding calmly to irritable customers, etc.—these surely are saintly actions. They call forth kindness, empathy, service—alongside inclusiveness. Saints see and treat all people as God’s sons and daughters—and no miracles are demanded here. Sainthood is within reach of us all.
by Carol Berg, OSB