Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Road to Sainthood: The Journey Begins

"We are all called to be saints." I honestly don't remember hearing that until five or six years ago. I grew up believing I was as far away from being a saint as the Cleveland Indians of the 1970s and 80s were from winning a pennant. But that was the "Catholic guilt" era. The attitude is kinder and gentler these days, and thank heaven for that. It gives someone like me a lot of hope.

Not that I've been an awful person for the last 44 years. Most of the time, I'm pretty good, I think. But I haven't always taken the right path although I knew exactly which way I should have gone, I'm plagued by childish tendencies that can get me into as much trouble now as they did then, and I sometimes find it hard to follow the faith that was given to me at birth. I'm probably not alone. I hope I'm not alone!

I've slowly begun to see myself as middle-aged and, finally, I've realized that I'm mortal. I managed to live through mistakes in my 20s and 30s and end up just fine. At some point, however, it's time to start thinking about the future. Not the future as in, "Where do I see my career in ten years" or "At what age would I like to retire." I'm talking the BIG future, the final frontier, if you will. Heaven.

Because I do believe with all my heart that there is something after this life and that we have a say in how good or bad it is. I used to think a lot about that when I was a child. "If I tell a lie, will I not go to heaven when I die?" But as I got older, I got caught up in the here and now, which is easy to do since we're here right now. It's understandably hard to focus on something that you can't see or feel but that you're told is better than anything that life can offer.

I'm lucky that I've lived long enough to start thinking about heaven again and what it takes to get there. For a few years now, I've been saying that I'm going to ride my husband's coattails, but I really don't think God gives out "buy one get one free" passes.

So it's up to me, which scares the... you know what... out of me.

All of the above has led me to create this blog. I think that most of us are more spiritual than we realize, and it is helpful when we know that others are embarking on a similar journey. I also think we don't spend enough time thinking about what it means to be "good" and what the ultimate reward for that would be.

This blog won't be laden with stories of "why am i such a bad person." Instead, my goal is to shed light on my spiritual journey and those of others--real saints and saints-in-the-making. Mistakes will be made along the way, of course, and hopefully none will be so horrific that we can't laugh about it after the fact. Unfortunately, we won't know who reaches their final reward, but we can learn, grow and have a little fun while we all try to get there.
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