“ There is no Sanctity without Grace and no Grace without prayer ”
Saints are the artists of Love.
They are human beings who ‘bet’ and have won, eternally.
They bet on God, choosing not only to believe in his existence, but also to trust Him.
They believed without seeing, and therefore they have been able to see that which their eyes would never have allowed them to comprehend.
They are men of flesh and soul, who have known like everyone else the weight of what it means to be human, but they have not appointed Earth as Heaven, rather have seen Earth as the step towards Heaven.
Saints are people whom the Church has recognized as special, for having heroically practiced Christian virtues. God ‘certified’ their extraordinariness; He recognized it in their everyday life to the point that they were able to ask of Him and obtain from Him that which only God himself can do: miracles.
Without the shadow of a doubt Saints are friends and heroes of God, they are people able to accept with humility and love something that would drive into a rage and stir rebellion into anyone not betting on the “Deus absconditus”, the Hidden God who sees everything in secret and gives recompense to those welcoming and practicing the gift of faith.
Saints are the artists of Love because they make masterpieces of their lives.
These men and women - children, young adults, mature adults, the elderly – have raised, with the Grace of God and goodwill, a magnificent spiritual cathedral that stands tall towards the Empyrean.
They have used wisely the canvass of their soul and painted on it, through physical and spiritual deeds of charity, the Work of Art that the Lord had thought out for them since eternity.
Only God knows what must have cost them this solemn and simple edification, this tangible and yet impalpable marvel, this immense fresco of truth and goodness.
We, living beings, looking at the ranks of the Blessed – belonging to the Triumphant Church – should remember that we share their same calling, because not one single man is born whom God doesn’t call to Heaven and therefore to Sanctity.
We must also remember all the anonymous Saints, those that do not have an altar , a following, a novena written for them and aren’t mentioned in the Liturgical Calendar. These unknow friends of ours, rich of that Divine Love, are celebrated on the first of November together with their more ‘famous’ counterparts; I’d like to think that it will be a great spectacle when we finally get to learn their merits and virtues --- which might not be obvious at all to our mortal eyes--- once the Celestial Hagiographer introduces them to us in Heaven.
Last but not least, as the befitting epilogue to these short considerations, how could I not mention the Queen of all Saints? Mary, Mother of God, the perfect example of a Saint appointed by the Holy Trinity. She is a human paragon that cannot be reached, but is source of sublime, extraordinarily magnificent, and unending inspiration.
Whoever falls in love with Mary, falls in love with Sanctity.
Whoever looks at Mary sees the Son, and whoever looks at the Son discovers His Most Sweet Mother; and She has also been given the immeasurable gift of being Mother of Mankind. Whoever contemplates Mary’s life desires Sanctity. There is no Sanctity without Grace and no Grace without prayer.
Whoever wants to become a Saint has to open God’s Heart, and His Venerable and Most Holy Heart can only open with the key of hopeful prayer.
“He who prays is certain to be saved, while he who prays not is certain to be damned.”St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori aphoristically said.
Saints have prayed and prayed a lot, especially to Mary Most Holy, and they have recited the holy Rosary, which is her favourite. Mary, omnipotent by Grace of God, is the treasurer of all the Grace of the Almighty.
Countless are the signs given and miracles performed by the Immaculate in history, certain proof that her maternal prayer calls for us to earn Heaven and avoid Hell, without forgetting our material needs, since, being human, we also have a body and relative necessities. Which earthly mother would forget to dress, feed and support her children? How could we ever presume that She who is Queen of Heaven would not obtain for us what we ask? In fact, She, like in Cana of Galilee, sees what we require and assists us even before we ourselves realize our needs.
The wise Christian is he who prays and wears the Rosary, who lives it , and spreads its message.
The Rosary is a faithful instrument of prayer, a travel companion, which even just by looking at it -- on our wrist or wherever we devoutly place it-- reminds us that we aren’t alone; and that faith moves mountains.
Whoever learns to recite the Holy Rosary will be led, one Hail Mary after another, to the Mother of Love through the ways of the Gospel to the point of learning to read the experiences of life- may they be joyful, painful, luminous or glorious- whilst holding firmly onto the hand of Jesus and of the Blessed Virgin.
Saints are the artists of Love and prayer because in life, by praying , hoping, believing, and loving, they learnt their craft at the holy school of the ultimate Artist of Love.