Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14
I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to damage earth and sea, saying, “Do not damage the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have marked the servants of our God with a seal on their foreheads.”
And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the people of Israel:
After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying,
“Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, singing,
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honor
and power and might
be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Psalm 24: 1-6
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it;
for he has founded it on the seas,
and established it on the rivers.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
They will receive blessing from the Lord,
and vindication from the God of their salvation.
Such is the company of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.
1 John 3:1-3
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.
In many modern images and representations of the saints, they are depicted as meek, demur, peaceful, and quiet. Judging by such images, it can be easy to imagine saints as timid, mild-mannered, not that interesting, or even un-relatable. The reality of the lives of the saints, though, is not always mild or calm. While we study the meek and peaceful side of what it is to be a saint, we often forget about the turbulent side of the persecutions and hate they faced in their lives in order to become saints.
People do not become saints because they were born good, always were good, or were naturally disposed to be virtuous. People become saints through the grace of God, responding to his calling on their lives, and choosing to have faith in God and follow him through their trials and crosses. By responding to God’s call, they die to the things they want and accept the life and the crosses God allows them to have.
Responding to Jesus’s call, the apostles followed him but were persecuted and martyred for the sake of God’s kingdom. St. Francis of Assisi gave up a life of wealth and prosperity for a life of poverty. St. Clare, through her faith in God, raised the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance against a raging army as they attempted to seize her monastery. St. Philip Neri said goodbye to his dreams of being a missionary in Africa when God called him to work in Rome. St. Teresa of Calcutta endured a dark night of the soul, not feeling the presence of God with her, for the majority of her years as a nun. St. John Paul II suffered many painful losses, Parkinson's disease in his body, and was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt.
The saints were not born meek and peaceful but by enduring their trials, persecutions, and crosses, they were transformed into the peaceful, the meek, the merciful, the pure of heart, and the poor in spirit. Today, thank God for your crosses and trials. Ask for the intercession of the saints to pray for you to be transformed into the saint that God wants you to be.