Every Saint was a sinner and every sinner could be a Saint.

That could never be me!

While getting ready for Mass one Sunday, one of my fellow parishioners commented that he felt so far from the Kingdom of God sometimes. Specifically, he said that when listening to the stories of the saints, his only thought is, “That could never be me!” 

His comment was not simply a statement of humility but rather one of despair.

You should have known me when. . .

The stories of the saints are supposed to inspire us but if we think the saints were born perfect, sainthood does seem unattainable. Only Saint Mary, the Mother of God, was born without sin. The rest of the Saints had the same human weaknesses and failings that all of us pilgrims on Earth are experiencing now. Saint Peter denied Christ three times. Saint Augustine was raised by a Christian mother but became pagan before turning his life back over to Christ. Each declared Saint of God was a flawed sinner. In fact, some of their flaws were far greater than ours. Yet, God can meet anyone anywhere in their lives and lead them to heaven, including you and me!

Not perfect, just holy.

There is a big difference between being perfect and being holy. I work every day on holiness, not perfection. There has been only one perfect man in the history of humankind and you all know what we did to him. I have no interest in being perfect. Being holy on the other hand is something I strive for everyday. 

The saints were certainly not perfect. But, each of them was holy even though they were sinful. 

In the midst of the holy season of Christmas, let’s strive to be holy, not perfect!

How’s that for a New Year’s resolution?

10 Replies to “Every Saint was a sinner and every sinner could be a Saint.


    1. My mistake! Here is what Lucia said:

      “O Lord, make me a saint. Keep my heart always pure, for You
      Then it seemed that in the depths of my heart, our dear Lord
      distinctly spoke these words to me:
      “The grace granted to you this day will remain living in your
      soul, producing fruits of eternal life.”
      I felt as though transformed in God.
      – Fatima In Lucia’s Own Words, pg. 73


  1. Only Saint Mary, the Mother of God, was born without sin.

    Only Mary was conceived without sin. But John the Baptist leapt for joy in St. Elizabeth’s womb when he was filled with the Holy Spirit. When he was born, then, he had been cleansed of sin.

    1. Thank you. I should have been more specific when I referred to sin. There is no offical Dogma that I am aware of but, it is widely excepted that John the Baptist was born with original sin like the rest of us. However, he did seem to avoid the occasion of personal sin. That made him a sure thing regarding sainthood.

  2. So very true. We’ve been watching some wonderful movies put out by St. Ignatius Press about the lives of the Saints and it shows how much they struggled to be good and holy. Thank you for this reminder that we should strive for holiness as well …

  3. I find myself impressed by the prayer of Lucia of Fatima; especially the boldness contained within it which feels out of my reach so far.
    However, the opening post by Deacon Curtis reminds me of something on a previous post several months ago by (as best as memory serves me) Msgr. Pope who said that he was reminded of a line in an old gospel song that said that a saint was just a sinner who fell down and got back up. When I hear someone in a support group quote a popular saying that falling down isn’t failure but that not getting back up would lead to failure I wonder if the origin was that old gospel song.

  4. I mean no disrespect or dishonor, but felt inclined not to ignore a very important issue. Mary was human. Honored to be chosen to be the mother of Jesus. Blessed Among women. Not above. She herself had the same sin nature and needed a Savior. If she hadn’t been human…Jesus couldn’t have fulfilled His position of being fully man and fully God. She, herself, would have been distraught at putting herself above needing His saving Grace.

Comments are closed.