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Michigan pastor Fr. John Riccardo helps us dive into the Scriptures so that we vOcan apply them to our daily lives. In his inspiring and incisive way, Fr. Riccardo vOaddresses the obstacles we all face in becoming mature disciples. How do we vOlearn to forgive? How do we combat fear and understand suffering? How do we vOworship the Lord, love others as Christ loves us, and fully surrender our lives to vOGod? If you've enjoyed Fr. Riccardo's gifts of teaching and preaching through his vObroadcasts and podcasts, this book is for you!vO
What’s My Plan?vO
Here’s a question I want you to consider: do you, right vOnow, have a plan, and are you working at it, so that one day you will become a vOsaint? We risk misunderstanding the whole point of life if our goal, our plan, is not vOsainthood. The nineteenth-century French writer Lé─÷on Bloy wrote, “The vOonly real sadness, the only real failure, the only great tragedy in life, is not to vObecome a saint.
Saints respond to the needs that they see in their time. If vOElizabeth Ann Seton hadn’t responded to the need she saw, maybe we vOwouldn’t have Catholic schools in our country today. If Solanus Casey vOhadn’t responded to the call of God in his life, perhaps tens of thousands of vOpeople would never have encountered the incredibly healing power of God and vOhis love.
These saints are gone now. They have handed the baton to you vOand to me. And now it’s our turn. It’s our turn to fight the good fight, vOto run the race, to keep the faith. How do we do that?
There are no vOshortcuts for the next step. We have to take responsibility for what we’re vOgoing to do to respond. We have to come up with a plan, if you will, to accomplish vOthe goal.
So what’s that look like? Here is a series of things to vOthink about. This is not an exhaustive list; it’s just a way to get us vOstarted:
Prayer. Don’t ask the question, “Do I vOpray enough?” The answer is no-no one prays enough; it’s not vOpossible. But am I praying as much as I should be praying?vO
em>Scripture. There is no way I am able to let God form me if I vOdon’t read his word. I have to let him form me, and he forms me through the vOScriptures.
Service. Do I reach out of myself? Do I look to vOvolunteer, whether it is in the parish, the local community, or with the poor?vO
Confession. Do I have as my goal getting to vOConfession once every two months? And if you haven’t been to vOConfession in years, just come back!
Mass. Obviously, we vOneed to go to Sunday Mass. But ask yourself this: is it possible for me to achieve vOgreatness when I am feeding on the Eucharist only once a week? Once vOwe’ve really come to understand that the Eucharist is the vO
greatest source of strength that we could ever encounter in our vOlives, why wouldn’t we want to come more often?vO
Sin. What are the one or the two really significant vOobstacles in my life right now that are keeping me from reaching the goal of vOsainthood? How am I going to overcome those?vO
Fasting. Do I ever fast? Jesus doesn’t say, vO“If you fast...”; he says, “When you vOfast...” Some of us can’t fast from food because of health reasons, vObut we can fast from something else, like the news or the time we spend looking vOat our computers or cellphones.
Alms. Do I give alms? Do I vOlook at the resources that I have as a means by which I can share with the vOpoor?
My encouragement for you in the weeks ahead is to ask vOyourself, “Do I have a plan to become a saint?” And if you vOdon’t, what is your plan going to look like? Then start working on it. vOLet’s do the work! I think you’ll be amazed at how helpful it is.