We need lay saints.
Saints that live in the world. That say yes to staying in their vocations and have the courage to live in the tumultuous middle between monasticism and atheism. Saints that are single, saints that marry, change diapers, work the cash register, deliver the mail and cut the grass. We need saints that are CEOs with the strength and courage to run successful businesses with integrity and honesty. To provide employment opportunities that pay just wages and treat their employees with dignity. We need saints that are not afraid to bless their meal in public or share stories of grace at the office. Lay saints that can have a Bloody Mary at the football game and dance and celebrate when their team makes a touchdown. Saints that stop and say a prayer on the field before kickoff. We need saints that laugh out loud, sing silly songs with their friends, hug the neighbor that is hurting and to be a light in the darkness. We need saints that live a life of virtue, that are examples of Christ by how they live and not just what they say.
We need lay saints that will speak the truth of their faith. We need Saints to “bring the light of the Gospel to the vital nerve centres of society” (JPII). That are not afraid to invite a neighbor to join them at Mass but do not judge them if they refuse. We need saints that love deeply. That can look in the face of a stranger and see Christ. Saints that smile and speak to the homeless woman on the corner and offer a ride to the elderly gentleman that is struggling to carry his groceries. We need lay saints that do not judge the young runaway that has become an addict and is looking for a place to sleep, but rather offers her food a warm blanket and a way out. We need saints that are not afraid to weep with the poor and marginalized, that are not afraid to get their hands dirty. We need lay saints that live the command of Christ to love their brother as themselves. We need saints that can rejoice in the celebration of the Eucharist and then GO and bring Christ into the world with joy.