Continued from yesterday...
Chapter 1. Two Kinds of Saints
There are saints and saints. Some we may call extraordinary saints and some ordinary saints. Extraordinary saints are raised up by God for some extraordinary mission, and to these God gives extraordinary means to carry out that mission. Such were, for instance, St. Dominic, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius Loyola and a host of others.
St. Dominic was raised up by God to defend the Church against the Albigensian heretics, who taught the vilest doctrines and perpetrated the most hideous crimes. Kings sent armies against them, the Pope sent holy men to check them, but all in vain.
God then raised up St. Dominic who, by the holiness of his life and his earnest preaching, converted 100,000 of these hardened sinners in a remarkably short time.
Notwithstanding his austere life and incessant labors, there was no one more joyful, more lovable than St. Dominic. He was sad only when he heard of the sorrows of others or of offenses committed against his dear Lord.
The Saint founded three religious orders, which have given to the Church notable Saints, missionaries, Martyrs, bishops and popes.
What especially endears him to us is the fact that it was he who gave us the Rosary, which God's Holy Mother had given to him.
Who has not heard of the seraphic St. Francis of Assisi, so famous for his profound humility, his extreme poverty and his burning love of God, as a reward of which he received on his hands and feet and in his side the Sacred Stigmata, the marks of Christ's five wounds.
He, too, founded three religious orders, which have given many and great Saints to the Church, people such as St. Bonaventure, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Clare and many others, Saints who shine as bright stars in the firmament of Heaven.
St. Ignatius of Loyola is another example of an extraordinary saint. He began life as a soldier in the army of Spain, but God called him to be a great soldier of Holy Church.
To him was given the mission to battle against the pseudo-reformers, as to St. Dominic had been given the task of converting the Albigenses.
His glorious order, The Society of Jesus, has done and is ever doing, a mighty work for the glory of God and for the welfare of the world at large. His sons are ever in the vanguard of the battle, fighting valiantly against the enemies of Christ.
Now these extraordinary Saints, inspired by God, used extraordinary means to achieve their great ends. They labored incessantly, spent long hours in prayer, fasted rigorously and did severe penance. God favored them with supernatural visions and revelations and gave them the power of working miracles.
Ordinary Christians are not called upon to do such mighty deeds, nor are they asked or advised to imitate the long prayers, the rigorous fasts of these extraordinary Saints.
There is, however, a second class of Saints, Ordinary Saints. Bear in mind that these Saints are no less Saints than the others; they are true Saints and have reached exalted heights of sanctity, though in a different way.
They lead humble, simple lives, performing their daily duties well and using the ordinary but abundant means of sanctity given by God to all Christians.
These means we too can use, and by them we can attain a high degree of holiness...
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949