Chapter 1. Two Kinds of Saints
Continued from yesterday...
...Here is a good example of the ordinary saint.
The Two Ladies
The great St. Antony, the abbot who had spent long years in the desert, passing whole nights in prayer and performing severe penances, aware of how important the virtue of humility is in the spiritual life, asked God to make him profoundly humble.
In answer to his prayer, the Almighty directed him to visit two ladies in the neighboring city, who though simple and unpretentious in their manner of life, were, so God told Antony, holier than he who had spent long years in the practice of rigorous penance and unceasing prayer.
On entering their home, the Saint sought to discover the secret of such remarkable holiness; he asked them many questions as to the fasts they made, the length of their prayers, their austerities and the like, so that he might imitate them.
He was not a little surprised to learn that they did nothing exceptional. They observed the fasts of the Church; they said their prayers devoutly; they gave what little alms they could afford; they frequented the Sacraments, heard daily Mass and practiced the ordinary Christian virtues.
What impressed the Saint most was that they loved God very simply but very sincerely. God was the great reality in their lives. They did all their actions for love of Him. They performed their daily duties, seeing God in all they did. They accepted what happened to them, joys as well as sorrows, as coming directly from His hand.
That was all, but it sufficed to explain to the Saint the secret of their wonderful sanctity, viz., they performed their duties well and they loved God.
There are thousands of such hidden, ordinary Saints in the Church now, as there have been at all times...
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949