Few of us have needed to build a tower, much less review troops before battle. But we all have plans that require us to assess our resources. Do I have what it takes to get that degree? To care for an elderly relative? To lead that Bible study in my parish?
The woman being canonized today certainly had what it takes. As she made her life “something beautiful for God,” St. Teresa of Calcutta showed the determination that is the hallmark of every disciple. “The first step to becoming holy,” she said, “is to will it.”
This can sound intimidating, especially if you don’t see yourself as a particularly determined person. But Jesus wants to share the secret that Mother Teresa and every other saint discovered: sheer willpower isn’t the whole story. The truly critical factor is God’s desire. If you want your life to be something beautiful for God, know that he wants the same thing. Know also that he has all the grace you need to accomplish it.
He has filled you with his Spirit; he gives you his Body and Blood at Mass; he walks beside you every day, helping you when you stumble and cheering you on when you succeed. He is 100 percent behind your desire to build a “tower” that glorifies him. So whenever you sit down to calculate the cost of following Jesus—especially when that cost seems too high—take comfort from these words from St. Teresa of Calcutta: You belong to him. Nothing can separate you from him. That one sentence is important to remember. He will be your joy, your strength. If you hold onto that sentence, temptations and difficulties will come, but nothing will break you. Answer Jesus’ call to you with the simple word, “Yes.”