Sister Mary asked her third-grade class to complete the following sentence: "To be a saint in heaven, a person must be "_____." The answer was supposed to be "holy." However, Johnny wrote: "To be a saint in heaven, a person must be 'DEAD.' " This is a profound statement. To be saints in heaven, we must not only be physically dead, but dead to self (see Jn 12:24).
To be saints in heaven, we must be sealed (Rv 7:3), that is, branded as the property of God. However, we want to own rather than be owned. We want to do our own thing. Therefore, we must die to ourselves to accept the seal of God's ownership of our lives.
To be saints in heaven, we must wash our lives in the blood of Jesus, the Lamb (Rv 7:14). We must repent of doing our own thing and running our own lives. However, we don't want to admit our sins. Therefore, we must die to ourselves.
To be a saint in heaven, we must be happy, that is, blest (Mt 5:3-12). However, this happiness is by God's standards, not the world's. God's happiness includes voluntary poverty, sorrow for sin, lowliness, hungering for holiness, etc. We don't understand, agree with, or even want God's happiness, but we must die to self to accept it. To be saints, we must be dead.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2013 through November 30, 2013.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 22, 2013.