We all need heroes. And the Church has them in the saints.
The saints aren't just people who live in stained-glass windows. No, the saints are those heroes in the faith whose lives we admire and whose example we imitate because they stir up the best in us. We admire what they did, and pray we can do it ourselves. That's why a healthy spiritual life will always include a devotion to the saints in general and some special saints in particular. If you're struggling to find some for yourself, I've listed a few of my favorites below and a link to inspiring resources. St. (Padre) Pio - Padre Pio: The Stigmatist Saint Teresa of Calcutta - Beginners Guide To Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Paperback) Pope St. John XXIII - Journal of a Soul Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati - A Man of the Beatitudes St. Rita of Cascia - Saint of the Impossible
In addition to sharing the content of the faith with someone - the substance of it - try sharing your experience as well.
In fact, try sharing your experience first.
Tell the story of how the Lord has changed your life, your marriage, your family, your hope for tomorrow and faith for today (even in the smallest of ways), and how The Lord can change theirs, too, if they let him.
After dinner the other night my three-year old son Joseph asked me a question. "Where does God live, Dad?"
I said the first thing that came to my mind: "He lives in your struggles, Joseph." Then he went back to playing with his truck.
Okay, so I went a little deep. But I want my son (and daughter) to learn something from an early age.
Something so many of us fail to realize...
God is not distant from you. He's not "there" when you're doing well, and "not there" when you're struggling. (In fact, some of the wisest saints have said He makes himself even more present during your times of suffering).
Think of it this way, God wants to live in your mess.
No, really; He doesn't want to live in your perfect life, in the imaginary, never-quite-gonna-get-there version that we all dream about. All He wants is all you've got-right here and now.
So invite God into your mess: into your problems and your worries and even the sins you still struggle with. Let Him live there, let Him be present to you there. Then, you might just start to see things different, to see things the way He does, the way He's always wanted us to.
Just before we sing the, "Holy, Holy, Holy," at Mass, the priest says:
"Therefore, with all the choirs of angels and all the saints..."
He's not kidding; they're all there - all of them. Every saint in every glass window, every angel stenciled on the ceiling, every saint carved in cement, every holy man, woman, and child who has ever lived on earth and now lives in glory, are all there, praying for you and those you love.