Many of us want to become saints someday, and all of us SHOULD want to become saints someday. If we don’t become saints, we have – to some degree – wasted our lives.
But there are so many paths to sainthood, some easy, some very challenging. In this post we will ask: what is the easiest way to become a saint?
The Swordsman and the Gunman
I am a believer in simplicity. I like things simple and straight to the point.
You might remember the Indiana Jones scene where a spectacular swordsman comes out and starts doing all these neat tricks with his sword to intimidate Indiana.
He’d trained for years, he was an expert, he could wield that sword like no-one else. He thought no-one stood a chance.
Indiana just pulls out his gun and shoots him. It’s as easy as that.
One man was super trained and had chosen the hard way. The other chose the easy way and it was by far the most effective.
We can be like the swordsman, or like Indiana. We can train extremely hard and do all these really hard spiritual things, and perhaps make not much progress in the spiritual life.
Or we can just get our gun and fire. That is, we can aim for those specific things the Church attaches really special importance to, which can quickly help us make great improvement.
As a Catholic, I urge you to hit the bullseye. Aim for the most powerful things, which are often the simplest and easiest.
Be a Catholic
To become a saint, you will need to be a Catholic first. Many Catholics have not become saints, but there are no saints in heaven who were not Catholic (or Orthodox) on earth.
You can of course try your best at another religion or another form of Christianity. You have the freedom to do this.
But if you’re serious about your religion, it will be much harder than being a Catholic, and it isn’t likely to bring about a huge amount of spiritual growth very quickly.
If you’re Catholic, you are hitting the bullseye and if you are serious about the Catholic faith, you will make great strides very, very quickly.
If you are Catholic, but don’t live like one, then I recommend that you examine your life and conscience and get to that holy Sacrament of Confession as soon as possible.
You can begin right now with this Act of Perfect Contrition from the heart:
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.
This prayer, prayed from the heart, will instantly wipe out ALL your sins, including all mortal ones, so long as you have the firm resolve to get to Confession as soon as possible.
This is an easy way to get right with God right where you are now. Now get to Confession as soon as you can.
Frequent Mass as Often as Possible
It goes without saying that attendance at Mass as often as you can will do wonders to your spiritual life.
Attending Mass is the single most important spiritual discipline any Catholic or human being can undertake.
One Mass has the power to cleanse the entire world of sin.
One Mass is adored by God, and all the saints and angels.
One Mass has the power to save all the holy souls in Purgatory.
This is because the Mass is the offering of the Body and Blood of Jesus, which is of infinite value. There is nothing in the universe more valuable that the Body and Blood of Jesus, and therefore there is nothing in the universe of more value than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Attending Mass regularly will purge you of all your sins.
Attending Mass regularly will unite your spirit with Christ’s sacred heart.
Attending Mass regularly will fulfil all your prayers and desires.
Attending Mass regularly will greatly help those you love and care about, and all who you bring in your heart to Mass.
All the other recommendations in this post are secondary to the Mass. In fact, they only find their value in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Their natural end and goal is the Mass.
You should think about getting a Scapular and getting enrolled by a Catholic priest.
We have written plenty of times at Rosary Lovers on how the Scapular is one of the easiest ways to get to heaven. Having become enrolled, all you have to do is wear the Scapular. That’s it. You just wear it.
You don’t even need to wear it over your clothes. You can wear it next to your skin under your top.
Never take it off, unless you absolutely have to, such as for bathing, or swimming or perhaps making love. As soon as you can, get it back on again. Even go to sleep wearing it, if you can.
Everyone who dies wearing the Scapular will not go to hell. So if you die wearing it, you WILL get to heaven someday (even if you have to be in purgatory for a while). So you will eventually become a saint.
This is such a simple devotion – just wearing a religious article. For this alone, you will grow in sanctity, you will be offering God a constant prayer, you will be honouring Mary, and you will completely avoid hell.
The Holy Rosary
The Rosary is an extremely popular Catholic devotion, and it is one of the easiest ways to grow in holiness and reach heaven.
Mary tells us that those who are devoted to her Rosary will not only make it to heaven, but they will receive a high degree of glory in heaven.
All it takes is 5 small decades a day. A total of 5 meditations on the life of Christ, 5 Our Fathers, 50 Hail Marys, and 5 Glory Bes. Spreading these prayers throughout the day, this is EASY!!
The Rosary is jam-packed full of partial indulgences. We get the forgiveness of ALL our venial sins everytime we simply utter an Our Father from the heart, according to St Augustine.
You get a plenary indulgence if you vocally recite the Holy Rosary in a Catholic Church, whether on your own, or with a group.
It’s little wonder St Alphonsus Ligouri said: ‘Those who recite the Rosary and wear the Scapular, and do a little more, will get to heaven.’
Visiting/Adoring the Blessed Sacrament
How hard is it to visit your local Catholic Church a few days every week, just to say ‘I love you’ to Jesus?
All you have to do is go to the local Church. Upon entering, you simply sit before Jesus in the Tabernacle. You don’t have to say anything. You don’t have to stay long.
This act is a great act of love for the Saviour and many saints have implied that doing this often will get you to heaven.
Doing it for 30 minutes seems to get you a plenary indulgence, that is, the wiping away of all purification in purgatory.
ADORATION OF THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT. A PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who visit the Most Blessed Sacrament for at least one half hour (together with the three prerequisites (constants) of a plenary indulgence. A partial indulgence is granted to those who visit and adore the Most Blessed Sacrament without the three constants or for any period less than one half hour.
The Blessed Sacrament apparently does not need to be exposed to get this plenary indulgence. You simply turn up to Church and sit in the presence of Jesus for 30 minutes.
The Stations of the Cross
This is even easier than the former. In fact, performing the Stations of the Cross in Church, so far as I am aware, is the easiest way to gain a plenary indulgence.
To get the plenary indulgence, all you need to do is go from Station to Station (all 14) in a Catholic Church, moving from one to the next, and meditating on the Passion of Christ. You don’t even need to utter any set prayers.
This could all take as little as a few minutes.
Every time you go to Church, you could get a plenary indulgence by performing this, so long as you fulfil the usual conditions.
What is a Plenary indulgence?
When we go to Confession, we have all our sins forgiven. ALL, totally.
However, although the guilt of sin is removed from our souls (a guilty, heavy conscience), there is still damage as a result of our sins. We have damaged others and ourselves. For this, we require punishment/purification.
This punishment/purification takes place in this life and/or purgatory.
In this life we can undo the punishment caused by our sins by acts of love, i.e., penance. The most effective means are things like fasting, prayer, almsgiving and especially attendance at Mass.
Should we die before fully removing the punishment due to our forgiven sins, God will continue this process in Purgatory out of love for us.
However, the Church grants a very fast and effective way to deal with this, and these are called indulgences.
Partial indulgences partially remove the punishment due to our sins awaiting us in purgatory.
Plenary indulgences FULLY remove such punishment, so that we no longer have any to face in purgatory.
In other words, if a person were to die immediately after successfully gaining a plenary indulgence, they would go straight to heaven and become an instant saint.
So plenary indulgences are a really big deal, and we should make use of them in our lives.
We can apply indulgences to either ourselves or the dead, but not to someone else still living.
Usual Conditions of Gaining a Plenary Indulgence
- Inner detachment from all sin, even venial sin (i.e., you don’t want ANY sin in your life)
- Prayer for the intentions of the Pope (any suffices)
- Reception of the Holy Eucharist. You can only gain one plenary indulgence for every one reception of the Eucharist. To gain another, you need to eat the Lord’s flesh again on another occasion.
- Go to the Sacrament of Confession. One Confession suffices for gaining numerous plenary indulgences.
- Perform the act prescribed by the Church for gaining a plenary indulgence.
I hope you can see how easy it is to become a saint if you focus on doing simply what the Church attaches the most grace to. These things are easy, they are not hard.
- Be a serious Catholic
- Get to Confession
- Attend Mass as often as possible
- Get enrolled in the Brown Scapular
- Pray 5 decades of the Rosary daily
- Visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament as often as possible
- Perform the Stations of the Cross as often as possible
If you have any questions, let me know and I’ll be happy to get back to you.
God bless, through Mary, immaculate Seat of Wisdom