What is your glory?

In the coming months, Catholics in the modern world can expect the glorification of “modern” saints. First, there is the projected canonization of the Church’s “first millennial saint” in Blessed Carlo Acutis. Then, there is also a holy buzz going around about the possible canonization of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, the Italian engineering student who joyfully lived a serious spirituality rooted in the Eucharist, Marian devotion, and charity.

The addition of “modern” saints to the great cloud of witnesses is certainly a grace for our times and a sure sign of God’s Providence. Nevertheless, the “old-fashioned” saints—i.e., those from the early Christian centuries—continue to be sources of grace and inspiration as well. Take for example, St. Augustine of Hippo.

Although he lived in the 5th century AD, Augustine struggled with the timeless problem of sin and its temptations. Long before becoming the bishop of Hippo, Augustine followed secularized ideals, adopted worldly attitudes about life, and warmed himself by the fires of pleasure and lust. Needless to say, he experienced the same heartache suffered by many people today.

Everything changed for Augustine, however, when he came to know God’s mercy and His invitation to live in grace. The incredible story of his conversion is recounted by St. Augustine himself in the Catholic classic, The Confessions. (If you haven’t read it yet, do it!)

But Augustine’s autobiography is not the only source of inspiration when it comes to following the example of the saints in embracing the newness of life in Christ. St. Augustine was also a great homilist.

First, his homilies are a rich wellspring of Catholic truth and solid spiritual food-for-thought. Secondly, they are also a fertile field for helping us “marianize” our life. If the attentive reader is patient enough, he can find buried there pearls of inspiration for living out one’s consecration to Mary.

For example, consider the simple line from Augustine’s Sermon 47:

This is our glory: the witness of our conscience.

For those who know St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, the words may sound familiar (cf 2 Cor 1:12). In paraphrasing the Apostle, St. Augustine is drawing attention to the fact that the Christian man should not glory in applauses, approval, or appearance, but a pure conscience.

We should remember that our conscience is our “sanctuary” wherein we are “alone with God” (Catechism, 1795). Many people today avoid this inner sanctuary, because they are ashamed of standing alone before God in their sinfulness. They know that because of their own decisions they are far removed from sharing in God’s life, will, and grace.

But the Christian who is daily striving to live in constant union with God through grace, there is no shame. His glory is truly the witness of a pure conscience.

And, shouldn’t this be the glory of every man and woman consecrated to Mary in filial slavery of love?

Is this not the aim of our Marian consecration, that is, to perfectly live out our baptismal consecration to the point of always being free from sin?

Is this not the desire of Mary’s maternal heart, to see us always living in union with Her Son through grace, never casting Him away from our hearts through sin?

This is our glory as loving slaves of Jesus in Mary: to live free from sin through God’s grace and mercy and Mary’s unfailing help and intercession.

And this glory of a pure conscience is a timeless way of holiness as we continue to “marianize” our life. For no saint in heaven is more worthy of imitation than She who is free from sin and “full of grace”.

Seize the day and make it all Hers!