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“The only real sadness, the only real failure, the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint.”
This quotation by the French Catholic novelist Leon Bloy (from La Femme Pauvre) is more than simply a pious thought; it speaks of the deepest desire of our hearts for God and for human excellence. To put it differently, “the desire of our hearts” (Ps 37) is to be a saint, and to fail to obtain this blessedness is to live a life of sadness.
In this vein, C.S. Lewis offers us some challenging remarks: “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures … when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased” (The Weight of Glory).
As parents and as educators, let us seek to awaken in ourselves and our children this desire for sanctity, for greatness, and not allow ourselves to settle for anything less than this… for that would be a tragedy.