Striving for Sainthood

By Jenny Dendinger

I grew up in a house that focused more on the rules than on the explanations behind them. “Because I said so!” was a common theme. 

I never made a conscious decision to break away from the “because I said so” mentality; it just slowly became a part of how I parented. 

When my kids would break a rule, I’d provide an appropriate punishment, but I’d also sit down with them and talk through what happened. 

I have a deep desire for my kids to fully understand where my heart is when I put a rule in place. I want them to connect to the why behind the correct behavior, not just follow the rule out of obligation. My goal is for them to choose the right thing because they both recognize it and desire to do it. 

I want them striving for sainthood! 

When I first heard that the obligation to attend Mass on All Saints’ Day was lifted this year, I’ll admit that I felt a bit relieved.  Attending Mass on holy days can be difficult, especially with kids in tow. I don’t know about anyone else, but lately, I’ve been avoiding anything that would add to my already overflowing plate of stress. 

Despite the temptation to stay home, I couldn’t shake the feeling that my family belonged in church for the holy day. The fact that it fell on a Monday didn’t change anything about its importance. The value of honoring the saints wasn’t diminished because Sunday Mass was celebrated the day before. 

Just like attending a weekday Mass or getting ashes on Ash Wednesday, this was another opportunity to illuminate the why behind our faith. 

In the end, our family decided to go to Mass on All Saints’ Day, and it brought me joy to see that many other families also chose to do the same.

The truth is, striving for sainthood isn’t always going to appear heroic. Sometimes, it will look as ordinary as eating an early dinner and going to Mass on a Monday night. 

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