Bishop Teofil of Spain gives us a powerful and inspiring sermon on how we can become saints.

June 13, 2020, Romanian Parish of All Saints (Parohia Tuturor Sfintilor), Bilbao, Spain

Bishop Teofil (Roman) of Spain:
It is a great comfort for us to know that even Saints, as long as they lived in this world, were sinful people, just like us… with infirmities, with weaknesses…
And they, like us, felt the need to confess, to confess their sins, to repent… They also felt the need to ask for advice, to ask for help… because anyone who wants to be saved needs a lot of advice… Holy Fathers say: “Whoever wants to be saved should never stop asking for advice”.

So here are two essential things, so that we humans, sinful people, in order to become saints, we need repentance, confession and a lot of advice…

Adam and Eve… when they sinned… That time was a moment of dilemma as we would say. God told them not to eat, the devil told them to eat. That moment should have been a moment of question, of advice. They should have said: Lord, what shall I do? You told me not to eat, the devil told me to eat…. And surely God would have told them what to do. So if he had asked for advice, he could have avoided falling into sin. But even after the fall, if Adam had acknowledged his sin and said: “Lord, I have sinned, please forgive me!” God would have forgiven him and received him back immediately. But he did not acknowledge his sin and found excuses, saying: “The woman you gave me, she gave me to eat…” Eve, in turn, blamed the snake… And finally, God came out guilty. Then God had to unjustly assume this guilt, as if He were guilty…

When we come to confession, we must come with this awareness: that we are guilty, we have sinned, it is not God’s fault or our neighbor’s. Let’s not try to blame anyone else by finding excuses, saying: “I sinned but someone tempted me, the devil tempted me, my wife tempted me or the child tempted me…” No… whoever tempted me, I chose to sin. So sin is mine, I should not blame anyone, neither God, nor the devil, nor my neighbor. As long as I blame someone else, then I stay with the sin, I do not get healed. But the moment I condemn myself and blame only myself, then this repentance and self-condemnation heals me of sin and it attracts the grace of God that actually heals that which is infirm.

The saints we honor today, as long as they have lived in this world, they were sinful people, like us, with weaknesses and infirmities, but who had their moments of true repentance, when in need they asked for the advice of those close to them. And so, with much repentance and counsel, they finally came to shine now like the luminaries on the spiritual sky of the Church…
Now they are for us guiding beacons, they are first of all models worthy of following, but at the same time, they become our spiritual mediators and supporters. Because they see our infirmities and help us with their prayer. And even more, sometimes they intervene in our lives if we call them with faith. There are many cases of very serious diseases that have been cured through the intercession of the saints. Very difficult situations in our lives, seemingly insurmountable, through the intercession of saints have been resolved to our amazement and joy.

So, the saints are both our models and our intercessors and defenders on this not at all easy path that leads to the Kingdom of God. Amen.

May God bless you and protect you all.


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