We have a lot to learn from the lives of the saints as well as from scripture when it comes to being close to the Lord.
In Matthew’s Beatitudes, we hear that “Blessed are the poor in spirit for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” We also hear, Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Sometimes, if we are being honest, this is not what we want to hear. We are fooled by the falsity of the “health and wealth” Gospel, pretending that if we believe and follow Jesus, we will always be happy, safe, wealthy and healthy. Alas, this is not what the Lord tells us nor asks of us.
We can see this so beautifully in the lives of the saints.
St Terese of Lisieux is a beautiful example of what it means to be close to Jesus. She experienced great suffering in her life, losing her mother at a young age, and falling ill at the age of 23. Her “Little Way"
” teaches us in fact that even small offerings to the Lord of annoyances, frustrations can be gifts to Jesus. She used sacrifice beads throughout her day to make little offerings. You can use ours to help you in your own Little Way .
Another great saint who enjoys closeness with Jesus in heaven is Saint Patrick. While often simply associated with green-filled festivities, he led a life of suffering that began when he was captured as a young child and sold into slavery. He later earned his freedom, embraced those whose persecuted him and went back to Ireland to teach the pagans about the Lord. You can find St. Patrick here.
These examples are only two of the rich and beautiful stories of what it means to be close to the Lord and how we can learn from those in heaven.