If I asked you; who is the strongest person to ever live, you may respond with Hercules, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or perhaps the biblical Goliath. But as poor prideful Goliath found out from David, the shepherd boy who knocked him flat on the face with a sling and a rock, strength is much more than who can lift up a car.
When I was in weight lifting class, I could barely lift what other classmates could, but I soon realized my strength was in my goodness. I realized this virtue of goodness inside of me in Middle School when I saw a boy eating lunch by himself because he had no friends. I came up to him and introduced myself and sat and ate with him. I invited him to my birthday party and became friends with him. There is a greater strength that can be found in the heart. I’m talking about the strength to be able to do the right thing when it is unpopular. Saints are the strongest people to have ever lived, and perhaps one of the strongest saints is Saint Andrew. In fact, the meaning of Andrew means ‘strong’, and Saint Andrew lived up to that name.
You see, Saint Andrew was the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah and even introduced his brother Peter to Jesus. This is why we sometimes address Saint Andrew with the title “First Called.” Think of it, he convinced our future first Pope to follow Jesus and exclaimed loudly, “We have found the Messiah” (John 14:1). This is a bold statement by Saint Andrew and he had to have strength to exclaim it to everyone. The Jews desperately awaited for the Messiah and wondered for hundreds of years as to when He will come. Now, Saint Andrew is the first to proclaim it. This is why Advent begins with a Novena to Saint Andrew. He brings the whole Church into welcoming Jesus, our messiah and our Lord. Saint Andrew will lead you to Jesus too.
When Jesus calls you to follow Him, don’t look back. It will be the hardest thing you ever do. I can tell you this first hand. You will wrestle with your heart. You will be challenged to listen to that small voice in your soul. You will be brought to your knees. But don’t be discouraged. Be strong. Following Jesus will complete you. You will never feel more fulfilled. You will have a deep peace in your heart that can be found nowhere else. When I first asked God what to do with my life, I prayed about it for hours before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It was then that I freed myself from what others wanted for my life and even what I wanted from my life, that I discovered what God wanted. I felt the most incredible peace and weight lifted off my shoulders. God desired me to give up everything to follow Him. I left my friends and family and went to Peru to discover who I am. Now I am so fulfilled with being a husband and father.
When Saint Andrew was called, he and Peter left their jobs behind. Everything they built for income and friends and family, they left behind to follow Jesus. That requires strength. When Andrew was crucified for continuing to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah, he took the humble path. He requested to be crucified in the shape of an ‘X’ so as to not be crucified like Jesus. He didn’t want to take the glory away from Jesus. This is what saints do. They are ordinary people, doing extraordinary feats, and they give God all the Glory.
God calls us to greatness. When God called me to leave everything behind, I went to Peru for 3 years to be formed in the faith. Now I teach others about the saints through our monthly subscription boxes called Saint of the Month. He calls me to be the best husband and father, son and friend. God calls me to be holy. God is calling you to be a saint. Be strong. Be bold. Be a saint.
Patrick Pulis is a lifelong Catholic who grew up in a rural area of Colorado where he was captivated by the stars of the night. As he grew in his faith he decided, after college, to join a religious lay movement to possibly become a priest. As he went to formation, he grew more in his faith than at any other time in his life. He was inspired by these men and women to be the best he can to help change the world for the better. After three years of many fruitful experiences, he decided to return home and follow God’s new path preparing someday to get married. Inspired by the saints and their lives, he decided to start a business to help people become little saints which became the Saint of the Month subscription box. Now married, his wife helps with Saint of the Month, and they have a daughter. He loves spending time with family and playing with his little girl.
Saint Andrew One Time box: https://www.saintofthemonth.com/shop/product/4771390375