“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
Being a Christian can be really hard. We do our children no favors when we sugarcoat the realities that they will likely face as followers of Christ in this modern age.
It will not always be easy for them to say, “no” to getting drunk, doing drugs, and having premarital sex, etc. especially when their friends, and popular culture, see these behaviors as normal and casual. It won’t be easy for them to feel like other teenagers can seemingly do whatever they want without guilt or consequence. It won’t be easy for them to trust that God has bigger and better plans, and it won’t be easy for them to learn delayed gratification. As parents, you have the duty of not only teaching them what to do in the face of popular culture but also why they should desire to follow a different path – the path of Christ.
Our teens need to know that it is okay to struggle, but that sainthood and holiness is not a result of ease and perfection. Our saintly models were human beings too – ones with dirt, stains, temptations, regrets, failures, suffering, and despair. But the Saints were also people who, in the midst of all the struggles, found the meaning of life, had incredible joy, freedom, and true fulfillment. The life of following Christ means experiencing trials, disappointments, shame, guilt, sin, tragedy, insecurity, confusion, and doubt and still pushing forward. But it is also a life of true love, freedom, forgiveness, joy, happiness, and ultimately about realizing the great victory and promise at the end of the life – eternal happiness – and that it is worth fighting for no matter what.
The road to sainthood and holiness is the narrow less-traveled road (Matthew 7:13-14). Many do not understand this path, it is hard, it is rare, but we don’t journey alone. As Catholic Christians, the countless saints show us that when we surrender our hearts to Jesus Christ, we will find the most extraordinary lives of true happiness. These Saints are also there to pray for us every step of the way and their lives give us a great example of how to actually live holy lives.
The saints remind us of God’s love, they remind us of His plan, and they show us that it is possible to live holy lives, no matter our circumstances. Here are just a few Saints who are great examples to us of life on the narrow road following Christ for you to learn about so you can share their stories with your teens.