The grace of God
“For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace towards me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them – though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (NRSV, 1 Corinthians 15:9-10).
Some people seem to be gifted with an innate ability in a particular area, and we acknowledge this when we speak of a born teacher or a born artist. There is one thing, however, which no one can ever be and that is a born saint.
We must never be deceived by the widespread and quite wrong idea that the saints were people who led a very sheltered life unruffled by temptation, with plenty of leisure and inclination for prayer and little to distract them. On the contrary, most of the saints began as ordinary people leading ordinary lives. Some were anything from doubtful characters to downright evil livers. In other words, saints are made not born, and they are made by God.