I came across the life of St. Joan of Arc, the great woman saint of France. My stark images of her are riding a horse into ferocious battles and being cruelly burned at the stake. This book told of Joan’s transformation from an ordinary, obscure, young girl into a great French general. How she turned her weakness into strength, covered her innocence with armor, and changed meekness into great courage. She had amazing belief and uncanny trust in a God who was leading her. Her task was not all glory. Joan struggled setbacks, rejection, and mockery, but grace edged her forward. Reading of her battle escapades and her victories we get caught up in the larger than life hero. But when we get closer to the person herself, we see that Joan is cut from the same stuff we are.
Often felt lost, lonely and isolated. She regularly suffered qualms, doubtful moments, and periods of great hesitation. Yet she continuously believed and trusted. Through these challenging moments and times Joan of Arc became St. Joan of Arc.
Joan was like us in so many human ways, as are all the saints we know are. It is what they do with the experiences before them that produces sainthood. The Lord supplies the grace; we choose to be faithful.