Awaken the Saint Within You, Part I – Advent 2019


In this talk, John recalls the time when he thought his purpose in life was built around human achievements. He shares that we are all called to be holy by God, which is a bigger and more important purpose. John encourages us to take a look at our lives, and take a step to awake the saint in us through prayer and desiring to live in God’s image and likeness. 

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Reflective Study Guide Questions

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”

Matthew 6:33
  1. John Kinuthia discusses how common it is for us to focus on our dreams, desires, and passions from a worldly viewpoint. What dreams and passions do you focus on the most in your life?

  2. We can begin to awaken a spirit of holiness within ourselves by shifting our focus from worldly goals to spiritual ones. How can you work to reorient your priorities toward spiritual goals?

  3. A daily examination of conscience is a powerful tool on the path to holiness. How might the practice of examining your conscience each night help you grow toward sainthood?

  4. Pope St. John Paul II says that when we think about happiness, it’s Jesus we are thinking about. In what ways do you most often try to find happiness? How can you begin to seek happiness in Jesus first in your life?

Text: Awaken the Saint Within You, Part I

Hello, and good morning. My name is John, and today’s talk is on Awakening the Saint Within You. My name is John Kinuthia, and before we dive into it, let us just ask our Blessed Mother to guide us.

Hail Mary

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dreams and Passion

Now, when I was in college, there’s… we were having a weekend retreat, and the retreat director was just, you know, in front there, and he goes “Does everyone here know their dreams? Know their desires? Their passions? Know where their life is headed?” And, you know, as usual, my desire, my dream, my passion, what I shared with him, it all sounded good. And, of course, it was about, you know, “Yes, I know my passion. I’m going to become a teacher, I’m going to help some kids, and then I’m going to become a motivational speaker. I want to speak on TV, I want to be rich, I want to have the most beautiful wife, the most obedient kids, hard-working kids.” Then he looked at me and said “Okay, and then what?” “Oh, yeah. And then go to heaven.” I still remember that picture in my mind, his reaction. And, of course, we were going on and on and on.

And then he says “I’ll tell you this John, if all what you said would happen, that would the best thing that could happen to you.” And he says “But God’s calling is better than that. We are being held onto higher standards than just being rich, having the most beautiful things in the world; we are called to be saints, we are called for holiness, we are called to see every single thing that we do in the eyes of God and asking ourselves ‘how is this thing I’m doing today glorifying the Father?’” So, awakening the saint within is actually looking in ourselves and asking ourselves “What’s God’s desire in my heart? What’s God’s desire for my life? And how can I fulfill that desire? Who is that saint that connects with me so well that I can follow his footsteps?”

What is God’s Desire?

So the first thing I’m going to ask you is: What’s God’s desire for you? What’s God’s desire for your life? And also remember the Catechism of the church teaches us that God’s desire is written in our hearts. God’s desire is written in the human heart. And when a man follows God’s desire, when a man follows the Lord and seeks the Lord and seeks their desire in God, he finds joy, he finds happiness. So joy, joy isn’t found by the things that we gather from outside, joy is found by looking in the inside. Joy is found by following God’s will.

So, 2018 I went to this conference. 30,000 people, and the speakers were great – the speakers were powerful and were moving – and I remember the first speaker was talking about awakening the greatness within you. Bringing the greatness that God has given to you and start helping others. Then another one was talking about moving from good to great. How do you move from a mediocre life to a great life? All these sounded pretty good, very good so far.

And then we had another speaker that said “I want you to dream big and dream of walking with the giants.” Walking with the giants. All good things. “Oh, you can be great.” And I shared it with my wife, then as we were talking about awakening and bringing the greatness out of our lives, all of us a sudden in my heart I just started thinking “Isn’t the greatest calling being a saint? Isn’t the greatest calling being holy?” So all this greatness we’re talking about actually is just by worldly standards. God’s desire for us is to be a saint, is to be holy.

So how can we awaken that, the spirit of holiness? And not to be confused by the greatness the world offers, not to be confused by all these painted pictures of how our life can dramatically change from being average to being excellent, from just being the way we are today to this glorified individual. And my message for awakening the saint was born. Because if we can awaken the saint within us, that seeks from the inside of ourselves, understands God’s desire for our life, and follows His will, then the greatness can be achieved.

We are not chasing, you know, because in the world today we are taught “Have this, have this, chase that, chase that, chase your dreams, keep running all the time.” Well, sainthood… Well, sainthood is following God’s commandments, is walking with Jesus, is being present, is being available, is being there with Jesus in His passion, is examining our conscience every evening, every night, looking at what God has put in our lives and asking ourselves “How well did we do them today?”

Prayer Life

You’ll remember this day when Jesus was about to go for His passion, and He asked His disciples “Hey, come with Me. Let’s go there so that we can pray.” Brought Peter, James, and John, and He gave them instruction: “Stay here and pray, and I will go over there and I’ll pray.” And as Jesus prayed and He came back to check on Peter, James, and John, He found them sleeping and He said “Hey, are you still sleeping? Why are you sleeping?” He did that three times. “Why are you sleeping? Can’t you even keep watch with Me for an hour? Awake! Get up! Wake up and pray. Pray with Me.” And that’s an invitation there.

Awakening the saint within us is looking inside and asking ourselves “How is our prayer life? How are we serving Jesus today? How are we developing our relationship with Him?” Sainthood is developing a greater relationship with Jesus Christ, taking up our cross and following Him, knowing that when our will is united with His will, greatness is achieved. It is not the greatness that this world has to offer, but greatness, heavenly greatness.

God’s Signature in Our Hearts

St. John Paul II, when he is talking about happiness and he says in one of his letters that when we think about happiness, when we dream about happiness, when we think about greatness it is Jesus who we think about, it is Jesus who we dream about. And that’s what I want, and that’s what every saint wants. And because we are all born with that desire in our hearts, and because we are all given that desire in our hearts, then we are called to every single day examine ourselves and ask ourselves “How is God’s will today aligned with what I’m supposed to be doing, or what I’m doing today?” God’s desire.

I always love when I go to watch sports at the stadium, because when you are there and you see people doing a… the game is over, you see people wanting to their shirts, their shoes, their hats signed by their favorite player. Favorite player, favorite player. And they are so excited that they even want to take a selfie with their favorite player. Now, take that picture of you and your favorite player, you know, taking a selfie or signing, and think about God’s signature in your heart. That He loves you so much that He said “You are My beloved son, you are My beloved daughter, and I love you.” That’s me thinking and me saying God’s signature in our hearts.

“I love you so much that I sent Jesus to save you, to redeem you.” And He signed. “And I’m calling you to a higher standard, and I want you to raise your standard to heavenly standard. And when you fall, I love you. When you fall, I’m there to rescue you. All you’ve got to do is open your heart for Me to come in.” Because God the Father is willing to take the 999 steps to you, and all you’ve got to do is say one step. “Lord, I’m a sinner. Come in.” Are you willing to awaken the spirit, to awaken the saint within you? To examine your life today? To deepen your relationship with Jesus? To say “I am ready, Lord, to serve You today.” Are you willing to do the small things with great love, as St. Therese of Lisieux and Mother Teresa said? Are you willing to take up one cause, one thing, and… what you love about Jesus and just share that, share your story with other people?

An Invitation to Wake Up and Pray

So I’m encouraging you and inspiring you today. Look inside of you and ask yourself is the saint God has put in your heart, in your soul, asleep? Is he sleeping? And when you are awakening, and you’re running with giants, and you’re… you’re pursuing greatness all over the place, what about that saint in your heart who tells you “You can do small things with great love? But I am not in things, I am right here with you. I want to help you get to heaven.”

I was giving this talk somewhere else about developing and deepening this relationship, so that the saint within can come out and can serve you in your needs, and one person raised up their hand and they asked me “John, that sounds okay, all whatever you’re saying is great, but how do you do that? How? How do you even know that you have a saint inside? How do you even know?” They ask me. “I’ve never thought about becoming a saint in the first place.” So how do you do that? How do you allow God to work in yourself, and be on the path to holiness? That’s the question I’m going to tackle the next talk.

But for this talk, to recap, I just want you to know that you have been created by God’s image. God’s likeness, God’s love is inside of you. That you’re being invited to wake up and pray just like the disciples like Jesus spoke to the disciples. But the greatness and the happiness and the joy we seek isn’t outside somewhere, it’s only found in Jesus. It’s only found by loving Him so much. It’s only found by taking all of our intentions to Him. It’s looking at the foot of the cross and uniting ourselves with Him. I invite you to examine yourself and your life as a saint that God is calling you to do, as a saint that God is calling you to be alive. Are you living the call to holiness? We’ll be discussing in the second session how do we do that. Thank you so much for watching, thank you so much for listening, and I’ll be back shortly.

About John Kinuthia

John Kinuthia Retreat Speaker Photo

John Kinuthia is a Catholic Speaker and Retreat Presenter who inspires people to live their faith fully alive. In his ministry, John is dedicated to helping every person Awaken the Saint Within. John is also the Director of Cornerstone Impact, a professional training and coaching company that facilitates engaging and highly impactful personal growth and professional development programs to strengthen teams, improve relationships and increase productivity.

He was born and raised in Kenya and is the 2nd of 7 children. In Kenya, he was involved in many aspects of his Catholic Faith including a member of a ‘Small Christian Community’, Catholic Youth Leadership, and a member of VIDES Kenya, a volunteer organization that serves underprivileged children in the Nairobi Area, which is where he met his wife. In 2012, John came to the US to reunite with the love of his life and pursue his dreams. John enjoys spending time with his family. He and his wife are blessed with 3 beautiful boys; Joey, Caleb, and Leo.

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