Awaken the Saint Within You, Part II – Advent 2019


John talks about how we can truly live our daily lives towards holiness. He discusses the importance of sanctifying our lives for God, the importance of the sacraments, going to mass, and shares the life of Blessed Bartolo Longo. He encourages us to achieve holiness through approaching Jesus in our lives every single day as through this; we can awaken the saint within us.

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Reflective Study Guide Questions

“So be perfect, just as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”

Matthew 5:48
  1. John Kinuthia discusses the importance of recognizing that we are created in the image and likeness of God. How can you work to foster a deeper awareness within yourself that you are created in the image and likeness of God?

  2. Though we are all created in the image and likeness of God, each of us often falls short of what He is calling us to do. But when we sin, we can acknowledge our sinfulness and seek forgiveness through the sacrament of Penance. How can you utilize the gift of the Sacrament of Penance more fully in your life?

  3. A spirit of gratitude is important for our journey to holiness. This thankfulness to God for His blessings can help us as we try to share the Good News with others in our lives. How can you try to foster a deeper spirit gratitude to God in your life?

  4. John Kinuthia speaks of St. Jose Maria Escriva’s idea that all we do can be offered to God and sanctified so that every part of our daily life becomes a prayer. What aspects of your daily life can you strive to offer to God as a prayer each day?

Text: Awaken the Saint Within You, Part II

Hello, and welcome to this session, the second session of Awakening the Saint Within You. My name is John Kinuthia, and before we dive into it, let’s just invite the Holy Spirit to guide us so that we can speak what the Lord, the Father, is asking us to say, and so that we can hear what He wants you to hear and learn from this session.

Opening Prayer

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Dear Jesus, thank You so much for this particular opportunity to speak and share about awakening the saint and how we, the people You have created in the fullness of Your love, can live a holy life. Send Your Holy Spirit so that He can journey with us, because we are doing this for the greater glory of Your name. In Jesus Christ we pray. Saint Joseph, pray for us. Saint John Paul II, pray for us. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Lighting Up the Fire of God’s Love in our Heart

Excellent. Now, when we looked at awakening the saint within, we said it’s about really intentionally developing and deepening our relationship with our Lord. It’s lighting up the soul, lighting up the fire of God’s love in our hearts, so that we can share that with other people. It is just like… it’s hearing God’s word. It’s just like when Jesus came to His disciples when they were sleeping and He said “Wake up and pray.” Those words are profoundly powerful. “Wake up and pray.” It is knowing that we are created in love, for love, and with love, and to share that with our people, to share that with God’s creation.

And now, with the foundation of knowing that we are created in love, unrepeatable, created to share the joy of heaven with our father, then how can we live that call on a day-to-day basis. Again, as I mentioned in the previous video, is that after giving this talk at one of the colleges, a student rose her hand up and she asked me “John, how can we truly, how can we truly know that we are in the right step? How can we know we are living this call to holiness?” Now, that’s a great question. That’s a great question. In other words, I paraphrased the girl’s question and I said “How can you truly know that you are living and deepening your relationship with God and with Jesus Christ every single day of your life?” Because awakening the spirit within, awakening the saint within, and lighting the fire of love in our hearts, and our minds, and our bodies is actually living the call to love. It’s knowing that God has set a standard for us, to be perfect just as He is perfect, Matthew 5:48 tells us.

The Foundation to Holiness

So how can you do this? The first thing is to know, to understand, and to experience that God Himself created us. That’s the foundation of knowing that we are, we are called to holiness. You cannot get that foundation, you cannot get… you cannot envision that if we don’t have the foundation. The foundation is knowing we are created in His own image and likeness. We are created in love, for love, and to share that with other people. We are created to love because, without love, nothing else matters.

So, let’s say you already know that, you already believe that you were created in love, for love, and with love. So what then? And I said there are different ways you can really develop this and deepen this relationship with our Lord to live this call to holiness. And I said after understanding that foundation, then we also must recognize that we fall short. We fall short. We are sinners, and we acknowledge that, and we take that to Jesus and we say “We are sinners. We are sinners, and we want Your redemption. We want to be redeemed by Your grace.” Because if you say you’re not a sinner, you’re really lying. So I am a sinner, we are sinners, and Jesus died on the cross for us. And when we go to prayer, when we have this conversation with our Father, with God the Father, that’s when we are able to empty ourselves. That’s when we are able to just give ourselves fully so that God can look in our lives and He can see right through, and He can help us understand and help us walk the journey.

The Sacrament of Penance

So once we recognize and we are able to say we are sinners, we have this beautiful sacrament of penance that Jesus Christ instituted in the church, the sacrament of grace. He said “Whomever are the sins that you forgive are forgiven them.” So we actually have this call to action. So living like a saint is actually to be more of a man of action, to be a woman of action, to be a person of action that is filled with love and grace. So when we understand that we are sinners and we go to the sacrament of penance, we allow ourselves and we allow Jesus to come in and touch our hearts and heal our life. And when we are healed at that moment, we share the fullness of God’s grace. This is so beautiful, that the sacrament of penance is the one that redeems our souls.

I was listening to a podcast the other day, and somebody said “The sacrament of penance allows us to show the nudity of the soul.” I thought that was… that’s a whole other level. I had never heard that word at all, but when I heard it and I was, like, imagining the nudity of the soul, I said “Wow.” You’re just going there, laying it bare as you are. And I learned something from that. Just like from my… where I come from, we say “When you want to go shower, you don’t shower with your clothes.” I know. But nudity of the soul, meaning that you’ve got nothing left in your heart, in your soul, and God can see right through it. How powerful is that? I’m still thinking about that even today. It has been two weeks now. And when I go to the sacrament of penance, because I want to live this call to holiness, I have to allow myself to be washed and washed completely.

My favorite Psalms is Psalms 51, where the bible says Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me. Wash me with a hyssop. I want to be as white, I want to be as clean. Wipe my sins away. Wash my sins away. And then we see Him fulfilling that in His passion, and He says He picks up all my sins and He’s nailed on the cross for me. Now, if I want to live like a saint here right now, right at this moment, I’m going to have to recognize that, and I have to take my cross with me and follow Him, and I have to allow myself to be touched by His hand. When the priest says “I absolve you,” I have to allow myself to say “Oh God, this is beautiful. You’re healing me right now.” And we have to allow ourselves to say, you know, more. So we’re saying the first thing, the foundation, is to recognize and appreciate and know that we’re created for God, and that we’re created for love, in love, and with love. And we acknowledge that we are sinners, and when we acknowledge we are sinners, we allow ourselves to be washed through the sacrament of penance.

Go to Mass

Another thing we can do to really, really enrich our soul and deepen this relationship is to go for Mass, to attend the feast, where the heavens and earth meet during a Mass. Do you see how I’m going with this? We’re experiencing love in every single thing that we are doing here, because when you acknowledge we are created for love, then you must have love within you to acknowledge that, then you must have love beyond measure to say you are a sinner, to humble yourself, to go get redeemed through the sacrament of reconciliation. And then when you go for Mass, then you give all the thanksgiving because you have been redeemed, because you have the knowledge. And when you go for Mass, you give God praise, thanks, gratitude. It’s the thanksgiving feast that you allow yourself and you allow God to come and just see the abundance in your heart.

The beauty of this for me is recognizing and it’s in the understanding that when you go to the sacrament of reconciliation, the penance, God comes to you and sees the brokenness, God comes to you and sees the sins and says “I am going to wash them away for you, because I created you for love, and I love you, and I’m not going to leave you the way you are. I give you healing.” And then when you go for Mass it is a thanksgiving, and God comes to you and sees your heart flooded with gratitude and says “Oh, I love you so much. You are not broken My son, My daughter. Your heart is filled with gratitude, and I love you the way you are, and I’m going to bless you. I’m going to bless your thankful heart with abundance, joy, and love.”

Learning from the Saints

It’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful experience. And then He has an ask for us. He doesn’t just stop there. He doesn’t just bless us and just stop there, He says “Go. Go out and share the good news. Go out and love your neighbor. Go out and take the gospel outside. Live it.” That’s why we are called to share our stories. That’s why we can read all of these stories of the saints: St. Gianna, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Faustina – she wrote a diary on all of the experience that she had, and now we have the Divine Mercy – St. John Vianney, St. Joseph, St. John Paul II, St. Mother Teresa.

There’s one thing that was very profound in all of them, is: They lived the gospel, they lived the love of Christ. So they did not only know about Jesus, they had a relationship. They knew Him and developed a relationship. And when this relationship was forming, there was an acknowledgement that we fall short of this relationship, of this standard, of this love. And this healing in the sacrament of penance, and then this gratitude that comes when we attend Mass are beautiful, and then when we share, when we live the gospel by the way we live our lives.

Sanctifying our Daily Life

Something else that I really love is sanctifying our life, and sanctifying our work and our experiences. And I believe – I think this is St. Josemaría Escrivá, Opus Dei, that popularized this idea – that everything we are doing can be sanctified, can be given to God to sanctify, can be a form of prayer. So when we are living our life, doing our thing, recording this talk, giving a talk, or doing our work, daily work, we can see that daily work as part of our prayerful life. And every day before we do it, or before we make that phone call to talk to a friend, or to talk to a client, or whatever work you’re doing, we can say “God, I offer this conversation, I offer this work. May it be sanctified, so that souls may be saved.”

And my mom, my mom used to say “John,” you know, or all of us, that whenever you do something with a grateful heart, whenever you’re sanctifying whatever you’re doing – whether it’s doing dishes, or sweeping the floors of the house, or whatever it is that you’re doing, milking the cow, or whatever it is that you’re doing – if you do that in a grateful heart and you sanctify that, a soul is saved.

You, I, cannot really grasp that. I didn’t really know what I’m talking about until I know really and I believe in my heart and my soul that when I do this in a grateful heart, when I sanctify my work, when I invite the Holy Spirit every single time into whatever I’m doing and I say “Lord, take care of this. This is my suffering. Please sanctify it. I’m having pain, I sanctify that.” I’m experiencing anxiety, disappointment, anything, and you give it to Jesus and you say “For the sake of those souls that are suffering, any form of suffering, forgive them. I suffer for them. I suffer with them. I’m going to live my work, I’m going to live my life every single day, doing it for You.”

It’s beautiful. It’s beautiful. Do we fall short? Yes, we do. I do. I do. But this is one thing I know: I know when we fall short, we acknowledge it. When we fall short, we say “I fell short. I agree.” Because the call to perfection isn’t for the qualified; the call to perfection is for the broken, and God qualifies that. Me, I have always heard this quote: “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” And that’s true. St. Paul was a persecutor, and he was called.

Blessed Bartolo Longo

Blessed Bartolo Longo – and I’m going to be ending with this – I was reading about him and when he was growing up, he grew up Catholic, and then he went to college, and then he got swept and he got involved in Satanic stuff, and he also got ordained as a Satanic priest, and he used to bring souls to the devil. But then he had experienced his own conversion. You know, it’s one thing to look at our sins and be like “I’m very unworthy.” And then when you look at the saints, you’re like “How did you become a saint? How did you become a Blessed?” You know what? It’s knowing that we are not bound by our sins. We are not bound by our iniquities, or by our inefficiencies and weaknesses. We’re not held captive by those things. We are redeemed in Jesus Christ. We are redeemed. And when we acknowledge that one, when we acknowledge our sins and we take them to Jesus, and Jesus sees them, then we give thanks, and then we live the call. We are sure we’ll be blessed, we’re sure we’ll enjoy heaven.


So, my friends, how can we every day live this call to holiness? How can we, every day, be the people God is calling us to be? Just to recap: Number one is to acknowledge every single day we are created by God in His own image and likeness. And you can even say it, you can have it hanged on your mirror. When look at yourself in the mirror, it can say “I am created in the image and likeness of God, and created in love, for love, and to give love.” Number two, number three: Acknowledging that we are sinners, and seeking the remedy that is through the sacrament of reconciliation, the sacrament of penance.

The other thing is being grateful. Being grateful. All prayers that you can give to give praise and thanks. You can read all the Psalms. Give thanks to God. Let Israel say “He is loving us forever.” But when you go for Mass, let God see your grateful heart. And I’m reemphasizing on these two things because they are very vital as far as our faith is concerned, depending on our relationship with God is concerned. The prayer, the confession, the prayers for forgiveness, and prayers of thanksgiving. That is love. And then the last thing is to live the call out there, sanctifying your work, sanctifying your life, sanctifying your marriage. And the outside gestures we can do there is reciting the Rosary, venerating the saints, asking the Blessed Mother for help, asking St. Joseph to chisel out so that we can be the best gift for Jesus ever.

So my friend, my friend, we can achieve holiness if we can examine ourselves within those few things. And the biggest parameter is love. The biggest measure is love. How well have we loved God? How well have we loved our neighbors? I hope this is a helpful session for you. May we approach Jesus every single day by sanctifying our work, by praying, by reciting the Rosaries. Most importantly, by sharing His love with others. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations. May the Lord bless you, may the Lord keep you, may the Lord provide all your needs, and I hope that this talk inspires you to see Jesus in every soul that you meet, to light the fire of love in every soul that you meet. God bless you. Let us close.

Closing Prayer

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We thank You, Jesus, for this particular talk. We thank You for the graces and the love that we share. May this talk inspire us to live each day with gratitude. We are doing this for the greater glory of Your name. Amen. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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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