When St. Thomas Aquinas was about to die, his sister Theodora wanted to ask him some questions. So, she went to the Abbey where he was and asked him about many things. One of the questions she asked was: what is the secret to become a saint? St. Thomas’ answer was just one word “velle” which means “will it”; that is to say, if you want to be holy first of all you must really want it, you must want it with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. If you do not have the firm resolution to become a saint, then you will never become a saint.
To understand this, it is important to remember that, regarding the will, one can have three different dispositions; or it can be said that there are three different kinds of will: undecided or hesitant. These people usually express their desire to be holy with the verb “would”, I would like to become a saint, but they do not have the energy to make the necessary decisions they must make if they want to become a saint: like renouncing a particular thing or starting to do some good thing, etc.
The second false disposition of the will is the called the “deceived will.” These people want to become a saint but they want to decide the way, rather than following God’s Will. If we want to grow in holiness we must follow God’s Will, since He knows the best way for us to become saints. Many times people want to decide which crosses they will accept and which ones they will reject; which vocation they will follow rather than following the vocation God gave them, etc.
The third kind of will is the one that St. Thomas told his sister we must have if we want to become holy: the true will. This will is sincere, persevering, tenacious, determined. These people always discern God’s Will for them, since the only way to become a saint is by following God’s Will. They do not want to decide what they want to do in order to grow in holiness but rather they want to follow God’s plan for them.