What is a Saint?
The basic definition of sainthood is holiness. However, it also is a title. The Bible speaks of holy people who are alive as prophets and elders. Those who are dead who were once holy, living people are referred to as saints. In other words, it's a title you receive upon your death.
The Church concurs with this definition. While alive, the Church doesn't recognize a person as being a saint or a Saint (in the canonical form). She does recognize people as being holy or saintly (like a saint). It isn't until a person's death that a person receives the title.
What happens with people and discussions on sainthood is two-fold:
1) They place being saint on a pedestal, something utterly unattainable. Which is partially true. It is only with God and through God that we can ever become saints on our death. Holiness takes a life time and we cannot do that alone. The solution to this is not to focus on saints as being perfect persons because they were not. They frequently struggled. But rather to focus on their ability to always agree to do the will of God. And this happens minute by minute. It's not a one time thing. We should take their example and focus on agreeing to do the will of God all the time rather than worrying over the finality. God will take care of the rest. Make sense?
2) What also happens is we view the pathway to heaven as a check list. If I do X,Y,Z, then I'm covered. The problem is that will of God is something to be discerned always. Bl. Mother Teresa is a good example of this. First she discerned that she should become a nun and then later start her order. She called this "the call within the call." And so we should not say "well God has told me to this" and that be the end of that. If that were the case, I would have remained a single, musician performing at various parishes the rest of my life. But God called me to marriage and motherhood. And so there is no check list in life. It is constantly remaining open and in dialogue with God.
As the saying goes it is the journey not the destination. The goal is to achieve sainthood; the just fruits of the long journey. But what happens is the Devil can easily get in the way of things if we don't focus more of our attention on Christ ie doing His Will. Christ will mold us and shape us to conform to him if we simply agree (and repeatedly do so). So even if we never focus on sainthood as a title or heaven as a destination, but focus solely on discerning and following the will of God, then we will end up as saints anyway. Call it the focus within the focus. Make sense?
Even if we never focus on being holy persons even if we are all called to holiness, but rather simply to agree to God's will, then we will become saints.
God's will for us is to become holy persons and saints and as long as we focus on doing his will in our lives then we will become saints and holy persons. We need not focus on the destination (although you can but as I said there are the two traps that are easy to fall into). We need to focus on the journey.
And this is what's happened in the modern world. People are deluding themselves into everything will be fine so long as they lead a good life. And therefore if they check things off the "good life" list, heaven is attained for all regardless. But it's a lie. For the individual to do the will of God is more than just leading a good life, it's doing what we are called to do. Only by doing God's will can God mold us into saints. And not just through collective piety but also individual discernments.
If I keep writing, I'll just end up repeating myself, I think. I just wanted to clarify what I meant by the word sainthood. That to me and many others it's more than just simply a call to holiness but rather it is the fruit of life-time of seeking holiness. N'est pas?