Called to be saints

painted by Fr. Jan Haen C.Ss.R.

What does it mean to be holy? Do you hear the call to sanctity in your life? On the All Saints Feast, the Church celebrates all the saints: canonized or beatified, and the multitude of those who are in heaven enjoying the beatific vision that are only known to God. The saint is not a superhero, but one who takes seriously the words of Jesus and lives it with fidelity and creativity. This feast invites us to reflect on how we realize our baptismal vocation.

St. Alphonsus Liguori was convinced that the path of holiness is possible for each Christian. He explains “it is a great mistake, then as some say: God does not want all to be saints. No … God wants all to be saints, and everyone in his state from where he is called; the religious, the secular, the priest, the married, merchants, the soldier, etc.” (Practice of the love of Jesus Christ)

This theme was highlighted by the Second Vatican Council. In its constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium it reads: “It is clear that all Christians, in any state or life commitment, are called to the holiness of the Christian life and to the perfection of love”.

Pope Francis reminded the call to holiness in today’s world in his apostolic exhortation “Gaudete et Exultate”, that issued last year. He writes:

We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves. Are you called to the consecrated life? Be holy by living out your commitment with joy. Are you married? Be holy by loving and caring for your husband or wife, as Christ does for the Church. Do you work for a living? Be holy by labouring with integrity and skill in the service of your brothers and sisters. Are you a parent or a grandparent? Be holy by patiently teaching the little ones how to follow Jesus. Are you in a position of authority? Be holy by working for the common good and renouncing personal gain.

Let the grace of your baptism bear fruit in a path of holiness. Let everything be open to God; turn to him in every situation. Do not be dismayed, for the power of the Holy Spirit enables you to do this, and holiness, in the end, is the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life (cf. Gal 5:22-23). [Gaudete and Exultate, 14-15]

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