All the human beings are called to be saints. Jesus says, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5: 48) there is nothing extraordinary or unusual about being a saint. It is the duty of every human being to be perfect in life and be a faithful child of God. That is why St. Paul addresses the Roman Christians like this, “Toa all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints.” (Romans 1:7)
What is sanctity?
God commanded the Israelites, “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev. 19:2) St. John has given the most beautiful and perfect definition about God by saying, “God is love” (1 John 4:8) Holiness is the perfection of pure love. It is the acme of all virtues. Jesus showed the perfect example of this pure love. The commandments he taught us are nothing but pure love: love of God and love of neighbor. To grow in sanctity, we should love God and others.
How to grow in sanctity?
Sins take us away from God. Human beings are prone to fall into the mire of sins because of the constant temptations of the devil. But by firm determination to be with God in love can protect man from the snares of the devil. Only by abiding in divine grace and practicing true love one can grow in sanctity.
Love is the ladder that takes one to sanctity
It is fitting here to remember the words of Paul to know how love can help one to grow in sanctity. “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable of resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”(1 Cor. 13:4-7) To grow in selfless love, one has to practice humility, patience, honesty, calmness and self-control.
Saint in daily life
Sainthood is not some degree or designation that is attributed to honor some one. But it is the aim and destination of every human life. It is not running away from the worldly life to some monastery of contemplated life. But is is the life that is lived everyday in whatever life is given to us. It is carrying out the daily duties perfectly in the life situations. Mary, the mother of Jesus, has the highest sanctity just by being a perfect housewife in a small family of Nazareth.
Pope’s message that all are called to be saints
Pope Benedict XVI recently pointed out, “All human beings are children of God, and everyone must become what they are, through the exacting journey towards freedom. God invites us all to belong to his holy people. The “Way” is Christ, the Son, the Holy of God: no-one reaches the Father if not through Him.” He also said, “At the very beginnings of Christianity, the members of the church were called ‘the saintly’, indicating the reality and the destiny of all faithful.”
If one keeps the commandments and regulations of his chosen call of life and seek the guidance of God through prayer, he can grow in sanctity. By giving greater values to the Kingdom of God, one can achieve sainthood.
All of us are called to be saints
All of us called to be saints and we must be saints. It is not only must: we can. Because Christ is our surety: God, the All-merciful, would not lay upon us a burden that we cannot carry. He bestows on us the needed power through His Holy Spirit.
Saints, who walked before us, show us the way towards sainthood. They are the stars in front of us. By being faithful to God we can also say with St. Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13) In short, growing in sanctity entails progressing in the love of God and in the love of all.