His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI
initiated the “Year of Faith” October 11, 2012 which terminates on Nov.24, 2013
on the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King of the Universe.
His Holiness encouraged us to get to
know Jesus as Friend, but also to make Him known throughout the whole world.
From Baptism we are anointed as
prophets to proclaim the Word of God by word and action. In Confirmation the
Bishop said to those confirmed: “You are called to defend the faith and to
spread the faith.”
Jesus’ last words in the Gospel of Mt
28:16-20 were to go out to the whole
world and teach all nations… All
baptized are called to be prophets, missionaries and evangelizers!
However as a prerequisite, Pope
Benedict insisted upon our getting to know our faith better. For that reason,
the Pope Emeritus insisted on studying key documents to bolster the knowledge
of our faith.
In concrete Pope Benedict mentioned
two key sources which must be the Magna Carta and foundation for
Catholic-Christians who live in the 21st century. These are the
Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Vatican II Documents.
With respect to the Vatican II
Documents there are four key documents and these are called “Dogmatic
Constitutions”. They are Dei Verbum
(D.V.), Sacrosanctum Concilium (S.C.)
and the last two refer to the Church (Gaudiem Spes. (G.S) and Lumen Gentium
So as to really penetrate the mind of
the church in the modern world, it is incumbent upon us to get to know these
two spiritual masterpieces which are indeed a goldmine of knowledge for us.
Chapter V of Lumen Gentium indeed is
a masterpiece. This chapter is a vital challenge for all of us--- “The
Universal Call to holiness”.
It means this: we are all called to become saints! Not some of us, but
all of us are called to become saints; it is not partial but universal! We were created by a loving and holy God for
one purpose--- to be holy in this life, to die in the state of
holiness(sanctifying grace) so as to be united with a three-times holy God in heaven
for all eternity!
Biblical verses are not lacking in
this challenge to pursue holiness of life and to really become the saint that
God calls me to be!
Jesus issued an imperious command:
“Be holy as your heavenly Father is holy.” (Mt. 5:48)This is not the
conditional tense; on the contrary, this is an imperative which means that this
is a Divine order! There is no “buts” about it. The Lord commands it with stark
One of the Beatitudes Jesus also
states: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice (holiness), they
will be satisfied.”(Mt 5:6) Our hunger
and thirst for holiness should go beyond our hunger and thirst for physical
food and drink. Why? The welfare and sanctification of our soul supersedes the
welfare of the body.
Jesus also challenges us in our
pursuit for holiness with these bold words: “What would it profit a man if he
were to gain the whole world and lose his soul in the process? What can a man
give in exchange for his soul?”(Mk. 8:31/Mt. 16:18)
Saint Paul in the letter to the Thessalonians
reiterates Jesus’ call to holiness with these words: “This is the will of your heavenly Father--
your sanctification.”(I Thes. 4:3)
Blessed Mother Teresa always insisted
on pursuing holiness. One of the primary conditions she had for receiving a
possible “Missionary of Charity” nun was their clear desire to become a
saint. Mother Teresa asserted: “Holiness is not the privilege of the few,
but it is the duty of all.”
The case is clear, there is no
alternative: we must all seriously pursue the pathway that leads to holiness
and long to become the saint that from all eternity God has called us to
be! The next obvious question is if I
have to become a saint, then how and what steps must a take to arrive at that
There are many practices that we
could undertake to place us on the highway to holiness. However, I would like
to mention only one which I sincerely believe is the quickest way to holiness;
let us call it the shortcut!
HOLY MASS, HOLY EUCHARIST, HOLY
Jesus Christ is the example for us to
follow. He stated clearly: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Jesus is
indeed the “Holy of Holies”. Jesus is God, the Second Person of the Most Blessed
Jesus is the source and means by
which we receive all holiness. Before ascending to Heaven Jesus promised that
he would be with us always even until the end of the world. Jesus is present in
His Church and most specifically in His Sacraments. The greatest of all the
Sacraments is the Most Holy Eucharist--- the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of
THE PRACTICE! If you are not going to daily Mass and Holy
Communion, decide to right now—all the days that your schedule permits!
Next, prepare yourself better. The
Parish priest usually has a specific intention for the person that has asked
for the Mass-- a living person or it could be the deceased. However, this does
not mean that you cannot offer your own private intentions when you assist at
THREE POSSIBLE INTENTIONS. Offer your
Mass and Holy Communion for somebody that has died that if he is in Purgatory that
he will be taken to heaven. Next, pray for someone you know and love who has
either left the Church, is angry at God or has even lost the faith. Pray for
his conversion! Finally, pray for yourself that through a fervent reception of
Holy Communion you would receive from Jesus a “Spiritual Heart-transplant”.
It is true that we receive the Body
of Jesus in Holy Communion. That means that we receive the most noble organ---
His Most Sacred Heart. The logical conclusion is that we actually receive a
Indeed, if we receive Jesus with
greater frequency, greater faith, and greater fervor (fire of love), then
without a doubt we will grow in holiness and definitely be on the Highway to
Today more than ever the world needs
saints. That is what you are called to be right now!
May Our Lady, Queen of the angels and
saints, inspire us and motivate us by her prayers and example to become exactly
that which God had planned for us from all eternity!