The call to holiness
The primary vocation of all God’s people is to holiness of life. This call is rooted in our baptism by which we become sons and daughters of the Father, we enter into the mystery of Christ’s dying and rising again, and we become the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.
He chose us in Christ before the world was made to be holy and faultless before him in love.
We have only to consider the saints whose memory we celebrate in the course of the Church’s year to see that there are many paths to holiness of life. What will your path be?
Chapter V of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, discusses the Universal Call to Holiness, and sets out its essential elements:
…all the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status, are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity; …They must follow in His footsteps and conform themselves to His image seeking the will of the Father in all things. They must devote themselves with all their being to the glory of God and the service of their neighbour.
Note that we are all called to:
- live a full Christian life
- be loving people
- follow Christ and imitate him
- seek the Father’s will in everything
- do all for the glory of God
- serve others wholeheartedly
Ponder each of the above bullet points, trying to discover for yourself all that it might mean.
Write down your answers, however incomplete or inadequate they may seem to you to be.
Days 1 – 6. Each day take one of the six bullet points above and ask yourself: How do I follow that call in the present circumstances of my life? (N.B. Holiness is in the small details of daily life, e.g. praying each day, attending at least Sunday Mass, reading about your faith, taking seriously the responsibilities of study, work, family life, etc.) Are there any adjustments I need to make in my life in order to follow my Christian vocation more faithfully?
Day 7. Do you have a favourite saint? What is it about him/her that attracts or inspires you?
Matt. 5: 1-10 Use this passage every day this week, reading it over again, pausing whenever a phrase or word holds your attention. You may find that different aspects become meaningful for you as the days pass, or the same word or phrase may remain significant for you.
(If you are unfamiliar with the practice of Lectio Divina, praying with scripture, you will find this site helpful: http://ocarm.org/en/content/lectio/what-lectio-divina)
Find out all you can about your favourite saint and ask him/her to help you to follow your own path of holiness.
Father in Heaven, you have blessed us with many gifts.
You chose us before the world began,
To be your adopted sons and daughters,
And to live through love in your presence.
Give us wisdom and insight to know your purpose;
Give us courage to follow where your Spirit leads us,
Give us generosity to serve you in our brothers and sisters.
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord.
—Based on Ephesians 1:3 ff.