"Sanctity lies at the very heart of the ecclesial mystery; it is the vocation to which we are all called. Saints are not some exterior ornamentation of the Church; rather, they are like the flowers of a tree which testify to the endless vitality of the lymph flowing through it. It is good to see the Church like this, in ascension towards the fullness of the 'Vir perfectus'; in continual, demanding, progressive maturation; dynamically driven towards complete fulfilment in Christ."
Spiritual Life: January 2011 Archives
Today the Pontifical Ethiopian College enjoyed time with Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of Saint Justin de Jacobis (1800-1860), patron of the College. The Ethiopian College prepares men for priestly service in their home country. Part of the Pope's address was devoted to holiness. On holiness the Pope said:
Here is a minute's worth of a video clip on the event. These are the same points the Pope has made to the rest of the Church since he ascended to the papacy and it is the very theme that Father Julián Carrón has called those of us who follow Communion and Liberation to heed.
Time magazine asks an excellent question, don't you think? I do. The only answer I am muster to give is: because it is the right thing to do AND our Savior forgave his killers. Therefore, we ought to do the same.
BUT, if you are ashamed to forgive and to receive forgiveness, you must be convinced that Jesus Christ is blowing smoke or not real. The 4th century Persian bishop, Aphrahat said as much in his treatise On Penitents where he taught that a Christian in the state of sin should seek sacramental forgiveness as the Church taught. Aphrahat decapitates the sin of presumption and pride when he says,
... the man wounded by Satan should not be ashamed to confess his, and leave it behind, and beg for the medicine of penance. For gangrene comes if a man is ashamed to show his wound, and then the whole is harmed. Whoever is not ashamed has his wound healed, and goes back to battle again; but if gangrene comes, he cannot be healed, and he cannot take up his arms again.
So, why forgive? Because if one doesn't forgive the sins of another, how will you face your own humanity and the Savior face-to-face?
Aphrahat, On Penitents 2-3 (Demonstrations 7), adapted translation by Frank H. Hallock, Journal of the Society of Oriental Research 16 (1932), pp. 43-56.
In a previous blog post on the Father David Toups, pastor of a Florida parish the author drew our attention to a young but accomplished priest who was doing his best to live the vocation he was given. As a secular priest he's pastoring souls to Jesus by encouraging them to lead lives of holiness. And remember, holiness is not reserved to a few; it is however, open and "achievable" by all. So the question becomes: How do I work on becoming holy?
Father Toups offers the following: