VATICAN CITY, APRIL 13, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Being a saint really is not all that complicated, according to Benedict XVI, who today offered a simple three-step recipe: Go to Mass on Sunday, begin and end the day in contact with God, and make decisions according to the Ten Commandments.
The Pope offered this simple guide today during the general audience, as he concluded his two-year series of catecheses on saints and doctors of the Church.
Citing Scripture and the Second Vatican Council, the Holy Father tried to present what is “the most essential” for reaching sanctity.
He said: “What is the most essential? Essential is that no Sunday be left without an encounter with the Risen Christ in the Eucharist — this is not a burden but light for the whole week. Never to begin or end a day without at least a brief contact with God. And, in the journey of our life, to follow ‘road signs’ that God has communicated to us in the Decalogue read with Christ, which is simply the definition of charity in specific situations.
“I think this is the true simplicity and grandeur of the life of holiness: the encounter with the Risen One on Sunday; contact with God at the beginning and end of the day; in decisions, to follow the ‘road signs’ that God has communicated to us, which are simply forms of charity. […] This is true simplicity, grandeur and profundity of the Christian life, of being saints.”
Everyone is called to holiness, the Pope affirmed.
“How can we journey on the path of holiness, how can we respond to this call? Can I do so with my own strength?” he asked. “The answer is clear: A holy life is not primarily the fruit of our own effort, of our actions, because it is God, the thrice Holy, who makes us saints, and the action of the Holy Spirit who encourages us from within; it is the life itself of the Risen Christ, which has been communicated to us and which transforms us.”
The Bishop of Rome proposed more questions: “Can we, with our limitations, our weakness, reach so high?”
He recalled the line-up of saints presented by the Church in the liturgical year — from every period of Church history, belonging to every age and state of life: “the concrete faces of all peoples, languages and nations. And they are very different among themselves.”
And the Pope pointed to other “saints,” who are also “road signs”: “the simple saints, that is, the good persons that I see in my life, who will never be canonized. They are ordinary people, to say it somehow, without a visible heroism, but in their everyday goodness I see the truth of the faith. This goodness, which they have matured in the faith of the Church, is for me a sure defense of Christianity and the sign of where the truth is.”
It is the communion with saints, canonized or not, that enables cultivating a “firm hope of being able to imitate their way and share one day the same blessed life, eternal life,” he reflected.
The Holy Father concluded with an invitation to be open to holiness.
He said: “I would like to invite you to open yourselves to the action of the Holy Spirit, who transforms our life, to be, we also, pieces of the great mosaic of holiness that God is creating in history, so that the Face of Christ will shine in the fullness of its brilliance.
“Let us not be afraid to look on high, to the height of God; let us not be afraid that God will ask too much of us, but let us be guided in all our daily actions by his Word, even if we feel that we are poor, inadequate, sinners: He will be the one to transform us according to his love.”
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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-32316?l=english