There should be no doubt about this. No ifs or buts.
Sanctification is and should be our main business in this life, our constant concern all throughout. And that’s simply because at the end of the day, at the end of our life, that is what truly matters. Everything else is meant only as a means, an occasion or a reason for pursuing this ultimate goal of ours.
St. Paul said it clearly: “This is the will of God, your sanctification.” (1 Thes 4,3) St. Peter echoed the same sentiment: “Just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written, ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” (1 Pt 1,15-16)
Christ, of course, repeatedly told us about this. “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5,48) And this ideal can be attained, not only after our death, but even now, as we cruise through this vale of tears of ours, because Christ does it with us and for us.
Christ has given us all the means. In fact, he has given us his very own self, because we can only be truly holy when we become entirely “alter Christus” (another Christ), if not “ipse Christus” (Christ himself).
We have to realize that all the situations of our life here on earth, including those that involve our miseries, failures and sin, can be and should be a means and occasion for sanctification if they are referred to Christ. And that’s because Christ precisely would show us how to convert everything into a means of our sanctification.
We need to make this truth of our faith sink deep in our consciousness, so that however our life turns, we still would be on track toward our ultimate goal, and avoid getting unduly entangled and stranded in the drama of our life here on earth.
Right at the start of the day, we should already be clear about what our main business and concern is. And from there, let’s start to make the appropriate plans and strategies, so that all the events of the day, the ups and downs, would work for this purpose.
To be sure, this kind of understanding of the purpose of our life would not take us away from our earthly responsibilities. On the contrary, it would sharpen and purify our interest in them, knowing that these duties and responsibilities are precisely the fulfillment of our duty to attain our ultimate goal.
Especially these days when we see a drifting away from this main concern of our life in the world of business and politics and in practically all the other aspects of temporal affairs, we need to strongly and abidingly inculcate this understanding of the real business of our life in everyone. Let’s hope that we can count on a good number of persons who can spearhead this delicate task and be effective endorsers of this cause.
Let’s remember that it was the original mandate God gave to our first parents to “subdue or dominate the world.” (cfr. Gen 1,28) And that means that we have to sanctify the world, and in so doing, we also sanctify ourselves and others. We should not be afraid of the world. Rather we need to conquer the world for God!
Let’s hope that at the end of each day, we can truly say that we have been doing nothing other than sanctifying ourselves by sanctifying the things of the world.*