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Some signs of holiness

If we live by our Christian faith, we know that holiness is the ultimate and constant purpose of our life. It is what we should pursue and achieve consistently and unrelentingly in anything that we do—from our thoughts and intentions, to our words and deeds, from their most intimate and personal level to their most global dimensions.

St. Paul expressed it clearly when he said, “God’s will is for you to be holy.” (1 Thes 4,3) And Christ himself said, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5,48)

We have to understand then that for us to be holy, we have to be united and identified with God, who revealed himself to us in Christ. He makes himself available and accessible to us through the many instrumentalities in the Church that was established by Christ himself. These instrumentalities can be the sacraments, doctrine as summarized in the Catechism, the different spiritualities and charisms in the Church, etc.

With these instrumentalities, we would be able to convert everything in our life as an occasion and motive to pursue and achieve holiness even while we are still journeying on earth toward our definitive home in heaven.

Let us see to it that our work, for example, should have as its main purpose the achievement of holiness, and not just the fulfillment of some technical requirements and the attainment of some worldly goals, no matter how legitimate they are. Remember Christ saying, “What does it a profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul.” (Mk 8,36)

We should see to it that the Christ-and-Church provided instrumentalities lead us to have a living encounter with Christ, something that can happen only when we activate our faith, hope and charity through a functioning life of piety.

This life of piety, of course, is nourished and maintained when we learn to pray and to have recourse to the sacraments, to undergo continuing formation, to continually develop virtues and wage a lifelong struggle against our weaknesses, temptations and sins, etc.

That life of piety should give us the awareness that we are always with Christ in all the circumstances of our life. It should make us understand that holiness is not so much a matter of fighting against the negative elements in our life as of growing more and more in love for God and for all souls.

It should lead us to understand that holiness is more a matter of being consistent in our love for God and souls in the little and ordinary things, which comprise the bigger part of our life, than in showing that love in the big and extraordinary events, trials and challenges that come only few and far between in our life.

If we are truly with Christ and thus enjoy a certain degree of holiness, we would know how to handle any situation in our life, be it good or bad according to human standards. There would be a palpable manifestation of the different virtues—humility, patience, hard work, prudence, compassion, mercy.

We would always be driven by the desire to give glory to God in everything that we do. And to be sure, our love for God is always accompanied and expressed in our effective love for others, for everyone, irrespective of who they are and of how they are to us. We would be willing to suffer for others, etc.*

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