Tuesday, November 1, 2011

“The saints are the sinners who keep on going”

"People who are born even-tempered, placid and untroubled -- secure from violent passions or temptations to evil -- those who have never needed to struggle all night with the Angel to emerge lame but victorious at dawn, never become great saints."

Gospel text (Mt 5,1-12a):
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven."

Some of the most important questions in life are: "Will I go to heaven, and see Jesus face to face?" (see 1 Jn 3:2) "Will I be at the everlasting family reunion in heaven?" "How do I become holy and go to heaven with all the holy ones?"

The Church teaches that we become holy by living the Beatitudes. This comes as quite a shock because it is humanly impossible to live the Beatitudes. However, the Holy Spirit will show us how to do the impossible. The Holy Spirit has taught us through Pope John Paul II that to live the Beatitudes we must make a sincere reappraisal of our lifestyle with a view to living more austerely and in solidarity with the poor of the world (Mission of the Redeemer, 59-60). Pope John Paul II taught: "In a word, we can say that the cultural change which we are calling for demands from everyone the courage to adopt a new lifestyle, consisting in making practical choices — at the personal, social, and international level" (The Gospel of Life, 98).

The Pope also taught and prophesied in the Holy Spirit that we can begin to reappraise our lifestyle and adopt a new one by praying and fasting (The Gospel of Life, 100). Through the Pope, the Holy Spirit has given us a detailed process by which we can accept God's grace to live the Beatitudes, grow in holiness, and become the saints God created us to be.

Yet, the call to become saints is not limited to the extraordinary individuals cannonized by the Catholic Church . You and I are called to be saints; we, too, are saints in the making. The secret of our movement toward that goal is the secret of the saints—union with Jesus. To what degree can I say everything about me and my life is for him, with him and from him? We ask the intercession of the saints today to give us the desire to live and walk more and more each day in union with Jesus, the Lamb of God.

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