In his audience earlier this week, Pope Benedict XVI drew attention to different types of holiness , a point echoed by YouCat – The Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church which reminds youngsters of their ultimate calling, to sainthood, or in other words, to Christianity.
Different ways to God
But now he has spoken about the less-celebrated holy people:
“I look also to “simple” saints, those good people I see in my life who will never be canonized, who are normal people, so to speak, without visible heroism, but in whose everyday goodness I see the truth of faith.
“This goodness which has matured them in the faith of the Church is for me the surest defence of Christianity and a sign of where the truth is.”
The vocation of each and every Christian
Pope Benedict went on to speak of the holiness to which each Christian is called:
“Holiness is the fullness of the Christian life, a life in Christ; it consists in our being united to Christ, making our own his thoughts and actions, and conforming our lives to his. As such, it is chiefly the work of the Holy Spirit who is poured forth into our hearts through Baptism.”
Age is no barrier
YouCat echoes the Pope’s words in its question 342:
Are we all supposed to become “saints”?
Yes. The purpose of our life is to be united with God in love and to correspond entirely to God’s wishes. We should allow God “to live his life in us” (Mother Teresa). That is what it means to be holy: a “saint”. [2012–2016, 2028–2029]
Every man asks himself the question: Who am I and why am I here, how do I find myself? Faith answers: Only in holiness does man become that for which God created him. Only in holiness does man find real harmony between himself and his Creator. Holiness, however, is not some sort of self-made perfection; rather, it is union with the incarnate love that is Christ. Anyone who gains new life in this way finds himself and becomes holy.
This is just an example of how the new Catechism beautifully re-words and re-works the teaching of the Church, which – to paraphrase St Augustine – is “Forever ancient and forever new.”
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