As a part of our Christian faith, we are called to holiness. However, to strive for holiness does not necessarily mean doing heroic things, but rather uniting ourselves with Christ through our daily works, joys and sufferings. Catholic lay people may mistakenly believe that only a few priests or nuns are called to be holy. But as members of the Church through our baptism, we are indeed all called to holiness.
In Chapter V of Lumen Gentium, the Second Vatican Council begins by reminding all that through Christ’s total giving of himself and his sending of the Holy Spirit, the Church and all of its members are called to holiness. Sainthood – living holy lives – is not meant to be sought by only a few. Through baptism, all are meant to strive to live as saints. Indeed, because we are members of the Church through baptism, all “receive and thereby share in the common vocation to holiness” (John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, 16).
We Christians should not relegate our faith to Sunday worship but rather live our lives united to Christ’s mission. Certainly, all are called to work in the Lord’s vineyards. Pope Saint John Paul II cautions Christians that two temptations exist. First, the temptation to be so involved with Church tasks causes some to “fail to become actively engaged in their responsibilities in the professional, social, cultural and political world”(John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, 2). Secondly, others are tempted to separate faith from life. Instead, Christians must live their faith every day in all places while fulfilling their secular duties.
Everyday I strive to be holy, and everyday I fail at holiness. But I also succeed. Truly, how can we not attempt each day to live holy lives? To be holy means to be saintly. To be saintly means to be one day in heaven.
Photo: Blue Candles