04/13/2011, 00.00
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Pope: Do not be afraid to seek holiness, "beautiful and simple," to which we are all called

At the general audience, concluding the series of catechesis dedicated to the figures of great saints, Benedict XVI offers a few thoughts on holiness, "the virtue of charity, lived to its fullest." "Never let a Sunday pass without the encountering Christ," "does not begin or end a day without a brief contact with God." "Follow those signs on the road that God has given us in our daily decisions," consistently applied "abnegation of self and active service for our neighbours in exercising every virtue."


Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Do not be afraid" to search for Christian holiness, which is "beautiful and simple," do not be afraid to "aim high, or that God asks too much of us, but let yourself be guided by Him, even if we feel inadequate, He will transform us according to His love "in that holiness, to which "we are all called".  This was the appeal that Benedict XVI today addressed to all the faithful at the end of the series of reflections in which he described the lives of holy men and women who belong to "all periods of Church history and all of the Worlds geographical latitudes" who "for all ages and every state of life, are the concrete faces of every people, language and nation".

Addressing the 15 thousand people present today in St. Peter's Square for the general audience, the Pope described holiness as the "virtue of charity experienced in its fullness," and the goal from which  "no one is excluded”,

"Often - he explained - we tend to think that holiness is for the chosen few", but, as Saint Paul says, "the whole of Christian existence knows one supreme law," which he expressed in a formula that occurs in all his writings: " in Jesus Christ. Holiness, the fullness of Christian life consists not in doing extraordinary feats, but uniting oneself to Christ, to live in his mysteries, in making his attitudes, his thoughts, his behaviour ours. The measure of holiness is given by the height that Christ reaches in us, how, with the power of the Holy Spirit, we model our life on his own. And 'being conformed to Jesus. "

But how can we walk the path of holiness? "Can I do so on my own strength? The answer is clear: a holy life is not primarily the result of our efforts, our actions, "because" it is God who makes us holy. " Recalling the Second Vatican Council, Pope Benedict XVI said that Christians are "called by God not according to their works, but according to his grace and justified in the Lord Jesus in baptism of faith they truly become sons of God." Holiness, therefore, "has its ultimate root in the grace of baptism, being grafted into the paschal mystery of Christ, with which his Spirit is communicated to us, his life as the Risen Lord."

"But God always respects our freedom and demands that we accept this gift and the requirements it involves, He asks us to be transformed by the action of the Holy Spirit, conforming our will to the will of God."

To achieve this goal we must "never let a Sunday pass without ever encountering Christ," which "is not an additional burden but the one thing that gives light to our entire week”, we must “never begin or end a day without a brief contact with God". “Follow those signs on the road that God has given us in our daily decisions," consistently applied "abnegation of self and active service for our neighbours in exercising every virtue."

"In my life of faith," confided the Pope, "there are many saints," but not all of the guides on my path are great saints "and 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 their every day goodness of I see the truth of faith. This goodness which has matured them in the faith of the Church for me is the surest defence of Christianity and a sign of where the truth is. In the communion of saints, canonized and non-canonized, that the Church lives through Christ in all members of the heavens and the earth, we enjoy their presence and their company and nurture the firm hope of being able to imitate their way and one day share the same blessed life, eternal life. "

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