01 November 2014

Holiness: As easy as 1, 2, 3

During his Wednesday General Audience on April 13, 2011 the Holy Father Benedict XVI spoke of the saints and of our call to holiness.

After reminding us that holiness is not reserved for only a few chosen men and women, the Pope went on to remind us that holiness "does not consist in carrying out extraordinary enterprises but in being united with Christ, in living his mysteries, in making our own his example, his thoughts, his behavior."

In answer to the question, "How can we take the path to holiness?," Benedict XVI laid out three simple steps - what he called "essential" to union with, and greater conformity to, Christ.

Step 1: Go Mass every Sunday [and holy day of obligation]
The first essential to holiness, he said, "means never leaving a Sunday without an encounter with the Risen Christ in the Eucharist; this is not an additional burden but is light for the whole week."
Step 2: Begin and end every day with prayer
The second essential to holiness, he said, "means never beginning and never ending a day without at least a brief contact with God."
Step 3: Make every decision according to the Ten Commandments
The  third essential to holiness, he said, "means following the 'signposts' that God has communicated to us in the Ten Commandments, interpreted with Christ, which are merely the explanation of what love is in specific situations."
What is contained in these three steps, he summarized, "is the true simplicity and greatness of a life of holiness."

If we hold fast to these three essentials throughout the course of lives, we will come to stand in God's holy place and behold the beauty of his face, as Benedict XVI did on September 1, 2006:

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