Life here below is all about the pursuit of sanctity. How does one go about that process, so as to know the greatest measure of fulfillment now, as well as beatitude for all eternity?
Editor’s note: The following homily was preached by the Reverend Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D., on Sunday, November 19, 2017 at the Church of the Holy Innocents, Manhattan.
Life here below is all about the pursuit of sanctity. How does one go about that process, so as to know the greatest measure of fulfillment now, as well as beatitude for all eternity? Saint Teresa of Ávila offered a simple but profound insight: “Trifles make for holiness, but holiness is no trifle.” The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews declared: “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come” (Heb 13:14). That does not mean that we despise this earth; it does mean, however, that we understand that we were made for more.
So, how does one get to “the more,” that is, Heaven? By being a saint on earth. And how does one become a saint? By living a life of holiness. And in what does holiness consist? Let me suggest seven elements.
1. Holiness consists in being childlike. Our Lord Himself asserted – unequivocally – “unless you turn and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 18:3). But, as you have undoubtedly heard many times, being childlike is quite different from being childish. Saint Thérèse, for example, was devoted to the Holy Child Jesus because she found in Him all the qualities to become a saint herself. What is spiritual childhood, you ask?
The pseudo-sophisticates of the two last centuries of blood and violence need to acknowledge that their programs have failed abysmally and that the human capacity for God can only be satisfied when one approaches that God as a child accepts the loving overtures of a father.
2. Holiness consists in having a strong love for the Holy Eucharist.
You cannot point to a single saint in history who did not have a special devotion to the Eucharistic Christ. Let but two serve as representatives of hundreds of others.
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