The Lord Jesus, the divine Teacher and Model of all perfection, preached holiness of life to each and everyone of His disciples of every condition. He Himself stands as the author and consummator of this holiness of life: “Be you therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect”. Lumen Gentium (Vatican II)
To be a Christian is to be more than a mere follower. We are called to imitate Jesus, our savior, who suffered and died out of great love for fallen man. It seems impossible for we are, indeed, weak vessels. But with God’s grace all things are possible.
We are all called to be saints. To be a saint does not always mean doing great heroic acts or becoming a martyr. St. Therese of Lisieux defined a saint as one who does ordinary things in extraordinary ways with great love.
This is a call to greatness of soul. Blessed Mother Teresa said, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” In other words, when we strive to be faithful to God in the small trials we build up our spiritual muscles. We grow in human virtue.
Virtue is doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way for the right reasons.
It is not easy, and it is not possible without God. Still we are called to holiness, called to be saints, called to greatness:
Striving for greatness is at the heart of a virtue called “magnanimity,” which means “greatness of soul.” This is the virtue by which man pursues what is great and honorable in his life, even if it is difficult. St. Thomas Aquinas describes it as a “stretching forth of the mind to great things.”1 The magnanimous person seeks to do great acts, “things as are deserving of honor.
Read the whole thing at the Catholic Education Resource Center.
Very nice article, Susan. It’s the smile in the elevator, or holding the door for someone else, that can sometimes change a person’s entire day around. Thanks for reminding me that it is our every day actions that convert others.