“We know that in everything God works for good with
those who love him . . . For those whom he foreknew he also
predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that
he might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom
he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also
justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
“All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the
fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity.”
called to holiness: “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the
strength dealt out to them by Christ’s gift, so that . . . doing
the will of the Father in everything, they may wholeheart
edly devote themselves to the glory of God and to the service
of their neighbor. Thus the holiness of the People of Godwill
grow in fruitful abundance, as is clearly shown in the history
of the Church through the lives of so many saints.
Spiritual progress tends toward ever more intimate union
with Christ. This union is called “mystical” because it participates
in the mystery of Christ through the sacraments—“the holy mys
teries”—and, in him, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God calls
us all to this intimate union with him, even if the special graces or
extraordinary signs of this mystical life are granted only to some
for the sake of manifesting the gratuitous gift given to all.
The way of perfection passes by way of the Cross. There is
no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle.
progress entails the ascesis and mortification that gradually lead
to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes:
He who climbs never stops going from beginning to begin
ning, through beginnings that have no end. He never stops
desiring what he already knows.
40 § 2.
40 § 2.
69 St. Gregory of Nyssa,
Hom. in Cant.
8: PG 44, 941C.