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488

Part Three

IV.

C

hristian

H

oliness

2012

“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.”

64

2013

“All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the

fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity.”

65

All are

called to holiness: “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

66

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.

67

2014

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.

2015

The way of perfection passes by way of the Cross. There is

no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle.

68

Spiritual

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.

69

64

Rom

8:28-30.

65

LG

40 § 2.

66

Mt

5:48.

67

LG

40 § 2.

68 Cf.

2 Tim

4.

69 St. Gregory of Nyssa,

Hom. in Cant.

8: PG 44, 941C.

459

915, 2545

825

774

407, 2725

1438