HOLINESS BY POPE PAUL VI (1969) AND POPE FRANCIS (2018)1

French

POPE PAUL VI
What does it mean “to be a saint”?

It is the irradiation of Christ that we identify in it; it is the only light of our religious world that we celebrate on presenting to the veneration of the Church a life in which that light is reflected and shines forth.

And this religious perfection is above all the love that comes to us from God and that is transmitted to us.

Love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 5:5)

The proven miracle is a sign of holiness but does not constitute its essence.

TODAY, holiness is preferably studied in its community and social aspect, that is, the aspect regarding the beneficial influence that a Saint spreads around him or her, its fruits.  This aspect is also evident in Blessed Julie Billiart, whom the Church today recognizes the legitimate right to be called Saint.

POPE FRANCIS

#21 The Father’s plan is Christ, and ourselves in him.

The measure of our holiness stems from the stature that Christ achieves in us, to the extent that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we model our whole life on his.”

#21 It is Christ who loves in us, for “holiness is nothing other than charity lived to the full.”

#33 To the extent that each Christian grows in holiness, he or she will bear greater fruit for our world.  “We are being called in the spirit of the New Evangelization to be evangelized and to evangelize through the empowering of all of you, the baptized, to take up your roles as salt of the earth and light of the world wherever you find yourselves.”

The new Saint is placed in the “communion of saints” who represent the Church. The relationship is threefold:

1. The Cult                                2. Intercession                                  3. Imitation

According to the proclamation of Pope Paul VI at the time of Julie’s canonization

1. Cult: we must recognize and honor God in his works. What work is nobler and greater than a holy soul?

2. Intercession: are not the Saints our brothers, our friends, our protectors? Does there not remain, perhaps, a link, more operating than ever, between the glorious Church in heaven and the pilgrim Church on earth? Does there not exist between the two Churches a circulation of charity that takes our invocation up to the Saints, our interpreters to divine Goodness?

3. Imitation: What would be the good of celebrating the Saints if we did not try to follow their example? Is it not they who encourage us to attempt great things, by showing in themselves the possibility of the actual practice of Christian virtues?

There is no doubt that the elevation of their Foundress to the honors of the altars will offer all the daughters of this saintly mother, and all the many votaries of Julie Billiart and the whole Church, an opportunity to study again the humble and great story of her life. They will all wish to meditate on the different aspects of her biography, each of which gives a glimpse of a patience, meekness, inwardness in action, and always, as if innate, this aspiration to the apostolate, love of the Church in the midst of so many ordeals and bitter experiences, assiduity in prayer, devotion to the Blessed Virgin, the art of making herself loved and obeyed, the talent of organizing, etc. You who are her daughters in Christ know the simple and admirable story of your Saint, and beneath the dim light of its common events, you are able to discover that evangelical light that brings her so near to our feelings and makes us listen so joyfully to her affable conversation, as modest as it is wise, with, its conclusion, “How good God is!”

If, in the midst of all the rays of saintliness forming a halo round the new Saint, we had to choose one as worthy of being projected onto your religious families in order to qualify their spirit and program forever, and which seems to have been congenital in her from the first years of her life, [it would be] the religious instruction and Christian education of girls, particularly poor girls.

You, at least, continue your wise mission of teaching the authentic faith of Christ, the faith that the Catholic Church teaches and defends. Help the young to enjoy the riches of religious truth. Show them how faith, in its very mystery, contains light….

According to Pope Francis in Rejoice and Be Glad (Gaudete
et Exsultate)

Our cult pleases God when we apply the will to live with generosity and when we let the gift received from God translate into the gift of ourselves to our brothers and sisters.

#9 Holiness is the most attractive face of the Church.

#3 & #4 It invites us to realize that “a great cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1) impels us to advance constantly toward the goal.

The saints now in God’s presence preserve their bonds of love and communion with us.

Each of us can say: “Surrounded, led and guided by the friends of God…I do not have to carry alone what, in truth, I could never carry alone.  All the saints of God are there to protect me, to sustain me and to carry me”!

#11 “Each in his or her own way” the Council says.”  We should not grow discouraged before examples of holiness that appear unattainable.  There are some testimonies that may prove helpful and inspiring, but that we are not meant to copy, for that could even lead us astray from the one specific path that the Lord has in mind for us.  The important thing is that each believer discern his or her own path, that they bring out the very best of themselves, the most personal gifts that God has placed in their hearts (cf. 1 Cor. 12:7) rather than hopelessly trying to imitate something not meant for them.  We are all called to be witnesses, but there are many actual ways of bearing witness….  For God’s life is communicated “to some in one way and to others in another.”

#12 Within the various forms, I would stress too that the “genius of woman” is seen in feminine styles of holiness, which are an essential means of reflecting God’s holiness in this world.  Indeed, in times when women tended to be most ignored or overlooked, the Holy Spirit raised up saints whose attractiveness produced spiritual vigor and important reforms in the Church

#109 The powerful witness of the saints is revealed in their lives shaped by the Beatitudes and the criterion of the final judgment (Matt. 25) Jesus’ words are few and straightforward, yet practical and valid for everyone, for Christianity is meant above all to be put into practice.  It can also be an object of study and reflection, but only to help us better live the Gospel in our daily lives.

#145 A community that cherishes the little details of love, whose members care for one another and create an open and evangelizing environment, is a place where the risen Lord is present, sanctifying it in accordance with the Father’s plan.  There are times when, by a gift of the Lord’s love, we are granted, amid these little details, consoling experiences of God.

 

50 Années de Sainteté

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