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Doctrines & Morals
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“What really is Sainthood”? And who deserves to be called a Saint”? Sainthood is wholeness. It is an act of reflecting the image of our Creator and Redeemer; our Lord Jesus Christ. In sainthood, we strive to be like our Creator who excels us in all ways. No evil can be found in Him and no corruption can be traced to Him. Jesus explains what saintly living is even with a command. In Matthew 5:48 He says, “You must be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” and in Leviticus 19:2 He says, “Be holy for I am holy.” Christ said these, so that people will not exclude themselves from attaining sainthood. Christ word also shows that sainthood is an obligation that is commanded by God. In a simple language, a saint is one who is Christ-like. He or She relate with others in a life that is morally clean and without any kind of blame. We are saints when we relate with others without discrimination, without self interest, and without expecting reward. We are saints when we love our neigbours as God loves them. How can one strive for Sainthood? 1. To live one day at a time and making sure that our life tomorrow is better than that of today, and we need to be very close to God through persevering prayers. 2. By also taking it as bounding duty to always grow in virtues, and to do the will of God. 3. Through daily striving towards perfection. We should always strive to be perfect, just like our Heavenly Father. In our world full of social ills, is it still possible to attain Sainthood? And what have you to tell people who believe that Sainthood is unachievable. Why not, it is still possible to attain sainthood even in our contemporary society. Everyone is called to be a saint irrespective of age, status, vocation or religion. I say this because, sainthood is what God expects of us all. He continually gives us the grace to be holy. Without this grace, no one can be holy, but with His grace we are strengthened. There is no other place where you expect sainthood than in the midst of social or other ills. To be a saint is to be separated from evils. Anyone who refused to be corrupted by the surrounding evils is the one who is striving to be a saint. Social ills are therefore the fertile land for attaining sainthood. The life of Jesus Christ also gives us things to support us and to evaluate our strivings. In the Scripture, Christ gave us an example when He said, “You must love God above all things and your neighbour as yourself (Matt 22:36-40).” Therefore, we have no excuse to say that it is impossible to attain sainthood. Some Saints have lived this life and they are also models for us. Saints like, Maria Goretti, Augustine, Philip, Howard, Vladimir, Olga, Cecilia, Gerald and many other saints denied themselves inordinate pleasures of the flesh. Most of them were worse sinners, but when they got converted, they were determined never to return to their sinful ways. They are venerated today by the Church alongside the heavenly hosts. What can you say is the benefit of Saintly living to the Soul? 1. Saintly living radiates joy to our soul. 2. Saintly living prompts the joyful reflection of the image and likeness of God in us. 3. Saintly living increases our taste of pleasing God. 4. Saintly living makes us bold in identifying ourselves with our Creator. 5. Saintly living leads to joyful sacrifices. 6. It spurs joyful and fulfilled service to our neigbours. 7. Finally, Saintly living gives one the hope of been with God for eternity. What role has the Church played towards helping the faithful attain daily Sainthood? The Church has played a great role, and still continually offers us the necessary things needed for attaining sainthood. In our Christian strivings, the mother Church accompanies us from birth to death in two ways. 1. The Church accompanies us through the proclamation of the word of God. 2. And through offering us her various Sacraments. At every step we take in our Christian life, we have the seven sacraments as our spiritual contacts. For example, the Sacrament of Baptism introduces us into the communion of Saints. However, “As the body needs food to grow, so also the Church gives us Holy communion for our spiritual food.” This growth in holiness is made manifest through the Sacrament of Holy-Eucharist. As humans, we are weak in flesh but through the Sacrament of penance, we are strengthened and reconciled with our Creator. We are also cleansed again, as if renewed again in baptism. Nevertheless, in the sacrament of penance, the mercy of God is consistently given to us so that we will not loose hope of the eternal Jerusalem. In the Sacrament of confirmation, we are confirmed again in the faith that we received at baptism and in the Sacrament of penance. And in the Sacrament of confirmation, the Holy-Spirit comes with seven gifts, which empower us to be apostolic men and women in evangelization. As Christians, we are like soldiers in a fierce battle, but we are well equipped with all the ammunitions we need through the anointing that flows through the Sacrament of confirmation. Other Sacraments are also fountain of grace to strengthen us to live the stage of life that we embark upon or the situation we find ourselves until God accompanies us to Heaven. -PASCHAL CHISOM OBI


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