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"Holiness is not the luxury of a few. It is everyone's duty: yours and mine."  ~Mother Teresa

Called to be Saints

 

"HOW CAN I BECOME A TRUE DISCIPLE OF CHRIST?"

This is a question that every Christian should be asking in the depths of the heart.

We may have been "good Catholics", all our lives and never have pondered the deep meaning of the Holy Scriptures like "Be still and know that I am God" (Ps 46: 10), or "Be holy for I am holy" (Lv 19: 2), or "You must be made perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5: 48).

Over the ages there have been many movements in the Church which were designed to help rank-and-file Church members to grow in holiness, and one of the more modern of those movements is the one which follows the way of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. It is called "THE LAY MISSIONARIES OF CHARITY", or "LMC" for short.

The point is simple enough: we are ALL called to be saints! (The English word "saint" is taken directly from the French word for "holy" which, in term, comes from the Latin word for "holy" – "Sanctus").

"Holy", linguistically speaking, simply means "different, transcendent, set apart, beyond the causes and estimation of this world" (cf. Fr. Benedict Groeschel "Healing the Original Wound"). Etymologically it means "whole" or "healthy", which is also a good way to think about being holy. But Fr. Benedict's phrase says it very well: GOD is the One who is wholly "Other" and He calls all His children to be like Him, "...made in the image and likeness of God".

Jesus was "different" and He wants His disciples to be as Himself, "set apart" from the materialistic thinking of the society.

This thought, taken out of the context, could lead people to mere humanistic philanthropy, (or even snobbishness) but Jesus gives us the additional motivation of doing it for and to HIM when He says: "As often as you do it to one of the least of my brethren YOU DO IT TO ME" (Mt 25: 40).

Mother Teresa has lived out those words in her life, and, without her seeking it, has won the world's admiration. Some people who admired her work and who saw her as a role model sought spiritual direction from Fr. Sebastian, a Missionary of Charity priest stationed in Rome. From their prayer and contemplation came the formation of the group now known as the Lay Missionaries of Charity.