Vocation to holiness: Way of Sanctification


Christians receive the gift of holiness in baptism and, hence, all of us baptized are called to be saints. In preparation for the sacrament of baptism, the catechist explains to us the difference between spiritual gifts (God´s gifts) and any other gift.

God's gifts are not like those gifts we receive from time to time. They are gifts to be lived, not just to be used. The gifts are adapted to each one of us without losing their character and purpose so that the baptized person can make them their own. The vitality of spiritual gifts is such that if they do not adapt to receiving us, we would feel supplanted by an overwhelming force. There have been saints who have felt them in this way: as an inner force or light that reveals our smallness together with the grace received. However, most of us will not feel the gift we have received beyond the joy we share as a family during the celebration of the sacraments. This is because the gift has been fused with us so that we allow ourselves to be shaped by it (like clay in the potter's hands).

Some spirituality teachers present the gifts of God as seeds planted in us. In some this seed will germinate and grow until it becomes visible to all. But in others the seed will not be visible due to the terrain in which it was planted. I emphasize this way of receiving the gifts through the sacraments because their apparent normality can confuse us. Many of us would prefer that the gifts bring about a radical change in us: visible, unquestionable for all. This way of desiring the gifts can affect us negatively and some leave disappointed by the following of Jesus.

The gift of baptismal grace emerges during the sacramental liturgy and will be developed in the following of Jesus. By following the Son we discover the holiness to which the Father calls us. We realize, then, that we do not follow Jesus alone, but as a family: “And reaching out to his disciples, he said, behold my mother and my brothers. For everyone who does the will of my Father who is in heaven, that is my brother, my sister and my mother. ” (Mt 12,49-50)

The members of the Association of the Holy Family follow Jesus forming a family of families. This process is called sanctification. It is a very personal process, but to develop fully you need the guidance, patience, and witness of all family members. It begins with a family celebration, where the members of the Association of the Holy Family consecrate themselves to Jesus, Mary and Joseph.