Called to be SAINTS and SANCTIFIERS
What the Vocationist is Called for
“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your father in heaven is perfect” (Mt 5:48), are the words with which concludes Jesus the first chapter of his magna carta of how a Christian should live his faith. In fact, these words of Jesus are an invitation to each and every one of us to be perfect that is to be holy as our heavenly father is Holy. St. Paul starting his epistle to the Romans says of those in Rome, “beloved of God, called to be saints” (Rom 1:7). This makes us more clear how God almighty has called us to be saints when he gave us life and faith. St. Paul reminds us that we are “loved by God.” It is a reality that consoles us, it dignifies us and it sustains us. The Lord loves us as we are, with all of our limitations and our faults. He does not wait that we convert first so that he may later love us. He loves us even before our conversion. Our acceptance and our correspondence to his love prepare us and make us able to become holy and perfect as he is. The church teaches and invites each man to become holy to make visible on earth the image of God since He created man in his image and likeness. In fact we read in the Catechism of the Catholic Church; “The vocation of mankind is to make visible image of God and to be transformed into the image of the only begotten Son of the Father. Such a vocation takes a personal form, since everyone is called to enter the divine beatitude; but it is also a vocation of the human community in its totality” (1877). Blessed Fr. Justin believed years before the CCC was written that each man is called to holiness and he made reality the Vocationist Congregation to promote the Divine Union of each and every man on the earth. With the blessed Fr. Founder the Congregation firmly believes in the vocation to holiness. We believe that the vocation to holiness is the vocation of all vocations. It is a personal vocation, but also a community vocation. I must be holy as an individual; we - all together must be holy as community. In the articles 2,3,4 of the Constitutions we read: “The ultimate goal of the Society of Divine Vocations is to direct and lead all its members, and through them, all people to perfect Union with the Divine Persons. In order to achieve divine union, it works for universal sanctification ... it considers the whole world to be a great sanctuary”. In the preface of the reviewed constitution of 1970 we read: “The Society of Divine Vocations is established for the cult, the service and apostolate of the vocations of God to faith, to priesthood and to holiness; the Society of Divine Vocations wants to achieve in each member the goal of each vocation: the divine union with the Holy Trinity”. In fact as we have already said, according to our present Constitution, our final goal is to direct and bring all members of our Congregation and through them all souls to the perfect union with the Divine Persons. This conscience of initial holiness sustains and encourages us. To reach true holiness one must eradicate every sin and vice in me and to enrich oneself of every Christian virtue. Where virtue is sowed and cultivated, automatically the vice is suffocated. So we have to be free from thinking that we must first eliminate our faults and only after that grow in the holiness. The journey toward holiness demands from each one of us efforts of a long and ascensional journey. It is a journey that requires constant effort on our part, but also the humility to let ourselves be guided by the one who takes us by hand. We accept with humility and gratitude the grace of God that operates in us and generously undertake to cooperate with the same grace so that it may grow and bear fruit in us. We cannot consider the whole world as a great sanctuary of God without having a real veneration for every creature. To be saints and sanctifiers we have to excel and to preach holiness starting with good manners, with politeness, opening ourselves to others. As Vocationist we cannot become saints alone. Either we will sanctify ourselves with many others, or we will lose ourselves with many others! So we have to be holy and reach divine union first in order to bring the whole world to this holiness and divine union so that we will really become sanctifiers and fulfill the will of our Father Founder Bl. Justin Maria Russolillo.