See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Monday, May 04, 2009

Making saints.

Heroic virtue.
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All Catholics are called to sanctity at Baptism - which means all of us, no matter our state in life, are called to be saints, as Christ said, "Be holy as your Heavenly Father is holy" (Matthew 5:48). Our holiness is the holiness of the Holy Trinity dwelling within us. For a person's holiness to be recognized by the Church, the person's cooperation with grace needs to have been demonstrated by heroic virtue.
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Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
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During remarks at an event marking the 800th anniversary of the Franciscan order at the Antonianum Pontifical University, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, Archbishop Angelo Amato, explained the essence of holiness and what it means when the Vatican recognizes a person's virtues as heroic.
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After recalling that the “original source of the holiness of the Church and in the Church is this Triune God,” Archbishop Amato explained what the Church is declaring when it recognizes a Servant of God's heroic virtue. Receving this recognition is one of the most important steps in the process of canonization.
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He went on to recall that St. Thomas Aquinas considered “heroic virtue as the extraordinary perfection of the rational part of the soul.” St. Thomas, he said, “explains later the relationship between the gifts of the Holy Spirit and virtue. The gifts are indispensable for the baptized to achieve their supernatural dimension. In this context, he speaks of the heroic or divine habit, which indicates a disposition towards the good that is higher than that which is common. Heroic virtue is the exercise of virtue in the eminent degree.” Afterwards, the archbishop said, “In heroic virtue the moral level that is present is above the moral level present in almost all men. - Source
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Helps and guides on the road to sanctity.
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Let me explain something here. This is what the organization Courage is all about. Similar to a third order, or possibly a pious confraternity, Courage offers men and women seeking to live a chaste and celibate life in accord with the Gospel and Catholic moral teaching, an opportunity for support and direction towards realizing their primary vocation, the call to be holy. Within that context, one is helped to practice the virtues to a heroic degree. Not all are called to Courage, but all are called to live chastely according to their state in life, guided by the commandments and the teaching of the Church. Courage helps a man or woman struggling with vice to avoid false teachings and erroneous doctrines.
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“In heroic virtue, Christ becomes visible again in our midst and the saint becomes the mirror of Christ. The saints, moreover, are true operators of the enculturation of the Gospel, not through theories elaborated at a desk, but rather by living and manifesting the sequela Christi (the following of Christ) in their own culture.” - Source
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For more information on Courage click here: http://couragerc.net/
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Art: Ven. Matt Talbot. (Source) Matt Talbot exemplified the heroic virtue of temperance. He practiced the Christian life more or less as a solitary, although he was a member of the third order of St. Francis. The spiritual combat Talbot engaged in was associated with alcoholism, which in his case demanded the renunciation of the behavior, as well as a change in lifestyle.

5 comments:

  1. The image is from a holy card, I do not know who made it.

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  2. "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." - Chapter 5, What's Wrong With The World, 1910 Chesterton

    The road is narrow for all of us and very rocky.

    The Church is Our Mother, leading us home.

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  3. Matt fought and won!

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  4. LeoRufus2:38 PM

    I was going to share with you about the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart of which I am a member and of whom have a patronage with Ven. Matt Talbot. I owe much in my life to his intercession - he is an inspiration for us all.

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  5. Thanks Leo - I'll check it out. I found the image as I searched Google images.

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