by Jim Paulin
Saints are thought of and rigorously screened for how well they lived their lives in light of “holiness”. They are always deceased when authorities in the church determine this state of sanctification after a good deal of time has passed for evidence to be properly examined. The people declared saints, if asked while alive, would certainly claim no such pronouncement as their legacy and most would admit to being nothing more than feeble servants of the Lord with flawed existences common to all of humanity. What is necessary to become a “saint”?
We are told there are many people that the church believes to be in Heaven who have not been formally declared saints but who are otherwise referred to as saints, since they are believed to be completely perfect in holiness. It is necessary to be perfect to attain heaven but no human is completely perfect based on personal performance. This purity that is required is only acquired through the atonement of sins purchased with the freely offered sacrifice of the blood of Jesus, which was given once for all who accept Him.
The question becomes just who is really holy? Holiness is described as being clean or sinless. With a mere wrongful thought being construed as sinful, there would be hardly a soul who has experienced life in any measure who could claim utter sanctity. Indeed, the word of God says there are none without sin. Yet God still loves us and wants to be united with us so God generously awards halos with every act of true repentance. Gods only Son took our sins upon Himself and became sin to make us perfectly acceptable in heaven and deserving of our own personal halo. Living close to God obviously makes sense to the devoted and although halos are all wonderful, they probably come in sizes.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.