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Pope in Santa Marta: We cannot become saints on our own; it is a grace of God

During his Tuesday homily in Casa Santa Marta, the Pope explained that the way to holiness, is not something that can be bought, sold or given away. It is a journey that requires courage, recalled the Pope, and nobody can do it in someone else's place.

POPE FRANCIS

"We cannot achieve holiness on our own. No, it is a grace. Being good, being saintly, going every day a little, a step forward in the Christian life is a grace of God and we have to ask for it. Courage, a journey. A journey one must take with courage, with hope and with the willingness to receive this grace. And hope: the hope of the journey.�

Pope Francis said the conversion should be done every day by small conversions. To be on track to be a saint, the Pope said, avoid the urge to speak ill of others.

EXTRACTS OF THE POPE'S HOMILY 

(Source: Vatican Radio)

"Holiness cannot be bought. Neither can it be earned by human strength. No, "the simple holiness of all Christians," "ours â?? the kind  we are called to every day," says the Pope, can only be attained with the help of four essential elements: courage, hope, grace, and conversion.â?

"Holiness is a journey; holiness cannot be bought.  It canâ??t be sold. It cannot be given away. Holiness is a journey to God's presence that I must make: no one else can do it in my name. I can pray for someone to be holy, but heâ??s the one who has to work towards [holiness], not me. Walk in God's presence, in an impeccable way. Everyday holiness can also be "anonymous.â? First: courage. The path to holiness takes courage."

"Jesusâ?? Kingdom of Heaven is for those who have the courage to go forward. And courage is generated by hope, the second element of the journey that leads to holiness. The kind of courage that hopes "in an encounter with Jesus.  

The third element of this journey towards holiness appears in Peterâ??s words: Put all your hope in that grace:â?

"We cannot achieve holiness on our own. No, it is a grace. Being good, being saintly, going every day a little 'a step forward in the Christian life is a grace of God and we have to ask for it. Courage, a journey. A journey one must take with courage, with hope and with the willingness to receive this grace. And hope: the hope of the journey. Here, the Pope urged the faithful to read the "beautiful� chapter XI of the Letter to the Hebrews, which recounts the journey of "our forefathers, the first to be called by God.� "Of our father Abraham, it said: 'But, he went out without knowing where he was going.' But with hope."

"Conversion, every day does not mean one must beat oneself as penance for committing a wrong:   "No, no, no: small conversions... if you're able to not speak ill of another, you're on the right path to becoming saintly. It's so easy! I know that you never speak ill of others, no? Little things... 'I want to criticize a neighbor, a workmate:' bite your tongue a bit. The tongue will swell a bit, but your spirit will be holier on this journey. Nothing grand, mortification: no, it's simple. The path to holiness is simple. Do not go back, but always moving forward, right? And with fortitude." 

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