The Christian life requires concrete commitments and spiritual combat in order to grow in holiness, Pope Francis said yesterday. Source: CNA.
“There is no path to holiness without some renunciation and without spiritual combat,” Pope Francis said in his Angelus address.
This battle for personal sanctity requires grace “to fight for the good, to fight not to fall into temptation, to do what we can on our part, to come to live in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes,” he added.
In the Catholic tradition, spiritual combat involves an internal “battle of prayer” in which a Christian must fight temptation, distraction, discouragement, or dryness. Spiritual combat also entails cultivating virtues to make better life choices and exercise charity towards one’s neighbour.
The Pope acknowledged that conversion can be a painful process because it is a process of moral purification, which he likened to removing encrustations from one’s heart.
“Conversion is a grace for which we must always ask for: ‘Lord, give me the grace to improve. Give me the grace to be a good Christian’,’” Pope Francis said from the window of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.
Reflecting on Sunday’s Gospel, the Pope said that “living a Christian life is not made up of dreams or beautiful aspirations, but of concrete commitments, in order to open ourselves ever more to God's will and to love for our brothers and sisters”.
“Faith in God asks us to renew every day the choice of good over evil, the choice of the truth rather than lies, the choice of love for our neighbour over selfishness,” he said.