The Essence of Holiness

Our Lady of Medjugorje, in private revelation given to Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti, on November 25, 2020:

Dear children! This is a time of love, warmth, prayer, and joy. Pray, little children, for little Jesus to be born in your hearts. Open your hearts to Jesus, Who gives Himself to each of you. God sent me to be joy and hope in this time, and I am saying to you: Without little Jesus, you do not have the tenderness or the feeling of Heaven, which is hidden in the Newborn. Therefore, little children, work on yourselves. By reading the Sacred Scripture, you will discover Jesus’ birth and joy, as in the first days which Medjugorje gave to humanity. History will be truth, which, also today, is being repeated in you and around you. Work on and build peace through the Sacrament of Confession. Reconcile with God, little children, and you will see miracles around you. Thank you for having responded to my call.

From the writings of Saint Maximilian Kolbe (on March 1922):

Only Jesus, by coming into the world, showed humanity the way to true holiness by example and word. The essence of holiness consists in loving God to the point of heroism. Its hallmark is the fulfillment of God’s Will, especially as expressed in the commandments of God and of the Church in the duties of one’s state of life. Its means are (1) continuous self-vigilance in order to know one’s flaws and uproot them, engraft the virtues, cultivate them, develop them to higher degrees; and (2) prayer, whereby the soul obtains God’s supernatural graces, indispensable to spiritual progress. In all saints, prayer takes a prominent place.

The most important stages of prayer are vocal prayer, meditation, and contemplation. In contemplation, God may at times draw the soul very close to Himself, in which case the soul, dazzled by unearthly light and kindled with love, enters a state of ecstasy, which has nothing in common with natural enchantments. That is, however, neither indispensable nor necessary to achieve holiness.

Pope Benedict XIV said: “To canonize a servant of God, it will suffice to have enough evidence that he practiced the virtues he had the chance to practice in a sublime and heroic way according to his circumstances and his station.” Consequently, as H. Joly says, “the Church has numbered in the rank of saints not only monks, along with princes and princesses, kings and queens, emperors and empresses, but also merchants, teachers, greengrocers, farmers, shepherds, lawyers and doctors, bankers and clerks, beggars and servants, craftsmen, shoemakers, carpenters and blacksmiths.”

The rather widespread notion that the saints were not like us is simply false. They also were subject to temptation, also fell and got up again, felt oppressed by sadness, weakened, and paralyzed by discouragement. However, mindful of the words of the Savior: “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (cf. John 15:5), and those of St. Paul: “I have strength for everything in Him Who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13), they did not rely on themselves, but, putting all their trust in God, after every fall, they humbled themselves; they sincerely repented, cleansed their soul in the sacrament of Penance, and then set down to work with even greater fervor. In this way, their falls served them as steps toward an ever greater perfection and they became lighter and lighter.

When St. Scholastica asked her brother St. Benedict what was needed to achieve holiness, she received this reply: “You must want to.”

The Most High, the Incomprehensible One, the Inaccessible One, He Who Is, deigned to come down to us poor earthly creatures who are nothing at all. How was this done? The Most High God came down to us in a perfect way through the humble Virgin Mary, without losing anything of His divinity or holiness. It is likewise through Mary that we poor creatures must ascend to Almighty God in a perfect manner without having anything to fear. God, the Incomprehensible, allowed Himself to be perfectly comprehended and contained by the humble Virgin Mary without losing anything of His immensity. So we must let ourselves be perfectly contained and led by the humble Virgin without any reserve on our part.

Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort


A child of Jesus and Mary.

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