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Chaput: Becoming a Saint is All That Matters

In a country where Catholics are becoming increasingly indistinguishable from the rest of the population, Philadelphia's Archbishop Charles J. Chaput says we need to examine our consciences and come to the realization that nothing else really matters except becoming a saint.

“More than 70 million Americans describe themselves as Catholics. But for all practical purposes, they’re no different from everybody else in their views, their appetites and their behaviors,” said Archbishop Chaput at the Catholic Life Congress in Philadelphia last week according to CNA/EWTN.

“In a sense, our political and economic power, our addictions to comfort, consumption and entertainment, have made us stupid.”

In his talk, entitled "Renewing the Church and Her Mission in a Year of Faith," he said that the Nicene Creed, recited at every Sunday Mass, is the “framework and fundamental profession” of Catholic belief.

“The less we understand the words of the Creed and revere the meaning behind them, the farther away we drift from our Catholic identity – and the more confused we become about who we really are as Christians.”

He went on to urge everyone to repentance and conversion and proposed a kind of examination of conscience.

“So we need to ask ourselves: What do I want my life to mean? If I claim to be a Catholic, can I prove it with the patterns of my life? When do I pray? How often do I seek out the Sacrament of Penance? What am I doing for the poor? How am I serving the needy? Do I really know Jesus Christ?"

He continued: “Who am I leading to the Church? How many young people have I asked to consider a vocation? How much time do I spend sharing about God with my spouse, my children and my friends? How well and how often do I listen for God’s will in my own life?”

He then gave everyone a homework assignment for the Thanksgiving holidays - to watch the 1966 movie based on the life of St. Thomas More entitled, A Man for All Seasons.

More, an English lawyer, statesman and chancellor of England under King Henry VIII refused to go along with the king's divorce and re-marriage, a stance that eventually cost him his life.

"More was a man of profound Catholic faith and practice," Chaput said. "He lived what he claimed to believe. He had his priorities in right order. He was a husband and a father first.”

He is also an example for all Catholics.

“We’re all called to martyrdom. That’s what the word martyr means: It’s the Greek word for “witness.” We may or may not ever suffer personally for our love of Jesus Christ. But we’re all called to be witnesses.”

He concluded by saying that "the only thing that matters is to be a saint. That’s what we need to be. That’s what we need to become.”

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