The Archbishop of Los Angeles, Msgr. José Gomez, made a compilation, based on the lives of saints and masters of the spiritual life, of six practices that can help achieve sainthood.
In a pastoral letter entitled “We have been made for great things”, the Prelate indicated that to be like Christ “a life plan is needed” and to have “a purpose”. “Our lives must be led by a joyful desire to work with the grace of God to be more like Christ day after day, year after year.”
To achieve this goal, Archbishop Gomez recommended working on “good habits” and presented the following six practices.
1. Be aware of the presence of God
The Prelate indicated that it is necessary to have contact with God through a simple prayer at the beginning and end of the day. In the morning the day is offered to the Lord and in the afternoon he reflects on what was done during the day.
“Throughout the day, try to be aware of the ‘sacrament of the present moment.’ Our goal is to have the certainty that we are alive under the loving gaze of God and that with his grace it is possible to do everything for love of him”, she pointed out.
2. Take time every day to pray
Bishop Gomez recommended that throughout the day it is good to take a break from daily work to pray. He explained that the purpose of prayer is to bring man into the presence of the living God in an attitude of humility, love and praise.
In addition, he advised talking to God honestly and simply. “Tell your Father what keeps you anxious, what you want to do for Him. Talk to him about the areas of your life that you want to improve. Tell him that you love him and that you want to love him more. Tell him that you want to do his will, as Mary, our mother, did.”
He also pointed out that “the only prayer we need” is to repeat the name of Jesus during the day: “It is a beautiful and powerful prayer.”
3. Read a Gospel passage every day
Another practice that Archbishop Gomez proposes is to perform lectio divina. This consists of reading a passage from the Gospels and meditating on it in prayer asking: “God, what are you saying to me in this passage? What are you asking me to do?”
Likewise, he assured that Jesus can only be known through his teachings and his life reflected in the Gospel. “The more we pray with the Gospels, the more ‘mind of Christ’ we will have. The thoughts and feelings of him, seeing reality through his eyes”.
4. Frequently attend the Eucharist
The Archbishop of Los Angeles recommended seeking every opportunity to encounter and adore Christ in the Mass and the Blessed Sacrament.
According to Archbishop Gomez, the ideal is to attend the Eucharist during the weekdays, in addition to Sunday. He remembered that when he started doing it he became more aware of God’s presence. His personal relationship with Him grew more and more and became a deep friendship.
5. Make a daily examination of conscience and confess frequently
The Prelate affirmed that frequent confession brings “a sensation of liberation and peace” in the soul when sins are forgiven.
He also commented that throughout his pastoral ministry he has been surprised at how “God’s grace acts in people’s lives” through this sacrament.
“Participating in the healing sacrament of Christ is a grace. To be able to pronounce his word of forgiveness, to be able to forgive sins in his name. There is no greater privilege that I can imagine, nor anything more beautiful on earth”, he underlined.
6. Perform spiritual and material works
“Loving is the way to imitate Christ. We need to love others as Jesus loves them, starting with the people closest to us. Start with our families and then go out, “said the Archbishop of Los Angeles.
Therefore, he recommended serving God through the poor, the abandoned and the vulnerable.