Volume IX: Christian Call to Personal Sanctification


These truths are developed in the documents whose summary is given in this volume. Those who read it will see that they are challenged, as Pope John Paul II has said so eloquently, to develop a civilization of love, to resist the “culture of death” and to sow the seeds of the “culture of life” in the world in which they live. God Himself honors them by asking them to be His co-workers in redeeming the world. This is the call to perfection.

We are grateful to CUSP for these invaluable volumes of Catholic teaching. I join His Eminence Cardinal James A. Hickey in encouraging clergy, religious and seminarians to read the volumes often and study them carefully.

Archbishop Alberto Bovone, Pro-Prefect Congregation for the Causes of Saints

Call to Sanctity

Jesus calls us to follow Him and to be perfect, even as His heavenly Father is perfect. Through Baptism we die to sin and rise to a new kind of life, one made possible by our union with Jesus, true God and true Man. This call to sanctity, to holiness, to perfection, is addressed to all Christians, men and women, young and old, lay and religious, to Bishops, Priests and the ordinary Faithful. This glorious truth is at the heart of the New Testament. This truth, moreover, has been emphasized again and again by the Magisterium of the Church over the centuries. Earlier Volumes in this series, especially Volume III, on “The Church” and Volume IV, on “Marriage, Family and Sexuality”, have included won­derful magisterial documents proclaiming this truth, in particular, key docu­ments of Vatican Council II and the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II, “Familiaris Consortio” (The Role of the Christian Family in the Modem World) and “Christifideles Laic?’ (The Role of the Lay Faithful in the Church). This volume includes other important magisterial teachings on this topic from the time of Pope Leo XIII in the nineteenth century to the present.

Table of Contents

  • Exeunte Iam Anno, Encyclical Letter on the Right Ordering of Christian Life, Pope Leo XIII, December 25, 1888
  • Sapientiae Christianae, Encyclical Letter on Christians as Citizens, Pope Leo XIII, January 10, 1890
  • E. Supremi, Encyclical Letter on the Restoration of All Things in Christ, Pope St. Pius X, October 4, 1903 
  • Mens Nostra, Encyclical Letter on the Spiritual Exercises, Pope Pius XI, December 20, 1929 
  • “The Lay Apostolate”, Address to the Second Congress for the Lay Apostolate, Pople Pius XII, October 5, 1957 
  • Paenitentiam Agere, Encyclical on the Need for the Practice of Interior and Exterior Penance, Pople John XXIII, July 1, 1962 
  • Dives in Misericordia, Encyclical Letter on the Divine Mercy, Pope John Paul II, November 30, 
  •  Salvifici Doloris, Apostolic Letter on the Saving Mystery of Suffering, Pope John Paul II, February 11, 
  • Reconciliation et Poenitentia, Apostolic Exhortation on Reconciliation and Penance, Pope John Paul II, December 2, 1984 
  • Dominum et Vivificantem, Encyclical Letter on the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World, Pope John Paul II, May 10, 1986 
  • Veriatis Splendor, Encyclical Letter On Certain Fundamental Questions of the Church’s Moral Teaching, Pope John Paul II, August 5, 1993 
  • Gravissimum Sane, Letter to Families, Pope John Paul II, February 2, 1994


Lectio Divina Cordis

Divine Reading of the Heart


HEAR the words as you inwardly read  or speak

– Read –


ENTER  the silence to reflect on a core precept

– Meditate –


ANSWER to the knock at the heart’s door

– Speak –


REST silently without words or thoughts

– Contemplate –


TRUST: “Do not let your HEART  be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”   (John 13:1)

 – Trust in the process –

Lectio Divina (Latin for “Divine Reading”) is a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God’s Word. It does not treat scripture as texts to be studied, but as the living word.

The focus of Lectio Divina is not a theological analysis of biblical passages but viewing them with Christ  as the key to their meaning.

Approaching the Magisterium Summaries from this perspective may lead to a deeper appreciation of its meaning and  an appreciation of how it may be applied to one’s life.

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