BEING HUMAN should not dishearten individuals from aspiring to be like saints as sanctity and holiness are already within a hand’s reach, a former UST rector said.
In his homily during the mass for the feast of Our Lady of La Naval, Fr. Rolando dela Rosa, O.P. said even if imperfection is simply a part of being human, it should not prohibit one from being God-like.
“We are called to become saints, that is why we venerate the saints. We don’t just admire them and don’t just pray for their intercession,” Dela Rosa told devotees at the Santo Domingo Church on Sunday, Oct. 8.
“We want to be like them (saints) because, in the depth of our hearts, there is that longing to be holy. There is that longing to be saints, to be good,” he added.
The problem with humans, dela Rosa said, is that sanctity has become the “exception rather than the rule” as people tend to acquaint themselves with sin, thinking holiness is only attainable for some.
“That’s why I think holiness is difficult not because of the things we could not do, but because of the things we cannot stop doing…Bear in mind the reason why it’s difficult to be holy is not because it’s hard to do good and be good, but because we don’t want to forbear our bad deeds,” the Dominican priest said.
According to dela Rosa, Jesus Christ becoming man and building the Church for sinners signify that every day is an opportunity to attain holiness.
The Church, he added, is a sacred place where people can ask the Blessed Virgin Mary not for superficial requests, but for spiritual miracles.
“Just like Mary, we should believe what the angels said: Nothing is impossible for God. So today… Let us ask the Lord for the intercession of Mama Mary, ‘Lord, create the miracle of holiness in my heart, help me to aspire to be good,’” he said.
Aside from the mass, devotees also participated in the much anticipated grand procession of the historic image of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary La Naval de Manila, which was held along Santo Domingo Avenue, Dapitan Street, D. Tuazon and Quezon Avenue in Quezon City. The Marian image was accompanied by statues depicting the Virgin Mary’s spouse St. Joseph and more than 20 Dominican saints.
The feast of La Naval commemorates the victory of Spanish and Filipino forces against the invading Protestant Dutch fleet in 1646, which was attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The first day of the nine novena masses in honor of Our Lady of La Naval began on Sept. 29 with the enthronement rites. F – with reports from Bless Aubrey Ogerio