At the beginning of his first letter to the Corinthian Church, St. Paul addresses the members there as “you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy.” The translation used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church reads, “called to be saints.” We may not think that we who are ordinary Christians are called to be saints – that’s for special people, we say – but the Church teaches that’s exactly what we should aim for. Vatican II wrote about the “universal call to holiness in the Church,” a call that extends to the laity as well as the clergy and religious.
Of course, we cannot become saints by our own efforts, for we need God’s grace and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. However, we also have to respond and cooperate with God’s work in our lives. Stewardship – how we use the time, talent, and treasure entrusted to us – both reflects and strengthens our cooperation with grace and so helps us accomplish God’s plan for our life, namely, to become a saint.