Asking how we can realize our universal vocation to saints, he outlined three ways to do so.
First, Christians must be reminded that holiness is not something that we procure for ourselves. Holiness, he said, is not something "that we obtain with our qualities and our capacities," rather it is gifted by God.
Outlining his second point, the Pope explained that all are called to holiness in their ordinary lives. "It is not necessary to be bishops, priests or religious," he said. "We are all called to become saints!"
"Very often, however, we are tempted to think that holiness is reserved only to those who have the possibility to detach themselves from ordinary tasks, to dedicate themselves exclusively to prayer. But it is not so! Some people think that holiness is closing your eyes and putting on a pious face... No! That is not holiness!"
Not a burden
Turning to the third point, he called on all faithful to do an examination of conscience, and to ask whether or how they have responded to the Lord’s call to holiness. "When the Lord invites us to become saints, He does not call us to something burdensome, sad,” he said.
The 77-year-old Pontiff said that God doesn't ask for Christians do something beyond our strengths but by little steps such as choosing not to gossip, spending time with their children, in prayer and giving to those in need.
"Small things are small steps toward holiness," he said. "And every step towards holiness will make us better people, free from selfishness and being closed in on ourselves, and open us up to our brothers and sisters and their needs."
Concluding his catechesis, the Pope echoed St. Paul's call for the faithful to be "good stewards of God's varied grace." The path towards holiness, he said, is not traveled on one’s own. "It is traveled together, in the one Body that is the Church, loved and rendered holy by the Lord Jesus."