The focus of the study is based on offering evidence on how theology helps to equip one to achieve the call of holiness and apostolate. To hold relevance in the study, the analysis will cover on the introduction; God’s calling to holiness and apostolate, and the theological perspective of achieving a holy life. Additionally, the research will include on how theology equips one to make a spiritual life and the challenges of living a religious life. The research will further offer recommendations on the strategies towards the achievement of a spiritual life. Finally, the study will provide a comprehensive conclusion on the study.
The study of theology is resourceful in nurturing the way of life of Christians in various instances. It is important to identify that discipleship can never be reduced to learning and teaching. However, Christian education through theology plays a critical role in shaping and driving the acts and the attitudes of Christians (John Paul II, 2017). Theology is more involved as it goes beyond the content of Christian education rather it involves the process of instructions and the discernment. The individuals are therefore taught in personal identity and help to interpret the realities of life (Pope Paul IV, 1965). The foundation of theological studies is structured to model the lives of Christians towards the achievement of holy life. In this analysis, the central focus of the study is on how theology equips one to achieve the call for Holiness and apostolate.
God’s Call to Holiness and the Apostolate Life
Before the analysis of the significance of theology in the promotion of faith, it would be important to identify the universal call to holiness in the church. It is evident that Christ, God and the spirit is uniquely holy. Through showing love to the Church, Jesus gave up his life so that every Christian would get a chance to be sanctified from sins and achieve a spiritual life. It is within the demands of Christianity that every follower should manifest the virtues of holiness. The manifestation on individuals differs within the disciples and Christians as there are diverse ways towards achieving a divine life free from sin.
Jesus Christ is the spiritual teacher on holiness which He made through preaching to his disciples. He further invoked the Holy Spirit to aid the disciples and the followers to act as a helper in the achievement of a holy life. The followers of Christ are called by God in accordance to His purpose and grace. The calling makes them sons of God and them, therefore, share in the divine nature of God.
It is within the expectation that Christians should achieve a holy life regardless of the social status or rank in the society. Christians are called to the fullness of life and for the perfection of charity life (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 1964). The duties and the responsibilities of a Christian are many, but it is within the expectation that achieving Holiness is among the requirements. Depending on the stage of growth and development the expectations on living a proper life of Holiness continue to change. The married couples should follow the correct path and the parents are expected to achieve faithful love. It is within the expectation that they should sustain each other in grace in the entire life of the individuals.
Theological Perspective on the Holy Life
The study on theology helps people to understand what God means when he demands a life of holiness (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2017). According to the old covenants, it reflects on the significance of adherence to dozens of laws that help to achieve a clean life that defines a better relationship with God. For example, some of the laws required that Christians should not eat some of the animal organs. The old covenant regulations are defined in Leviticus. The book developed many laws that governed the nature of one being holy and not being holy.
The old testaments teachings and regulation were brought to fulfillment through Jesus Christ (Matthew5:17). The teachings of Jesus Christ were focused on showing the moral and ethical behavior that defined the acts of being clean and unclean. The old approach to the laws and regulation of the book of Leviticus were overridden on the cross upon the death of Christ.
For example, after the cross the policies and the legislation that separated the Gentiles and the Jews they were no longer enforced.
In the new covenant, the reflection on living a righteous life is significantly affected by the purity and the conditions of the heart (John Paul II, 2017). According to Christ, he identified that the terms of the heart significantly determines the moral behaviors adopted by an individual. The beginning of living a holy life begins with accepting Jesus as the Lord and savior and further accepting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (International Theological Commission, 2017). Therefore, achieving a holy life does not require for individuals to follow the physical rituals. Christians can acquire a spiritual life due to the sacrifice that Christ did on the cross. The fact that one accepts Jesus as the Lord and savior, it implies that the followers will continue to pursuit of a life that pleases Him through righteousness. Therefore, the new covenant is all about achieving a life of spiritual cleanness.
The theme on holiness runs through the scriptures in the Bible and theological studies. God is perceived as holy, and people should emulate the life of Jesus Christ as he is also holy and go wants Christians to be holy. Many Christians are caught up in a dilemma on what it means to be holy and the separation from the ordinary life. In the theological studies, the meaning of holiness is considered as the separation from the ordinary. It is evident that God is holy and the fact that He requires us to emulate Him it is difficult as Christians can never achieve the life of holiness as God (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 1964). Therefore, the demand for the human beings is to behave righteously by doing what is right. The dynamic of holy life is attributed by doing what is right, and therefore, Christians can achieve to be holy without living a righteous. The New Testament foes not do away with bodily practices; it perfects them. The center of the New Testament Christian life is in the Sacraments, which are physical signs that confer spiritual grace.
How Theology Equips One to Fulfill the Call to Holiness and the Apostolate
Before the analysis of theology provides people to the appeal made by Holiness it is rational to identify the objective and the goals of the Catholic universities which acts as the primary facilitators of theology. The core purpose of the institutions is to instill an institutional manner in which there is a Christian presence in the educational facilities. Therefore, the Catholic Universities are identified with the following characteristics that facilitate the growth in holiness. Firstly, the facilities act as a source of Christian inspiration for the individuals and the university community. Secondly, the services operate as a continuous reflection of the Christian faith on the living treasure of human knowledge. Additionally, the institutions encourage fidelity as Christians message as gets to them through the church. Therefore, besides the characteristics, it is evident that teachings, research, and services are commonly oriented at achieving the call to Holiness and developing the apostolate personality.
It is important to identify that theology holds the importance of the church in every stage of Christian growth and helps people to respond to the plan of God. The relevance of theology in aiding to achieve the set objectives and the call to holiness is witnessed through the values it equips Christians. It is evident that Donum Veritatis acts as a guide towards leaving a morally upright life (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 1964). Christian morality is among the strategies that aid in achieving a holy life. Theology, therefore, helps to define the right and the not correct actions. A life of holiness implies living a life that one does what is good without necessarily being righteous. The Gospel acts as the word of life, and therefore, it serves as the guide for human behavior and inspires the adoption of a Christian life.
Among the most important values that theology equips Christians including achieving the life of truthfulness. There are key identifiers that make Christians identified as appreciating the call of happiness (John Paul II, 2017). The key attributes that help achieve the life of holiness include the life of truth. According to the Donum Veritatis, it identifies that a life of Christian faith that integrates knowledge, faith, and existence which are intrinsically connected. The truth helps to set Christians free, and it is considered as a gift of Jesus Christ. The teachings on theology identify that “Man’s nature calls him to seek the truth while ignorance keeps him in a condition of servitude.” The emphasis on the need for the truth, therefore, aids in achieving a life of holiness and the segregation from ills. Through attaining the life of truthfulness, Christians partially fulfill the call to holiness.
Theology contributes to the communication of faith, and therefore it helps to create an appealing understanding to the people who do not know Christ yet. Therefore, it helps create a pull to the non-Christians to help them seek and find faith in Jesus. The call of salvation marks the beginning of living a life of faith and holiness. Therefore, the incentive to the non-Christians is a resourceful tool in achieving a life of faith. The origin of theology was inscribed on the interior life of Christians and developing the missionary vocation and the discipleship life.
The core task of theology is to create the understanding and the meaning of the revelation, and therefore, the phenomena require the application of the philosophical concepts. Theology, therefore, draws the theories from the surrounding, the culture and other variables that influence the human nature. The integration of the world diversity helps to develop the challenges that may affect the secure adoption of the Christian religion. In response to the challenges, it aids to nurture the Christian life in achieving a life of holiness.
The Catholic Universities and theological schools are objected with the responsibility to reserve to the cause of truth. Therefore, it helps to dignify man and the right of the church. The school activities, therefore, serve a critical role in the promotion of Christian religion and morally upright life. Most significantly, the facilities serve a significant role in equipping the students with resourceful knowledge on how to achieve a holy life. In the current society, it is common that the youths and the adolescents are caught up in the dilemma of morality, and peer pressure serves a critical role in influencing the behavior. The Catholic universities and the organizations that facilitate theological studies are focused on raising a better society that appreciates morals and value for human life. The current generation significantly requires the type of the disintegrated services that nurtures behavior, values, and morals.
Challenges of Fulfilling of the Call to Holiness and the Apostolate
Although theology and other Christian services serve a significant role in modeling people in achieving a life of faith, there are adamant challenges that inhibit the growth of Christian life as apostles of Christ. The core problems are the increase of sciences and technology in the society (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 1964). The technological and scientific discoveries contradict the developments as they identify enormous growth in the economy and industrial genres, and thus leave the spiritual realm unaccounted for.
It is important to recognize that some of the increase in sciences compromise the spiritual beliefs and it is the reason the rise of some atheists continue to grow. For example, scientific research significantly criticizes the theory of creation and offer scientific explanations that nullify the religious beliefs of Christians (Pope Paul IV, 1965). Theology serves a critical role in emphasizing on the significance of human value. The responsibility of the church in the achievement of a holy life is therefore intense.
Other challenges that face the Christian religious life include the miss-conceptualization of the teachings of the gospel. It is common that the meaning of some important values has been disputed by the new ideas (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2017). Furthermore, the development of new religions, some of them borrows some of the ideas from the theological teachings. Therefore, it has led to confusion on the correct and appropriate religion that people should follow. The general confusion has, therefore, resulted in the misinterpretation of the biblical teachings. There is need to address the challenges to promote knowledge of the Christian gospel teachings.
Recommendations on Achieving a Holy Life
Although technology and science challenge the call to happiness, the technology can be inversely used to promote the call to Holiness. Technology in this context can, therefore, be used as a tool for communication and the promotion of the gospel. For example, using the social media forum, the evangelists can use the panels to educate and train Christians on ways on achieving a righteous life of truth (International Theological Commission, 2017). Other tools of technology include the internet which serves a critical role in offering a knowledge base on the gospel teachings and the models that guide Christian morality. Videos, texts, images, articles, and documentaries can be developed and posted in the online websites to facilitate the knowledge of Christian teachings. Other strategies that can aid addressing the pointed challenges is the intense promotion of the teachings of the gospel (John Paul II, 2017). The theological teachings should not be bounded in the University institutions rather it should be spread in the global context to eliminate the confusion and the wrong conceptualization of the biblical teachings. The full range includes the use of the religious campaigns, the mass media, conventions and other tools like the social media. The strategy will help promote knowledge of the requirements and the need for developing and fulfilling the call to holiness. However, it is important to recognize that theology has served a critical role in the promotion of achieving the call to Holiness.
The current world is intensely intricate in the devaluation of Christian values and achieving the call of holiness has been significantly challenged. However, theology has considerably served a critical role in the promotion of Christian religion gospel, teachings, and further faith. Through the teachings and the development of knowledge, it has enabled Christians to fulfill the call to holiness and apostolate (Pope Paul IV, 1965). The theological perception of religion has attached critical significance on the segregation from the ordinary life of sins. It emphasizes the call to Holiness as a requirement for all Christians who are expected to emulate Christ because He is holy.
The core challenges to fulfilling the call to holiness are aggravated by technological and the scientific researchers. The study contradicts the teachings, and the findings further question religion. Other problems include the current generation that is anchored on deception and wrong articulation of morals. However, the problems can be addressed using technologies to facilitate the promotion of knowledge and gospel on Christian teachings of faith and holiness (Pope Paul IV, 1965). Despite the challenges, it is evident that theology has served a critical role in the promotion of Christians towards the fulfillment of the call to Holiness and the apostolate.
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. (2017). Instruction Donum Veritatis on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian.
Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. (1964). Lumen Gentium: Solemnly Promulgated by his Holiness Pope Paul IV.
International Theological Commission. (2017). Theology Today: Perspectives, Principles and Criteria .
John Paul II. (2017). Apostolic Coonstitution of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II on Catholic Universitiees.
Pope Paul IV. (1965). Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, Apostolican Actuositatem Solemnly Promulgated by his Holiness, Pope Paul IV.