February 19, 2011

Saint John Paul II: The Universal Call To Holiness

According to John Paul II holiness isn’t simply one option among many; it is the essence of being Catholic. To be Catholic is to be called to holiness. Holiness can be summed up in one word – love. Christ calls his disciples to authentic love – love of God and love of neighbor.

Saying this is one thing. Living it is another. We might think that holiness is the stuff of priests and nuns. We might think of living a holier life as something we will do tomorrow or sometime in the future. This is wrong. Sacred Scripture tells us the time to be holy is now!

1.The spiritual journey is entirely dependent on God. It is a gift God gives us. It is a grace. Going to Mass doesn’t make us holy. Neither does saying a million rosaries. God sustains us in life – in everything we do. We are entirely dependent on his mercy.

2. Our effort is necessary. What we can do to place ourselves in the presence of Christ we should do. Daily prayer is essential. Reading the scriptures is another key that unlocks the doors to eternity. God loves us abundantly. God knows us completely. Everything we say and do should be a response to that Love.

3. There are painful dimensions to the path toward holiness. We’re all familiar with the expression “no pain no gain.” Expelling sin from our lives can be difficult even painful. Expanding our hearts, minds, and souls takes work. Letting go of lesser cares and filling us up with God’s love can be a challenge. The temptation may be to put off the heavy lifting until later.

4. Despite its painful dimensions, the journey toward holiness is worth it. To find the pearl of great price we must get rid of the junk in our lives. Falling in love with God means letting go of the world. Whatever our difficulties - holiness is worth the journey

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Very good article. In addition, as mentioned above, to loving God and loving our neighbor, the Parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us that we need to be aware that our "neighbor" may be a person outside of our Catholic circles. Two highly religious men walked by a man in need, and the least likely person helped him. That is a great lesson in "holiness". Perhaps as Catholics we can look outside of the Catholic box at who we can help and truly find out how we can "be holy".